A & L Do Summer [NOOK Book]

Overview

I’d like to say something clever, but my tongue is paralyzed. This guy is tall and built and—okay, maybe he’s not exactly handsome. Wait, that’s not true. He is exactly handsome. From ten feet away I can see the electric blue of his eyes. All of that put together makes him the Superman of redheads. 
 
After a year in rural Cottonwood Creek, Iowa, city girl Laurel is still adjusting to a place where parties take place in barns, guys ...
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A & L Do Summer

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Overview

I’d like to say something clever, but my tongue is paralyzed. This guy is tall and built and—okay, maybe he’s not exactly handsome. Wait, that’s not true. He is exactly handsome. From ten feet away I can see the electric blue of his eyes. All of that put together makes him the Superman of redheads. 
 
After a year in rural Cottonwood Creek, Iowa, city girl Laurel is still adjusting to a place where parties take place in barns, guys ride around in pickup trucks, and a killer senior prank involves getting pigs into the principal’s office. Fortunately, she has her best friend Aspen, an Iowa native, to show her around. The real problem is that neither the country girl nor the city slicker have boyfriends—or any prospects for getting them. Clearly, they need to raise their profile—and they have a summer to do so.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8–10 Up—Aspen and Laurel are looking forward to the summer before their senior year. This will be Laurel's first summer in Cotton Wood Creek, IA, and she is determined that she and Aspen will make their mark. The plan includes attending parties, attracting boyfriends, and pulling a good end-of-school prank to get in with the popular kids, but they end up dealing with school bullies, jobs, cranky neighbors, a new police officer, and crimes that A & L might be in the middle of. The teens are placed in some interesting situations, and real tension develops from dealing with harassment from the bullies, but character development is limited, even for the two protagonists. Aspen is likable enough, but readers are bound to get frustrated with her continued poor choices, while Laurel's portrayal as a sympathetic character comes late in the book, possibly after readers have ceased to care. The friends get into one scrape after another, including brushes with the law for a school prank, illegal fireworks, underage drinking, and stealing a chicken, but the problems seem contrived and ceaseless, and the resolution to the bully situation is convenient and clichéd. Romances for both girls develop late in the book but are cookie-cutter relationships, without any real sense of connection or emotion.—Natasha Forrester, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Publishers Weekly
Blazanin's sophomore novel follows inseparable 16-year-old best friends Laurel and Aspen through their madcap summer in the small town of Cottonwood Creek, Iowa. They are determined (Laurel much more so) to enter their senior year as part of the popular crowd, and Laurel, an easily bored schemer, can be something of a bad influence, getting Aspen in trouble at work and at home ("ometimes Laurel's sparkle is more like a blinding glare," says Aspen.) Laurel's first idea is to pull an end-of-year prank involving pigs in the principal's office, but when a trio of bullies gets wind of the idea, the girls are quickly pulled into a summerlong web of trouble. Blazanin (Fairest of Them All) unfolds her story at a rapid clip, though the scale generally tilts toward melodrama and eccentricity (a crabby neighbor who walks her pet skunk in a stroller; several scatological mishaps) over realism; Aspen's desperate first crush on her older brother's friend should satisfy readers looking for romance. An abundance of humor and surprises keeps this novel light and summery. Ages 12–up. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606842430
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 581 KB

Meet the Author

Jan Blazanin
Jan Blazanin is the author of one previous novel for teens. A former teacher, she lives on eleven acres in Iowa with one man, two dogs, one cat, and a dozen or so guinea fowl. When she is not writing, she is teaching writers’ workshops, planting wildflowers, and pulling acres of weeds. You can visit her website at www.janblazanin.com. 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Seizing the summer by hook or by crook!

    Prepare yourself for the ultimate summer à la Aspen and Laurel because they certainly have quite a full plate of backfired plans going on! A & L do summer was not what I had expected from the synopsis. I thought there would be a little more city-vs-country girl dynamics going on - and perhaps a little fun scheming as finding boyfriends go. Instead Aspen and Laurel had more Lucy/Ethel hilarities - which I thoroughly enjoyed!

    A & L do summer is a wholesome slice of warm apple crumble topped with a refreshing scoop of vanilla ice cream. Doesn't that sound like trouble - a delightful sort of trouble? These girls get into the strangest of predicaments - as they hop out of the pig-herding fiasco, they fall right into drive-thru shenanigans and a daring chicken rescue operation! I admit, it sounds like too unbelievable to happen to these girls - but they pull it off with such charm that you cannot help but believe that they are invincible!

    If you need a break from the heavy-duty YA reads and just want a good chuckle to brighten your day, I think you can do no wrong with A & L do summer ! Definitely a win for fans of I LOVE LUCY!

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect Summer Read

    Every summer comes the wave of summer books, the ones that promise funny, light reads with their pretty covers, and with Jan Blazanin's newest book A & L Do Summer the reader receives that and much, much more to say the least.

    Aspen, one city girl stuck in the country, and Laurel, a longtime country girl, have always been the girls to fall under the radar in their small country town, but this summer will change everything for the better. To begin this, Aspen has a great first plan involving one prank, pigs, and the principal's office. Unfortunately, their prank idea ends up in the wrong hands and involves one late night clean up that starts their summer off to a less than satisfactory start. However, this does not get them down; instead, they plan to try harder. From summer jobs involving interesting drive thru service, to walking skunks in strollers, to parties and boys, this summer will surely be unforgettable. Though, will it land Aspen and Laurel on the radar once and for all, or will it leave them even farther down on the social ladder? Only time and more pages will tell in this funny and easy read.

    Adorable and funny, Aspen and Laurel were two main characters that I could not help but adore. Their antics involving being noticed were hilarious; their friendship was three-dimensional and relatable to every girl or boy who has a crazy best friend; and best of all, their personalities jumped off the page and came to life. The secondary characters also added a great deal of fun to this light read such as Clay, Laurel's love interest, Manny, Laurel's brother who Aspen cannot help but love from afar, and Miss Simmons, the typical crazy old skunk lady.

    While the plot of this was too complicated or original, it was easy to fall into, because of the different events that occurred as well as the spark the characters brought. I enjoyed seeing Aspen and Laurel's everyday lives depicted on page, and I especially loved seeing all the trouble they got themselves into. Several scenes had me laughing aloud, which always makes me love a book even more.

    Finally, Jan Blazanin's writing has definitely improved in this one. From the story building to the character and plot development, everything was right on key, and this has made me even more eager to read more by her.

    Full of spunk and sparks, A & L Do Summer will have you giggling to yourself as these country girls make a name for themselves.

    Grade: A-

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    A terrific summer (or anytime) read

    Two best friends with medium-to-low profiles in the overall high school scene decide to "do" their last summer in style. Nothing really turns out the way they planned, but it's still quite exciting! I began to laugh at Laurel's cluelessness about pigs, and was still laughing at the end. Girls, pigs, skunks, dogs, boys, police: it's all there. A high energy page turner, beautifully written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

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