Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, the companion novel to My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, is a collection of short stories that take place in my favorite season, summer. The anthology is edited by Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss and the fall 2017 release There’s Someone Inside Your House. Summer Days and Summer Nights includes twelve short stories from Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.
Being a fan of My True Love Gave to Me, I knew that I would love Summer Days and Summer Nights, and I was correct! The cover is just as cute as My True Love Gave to Me, and I love how the lake is still our main setting on the cover along with the addition of the twelve couples from the book. There were only three out of the twelve stories that I wasn’t a huge fan of—Cassandra Clare’s “Brand New Attraction”, Lev Grossman’s “The Map of Perfect Tiny Things”, and Libba Bray’s “Last Stand at the Cinegore”, mainly because I didn’t really enjoy the more fantastical/magical elements set in each story. However, I did enjoy “Brand New Attraction” for its circus setting, along with liking “Last Stand at the Cinegore” for taking place at a horror-themed movie theatre. Below, I’ll be recapping my favorite stories in the anthology.
“Sick Pleasure” by Francesca Lia Block– “Sick Pleasure” stood out to me mainly because all of the charcters in the story either go by nicknames or named after the letter of the alphabet!
“Souvenirs” by Tim Federle– “Souvenirs” features two gay interests who work at an amusement park. The last day of summer is not only the last day of work for the two, but also their pre-designated break-up day.
“Love is the Last Resort” by Jon Skovron– I enjoyed “Love is the Last Resort” for its setting—a resort- and its cast of characters. There’s a pool boy, basketball, a lovesick poet, a rich heiress, a maze, and more!
“Good Luck and Farewell” by Brandy Colbert– I enjoyed “Good Luck and Farewell” for its focus on family, but the romance and pizza also made the story for me.
“Inertia” by Veronica Roth– I enjoyed “Inertia” for its futuristic elements, flashbacks, and heartfelt-ness.
“The End of Love” by Nina LaCour– I started reading Nina LaCour’s work this year, and I’ve really enjoyed her writing, “The End of Love” being no exception. Like her novels We Are Okay and Everything Leads to You, her short story features lesbian love interests and unlike those two novels, geometry class and a camp site.
“Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail” by Leigh Bardugo– When I first started reading “Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail”, I first thought that this would having fantastical elements. If you know anything about Leigh Bardugo, you won’t be surprised when I told you that I found myself wrong! However, I loved this story about lake monsters and Dairy Queen.
“A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong” by Jennifer E. Smith– Jennifer E. Smith had all of the elements for a summer contemporary story- summer camp, arcade games, and love. I really enjoyed this story for its cuteness and diversity.
“In Ninety Minutes, Turn North” by Stephanie Perkins– My favorite story in the anthology, “In Ninety Minutes, Turn North” follows the same charcters from Stephanie Perkin’s story in My True Love Gave to Me. I absolutely loved being reunited with Marigold and North and seeing them in a summery landscape (even if Marigold didn’t enjoy it as much).
Have you read Summer Days and Summer Nights? Share your thoughts in the comments!