Book Review: The Summer Without You by Karen Swan

Imagine This: A pause. That’s all it takes to bring your eleven year fruitful relationship with your super-hot adrenalin junky boyfriend to a halt.

His reason?

He needs to put some distance between you two so you could fall in love all over again and move from the routine both of your lives have become.
But should it be so?

Aren’t you having the best time of your life with him? For crying out loud, you guys were supposed to get engaged then married the next month. This can’t be happening, you keep telling yourself. But he leaves for the airport. And you are left with no option than to go shoot a friend’s wedding in New York.

Things don’t happen as you think it would. You end up in the Hamptons, being heartsick from loneliness sharing a ginormous property with roommates who to be frank, if you still had your entire sense intact you wouldn’t have decided to crush with for half a year.

This pause is putting a strain on what’s left of you and your boyfriend. You can’t get a hold of him when you call because he says so. He’s out there, hiking all over Asia, spending time in monasteries, being hot, shaving his hair bald, and growing a goatee… when all you do is to mop around wearing his clothes everywhere (in replace of a swimsuit!!).

Of course you too can have fun like he is doing, doesn’t matter how reserved you are. You can have the time of your life this summer and leave your ol’ uptight British self where it doesn’t belong in the Hamptons and paaartaaay(!!) as well as work.

But what with your roommate having problems of their own? What with neighbours being electrocuted and boyfriends being clubbed to death? What with the fear of Sandy rearing its head across shores again and the staunch campaign of preventive measures you are a part of? What with the hot thirtyish guy you can’t get out of your mind because… you might be attracted to him, or possibly, frightened of him?

Rowena Tipton’s life summed up for your delight.

OK. So maybe summer is over, to hell with summer reads! Who wants to be in the Hamptons at this time of the year anyway with the northeasterners approaching shores? But you can’t let 2014 pass away without reading this book! Chances are Karen Swan would release a new, kicking Summer read 2015 and you’d regret you didn’t get a hold of this!

I enjoyed the storyline. Girl hauls over to the Hamptons leaving London for the summer since her boyfriend pressed the pause button on their relationship, Girl decides she’d have the time of her life without him and make the most of this summer like he is doing, cue in roommates with complicated lives, women who fart and blow their noses all over their faces in yoga poses, neighbours who litter seashores and a new chin-length haircut (the first time in her life!). 
You have the bomb in your lap, flip pages cautiously. Fab storyline.── ★

Rowena Tipton is a must-read character. Too much soul you’d love to befriend a Brit (who has cleaner teeth albeit). Sweet, beautiful and well-developed. You would love her for her penchant to take on the problems of others and help them go through it all. You would love her for sucking at every selfie photo (like every other normal person out there). Oh, her curiosity gives this book the suspense it has. And sometimes, you would just love her for her need to show her boyfriend the dress she wore a night before through Skype cam when someone is being clubbed to death below her window.── ★★

The other characters were also, hmm, ah-mazing!!! There’s Bobbi, the loud, professionally ambitious roommate who always, always wants a selfie moment and is always dragging our lead to a glamorous event! There’s Humphrey, who dropped medicine for waiting at events and shagging every other girl, every other night (no talent wasted there). There’s Greg, the workaholic roommate who’s having a traitorous affair this summer. You would also love Florence, the Town leader of some sorts, spearheading the seed bombing campaign. Melodie, the yoga instructor loved for her melodiously soothing voice and her high flexibility to stay in complex yoga poses for minutes. There’s also Ted, the dark, hot thirtyish guy who won’t stop staring at our lead. Matt, the jackass boyfriend who would leave his girlfriend on her own the whole of summer (because people cannot really cheat in four months… except Rowena!). Lots of other characters I haven’t mentioned for you’d have to quit reading this review and stop procrastinating! A star to all these characters who made this book memorable(––this word has a more scintillating effect when read the French way)! ── ★★★

Humor, check. Suspense: It’s just so, so, hard to still love an author who keeps you on the edge of your seat for over 300 hundred pages. I ate this book up in two days! And I wouldn’t even show that much interest in a cupcake! (Yes, there’s more to life than cupcakes!).── ★★★★

Super-fantabulous ending! Applause, applause, can’t wait for Karen Swan’s next. Because I’d eat anything non-fattening that offers that much excitement (P.S: My persisting food imagery throughout this review might be because I’ve starved for hours––but didn’t realize––in my quest to finish up this book!)── ★★★★★ 

Karen Swan’s fabulous summer read, The Summer Without You, is available on Amazon. While you are at reminiscing your lost summer days, you can also get all of Karen’s Christmassy books to jet-start the excitement to your holiday season! (Would probably get mine also if they do not take a decade to get to this country! In that case, can’t wait for 2024, woo-hoo!)

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit sunny, breath-taking (I mean it! Keep your inhaler nearby for the suspense!) and anyone who just wants anything to arm themselves with in case their spouses, partners call a pause on their relationship to go hiking around Asia.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads. (And never on shitty Amazon, because I won’t axe part of this review for nothing!)

Oh, forgot my rating: Obviously a five-star book (5/5)

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