Thursday, March 19, 2009

summer of naked swim parties by jessica anya blau

fourteen-year-old jaime will never forget the summer of 1976. it's the summer when she has her first boyfriend, cute surfer flip jenkins; it's the summer when her two best friends get serious about sex, cigarettes, and tanning; and it's the summer when her parents throw, yes, naked swim parties, leaving jamie flushed with embarrassment. and it's that forever changes the way jamie sees things that matter: family, friendship, love, and herself.

you are clearly channeling judy blume, while smoking pot. which is perfectly fine for your mildly entertaining debut. it's a mindless read, and that's okay. i didn't expect anything else, and you delivered. it was exactly what i needed.

i will say that i am disappointment in jamie's character development. she was clueless, awkward, and somewhat adorable in the beginning. i saw my sexually clueless self in her. but she sort went a little crazy by the end. did you have to make her go down that obvious path of sexual stupidity? like all she learned from flip was that sex was a form of affection and approval. and i hated when he twisted things to get his kicks. like he manipulated her to get his jollies. and suddenly, i don't want kids. i don't want kids like the ones in your book. it make me uncomfortable, pissed off, and sad. was that your point, or merely an accident?

(don't worry gary d. schmidt, i still want a holling hoodhood kid.)

also, you went on a little too much about her mom's boobs hanging out all over the place and their perfectness ginormousness and her dad's penis. it was a little unnecessary.

i'll be honest, while i enjoyed your book for what it is, i'll probably forget it and it will never come up in conversation again.  (let's face it, i actually read this novel about eight books ago and totally spaced on writing you a letter -- oops?)

dutifully yours,
a lone reader

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