Five Summers

( 3 )


Bittersweet, funny, and achingly honest, Five Summers is a story of friendship, love, and growing up that is perfect for fans of Ann Brashare's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  and Judy Blume's Summer Sisters. 
Four best friends, five summers of camp memories
Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie have all come back to camp for a weekend of tipsy...

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Five Summers

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Bittersweet, funny, and achingly honest, Five Summers is a story of friendship, love, and growing up that is perfect for fans of Ann Brashare's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  and Judy Blume's Summer Sisters. 
Four best friends, five summers of camp memories
Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie have all come back to camp for a weekend of tipsy canoe trips to the island, midnight skinny dipping in the lake, and an epic game of capture the flag—boys versus girls. But the weekend isn't quite as sunwashed as they'd imagined as the memories come flooding back. . . .

The summer we were nine: Emma was branded “Skylar’s friend Emma” by the infamous Adam Loring . . .
The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth . . .
The summer we were eleven: Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle . . .
The summer we were twelve: Skylar’s love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us—except Skylar . . .
Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie’s secret. Skylar did something unthinkable . . . and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.

 A young adult book with a friendship story that will last long after the last s'more is gone.

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Editorial Reviews

Author of NY Times Bestseller PEACHES
"Vivid, warm, familiar and bittersweet, Five Summers is a welcome escape, full of moments that linger beyond the final pages." —Jodi Lynn Anderson
VOYA - Anna Foote
"How much can your life change in five summers?" asks the book trailer on author LaMarche's website; this is exactly the question that will draw teen readers to this book. It turns out, a lot can change in five summers. At age nine, Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie met at summer camp and vowed to be best friends forever, and each year, they managed to stay close until they could be together again at camp. But by age fourteen, their lives were more complicated...and even being together for the summer could not keep their friendship intact. Three years later, they are all headed to a camp reunion—to see if they can sort out their friendships—and their secrets. The quality of the writing in Five Summers is hit-and-miss. First-time novelist LaMarche manages no small feat in drawing four distinct teenage girl characters, and even her minor characters are individualized and well fleshed-out. The plot suffers, however, from going on too long. Also, after the first chapter, there is a jarring shift in perspective, from first-person to third-person. This title is recommended for middle school and junior high school girls, but note that there is some (non-explicit) sexual promiscuity in Five Summers, so this title may not be appropriate for all teen readers. Reviewer: Anna Foote
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Maddie, Jo, Skylar, and Emma met at summer camp when they all were 10 and have been best friends ever since. They have a secret book of rules that they add to every summer. "Rule #6: Best friends ALWAYS kiss and tell!" In alternating chapters, the narrative jumps among characters and across time as the girls return to camp, at age 17, for a reunion weekend in the present day. Secrets are exposed, adventures are had, and memories rehashed when they get to know one another all over again. It is a co-ed summer camp, and there is a possibility of finally acting on middle-school flirtations. LaMarche has skillfully bottled the summer camp experience, right down to bug juice and Capture the Flag, into a lighthearted summer read. The moral of the story is a tricky one for teen girls to learn: relationships come and go, but girl friends are forever. The ending is a bit saccharine, but readers who love Anne Brashares's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series (Delacorte) will enjoy this addition.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews
BFFs Emma, Jo, Skylar and Maddie meet up at Camp Nedoba the year after their last summer at the traditional camp, intending to renew their personal vows of loyalty to each other and to enjoy a nostalgic week of s'mores and summer fun. The lifelong friendships start to crack under the strain of very real adult dilemmas caused by boyfriend trouble, deception and betrayal. The girls are forced to examine their summer-camp relationships through the prism of their increasingly complex lives. Each of the four harbors a secret that is revealed at an inopportune moment. Middle-class Maddie has invented a wealthy family; Skylar doesn't get along with her demanding father; Emma has a secret, unrequited passion for one of the boys at camp; tomboy Jo, the daughter of the camp owner, realizes that being the life and soul of camp administration is not helping her image in the boyfriend stakes. However, in the end, friendship trumps all, and each girl finds her own resolution to life's gnarly problems. The chirpy narrative, though introduced in Emma's first-person, alternates its third-person focus from girl to girl and is punctuated by flashbacks to earlier summers. Despite orienting chapter headers, the lack of differentiation of flashbacks from the present-day story is sometimes confusing. In the end, this debut feels long and may not contain enough real substance to appeal to even the most avid of summer-camp fans. (Fiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595146724
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publication date: 5/16/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Una LaMarche is a journalist and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Observer and the Huffington Post. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their baby. Read her blog at and follow her on Twitter at 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Starting my summer reading pile, picking up this story is the be

    Starting my summer reading pile, picking up this story is the best way to start.
    1. Plot. This story is told between 4 best friends. There are enough point of view switches for the reader to gather all of the information needed with out feeling lost. It’s paced nicely and pulls you in quickly within the first few chapters.
    2. Characters. Each girl is defined nicely. You have the innocent girl, the quite girl, the party girl and the shy girl. The author did a great job in creating a different voice for each character, each of them facing their own share of battles and life questions.
    3. Drama. OMG! I totally loved the drama in the book. The build to secrets revealed, the hurt and lies that the girls thought they knew each other and they didn’t. Not to mention some of the lines made me want to grab some popcorn! CAT FIGHT!!!
    4. Boys. There are several boys that get involved with the girls lives.  The boys changed their lives forever in both good and bad ways.
    5. Ending. I did not like how it ended. Okay wait, let me backtrack here. It ended fine, but what disappointed me was having the story build up to such a big girl fight for it to all come together so quickly, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER! (insert sarcasm here). Yeah, I would have much rather have girls leave on a bitter, sad note then come back a few years later and then make up. Know what I’m sayin’?
    Overall, this is a great summer read. The feel of the summer camp fire, the splash of water and the summer games. It takes me back when I went to camp. Perfect for those who want a summer read to start off with a bang, Five Summers is great.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 30, 2013

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    Posted May 28, 2013

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