Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Audiobook Review: Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Here is a summary of Still Summer from Jacquelyn Mitchard's website:

When four friends who ruled the school twenty years ago gather for an idyllic sailing vacation – meant to comfort Olivia, who has returned home a widow after twenty years abroad – they expect two weeks of gossip, sunbathing and drinks with little umbrellas.

Instead, two days into their crossing, a single small mistake turns paradise a sun-baked hell.

The same elements that combined to make this trip an adventure in paradise combine in for survival. Surrounded by water, but with almost none to drink, with refrigerators filled with gourmet food rotting before they can used it, and a deluxe communication system ruined in an instant, the women must hide from the punishing sun and use all their strength and intelligence to try to outwit nature, their own demons and human predators.

What happens when friendship must face the ultimate test? Does the better nature prevail or is it everyone for herself?

My Review:
When I listen to an audiobook, I have found that I really need all elements to work together in harmony for me to stay focused on the story.  Still Summer fit the bill perfectly for me as it had elements of romance, action, and an emotional storyline that had my eyes tearing up at the end.  The story begins as four friends plan on renting a yacht for a tropical vacation, with the most strenuous work planned being to put a lawn chair away at the end of the day if necessary.  Olivia, Tracy, Holly, and Janice were friends since high school and are in need of a relaxing vacation.  When Janice's husband suddenly is struck with a medical emergency, she finds that she can't go along on the trip, so Tracy's daughter Cammie is lucky enough to be able to take her place. 

Tracy and Cammie's relationship has been a bit strained lately, so Tracy thinks this may be an opportunity for them to grow closer.  Cammie recently broke up with her boyfriend and thinks the trip will be a good way to put him out of her mind.  When a new romance is introduced upon arriving at her destination she has no problem pushing that ex-boyfriend to the far recesses of her mind! In the beginning of this book I found that I really didn't like Cammie, as she acted like a self-absorbed college student whom really didn't consider anyone's feelings but her own.  I enjoyed watching Cammie's character develop into a responsible young woman as the novel went on.

Olivia was another character that wasn't very likeable, as she is a recent widow that married her husband for money and not love.  She is a very selfish individual in this story, and when the ladies find themselves having to depend on one another, they find that Olivia will only take care of herself.  Even when it comes to the point of fatal consequences she only looks out for her own well-being and does not even consider what she can do to improve the chance of survival for her friends.

Holly is the character that everyone loves.  She is a loveable mom with twin boys and a husband at home, and your everyday gal, as she has a regular job and does not seem to have a perfect body.  Early on in the story Holly gets injured, but since she is a nurse she is able to take care of herself and not worry her friends with her own problems.  Holly steps up to the plate when danger is imminent and she will do whatever is necessary to protect her friends.  This is one gal that you would be proud to have in your corner!

Tracy is the strong a steadfast character that we all want to try to strive to be.  She is a great mom and will do whatever is necessary in the face of adversity.  When events start to go terribly wrong on the yacht, Tracy struggles with feelings of guilt since this vacation was her idea.  She feels that she has no choice but to risk her own life to save the lives of her daughter and her friends.  You can really feel the love that is contained in this woman's heart throughout the book.

As this book started I couldn't help but think that this would be the ultimate vacation with some of your closest friends.  But what started out as a relaxing tropical vacation, quickly turns into a life-threatening nightmare.  As they watch their food and water supply dwindle they must do what is necessary to survive, and in their greatest hour of need secrets are revealed that will change lives forever.

Many times I find myself saying that I wish I would have read this book rather than listening to it, but not so with this one.  It was a great audiobook and I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much had a read it.  I highly recommend this audiobook, especially if you enjoy listening to books that have a little bit of everything in them. 

My Rating 5/5

Disclosure:  This was an audiobook that I borrowed from the library and listened to for my own entertainment.


bermudaonion said...

I've been hearing a lot of great things about Mitchard's work lately. I think this is the first review of this book, though. I really want to try one of her books now.

Margaret aka: Fact Woman said...

I've heard of the book but didn't want to get it until I saw a review. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it. I'll get it ordered.

Missy B. said...

Yay! I picked this one up at the book sale a couple of weeks ago...can't wait to read it! Great review, Jo-Jo!

Lisa said...

I really like Mitchard. I haven't read this; I'll have to pick it up.

Serena said...

This must have been a wonderful book to listen to! Bravo on the review.

Jenny Girl said...

THis sounds like a great story but too scary for me to read. This is something that oculd potetntially happen and stuff like that freaks me out. Excellent review Jo-Jo

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I listened to the audio version (last year I think), but I recall I did not like this I was happy to see you seemed to love itg. sometimes it is all when you read a book and what is going on in your life.

Toni said...

Thanks for the review.. this on sounds like a good one. Who can resist a 5/5. Great cover too!

Anonymous said...

I remeber reading about this one and I'm always looking for a great audiobook. Thanks :)

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