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review 2017-07-20 04:21
PERENNIALS Review
Perennials: A Novel - Mandy Berman
I never went to summer camp when I was growing up. I wasn't deprived, or anything like that. My parents would have let me go, had I asked — I simply was (and am) of the antisocial sort. I was the type of kid to haunt the local library during summer break. I wasn't one for physical activity. LOL. 

However, I do like reading about summer camps — through them I experience what is maybe lacking from my own childhood. Truthfully, I don't feel I missed much . . . but still, the topic and setting of summer camp often makes for interesting (albeit cheesy, usually) stories. How does Perennials measure up? Well, it's not interesting or cheesy. It's just lifeless and lame. 

Firstly, this novel has more structural problems than a termite-ridden set of wooden stairs. The first two chapters take place in 2000, at the summer camp that acts as the focal point of this novel, and then randomly switches to 2006. The two characters that are seen in the 2000 chapters are still around, but the reader is suddenly introduced to a ton of new campers, none of them fleshed out whatsoever. I think the main characters were supposed to be... Rachel? and . . . I'm blanking on the other girl's name. Yeah, I just finished this one and can't remember any of the characters' names. That's bad! Bad bad bad. 

So the plot hops from character to character and situation to situation, and almost none of it is necessary to furthering the story, nor does most of it come together by the story's end. Either this one leaves a ton of loose ends hanging, or I was too bored to care. I sorta get what the author was going for: the wide ranging impact summer camp can have on young teens, but the problem is this novel is just too short. There are way too many characters crammed into this story, and all of them want to be the main protagonist. None of them are written well at all, and I just . . . God, I'm boring myself talking about this. 

I honestly didn't have high hopes for Perennials, but I was expecting to at least get a breezy, fun summer read. Nope. This is just bland, flavorless melodrama populated with excessively, offensively boring characters and trite situations. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free review copy, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-05-30 20:52
Perennials/Mandy Berman
Perennials: A Novel - Mandy Berman

At what point does childhood end and adulthood begin? Mandy Berman’s evocative debut novel captures, through the lens of summer camp, a place that only appears to be untouched by the passing of time, both the thrills and pain of growing up.

Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Rebellious Rachel, a street-smart city kid raised by a single mother, has been losing patience with her best friend’s insecurities; Fiona, the middle child of a not-so-perfect suburban family, envies Rachel’s popularity with their campers and fellow counselors. For the first time, the two friends start keeping secrets from each other. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, campers, and families, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts—and the adults they’re becoming.

A seductive blast of nostalgia, a striking portrait of adolescent longing, and a tribute to both the complicated nature and the enduring power of female friendship, Perennials will speak to everyone who still remembers that bittersweet moment when innocence is lost forever.

 

I enjoyed the overall theme of this book and the portrayals at the end but otherwise, this was another readable YA book.

 

The blurb does not lie in that Berman really captures the beauty of summer camp, both for younger kids and for the older counselors, young adults coming into their own. The inclusion of foreign counselors made the book all the more interesting for me.

 

I enjoyed the way this dealt with race and issues of socioeconomic status within the younger campers. Seeing how this played out, seeing how the scholarship kids made it and didn’t, was important and added a layer of depth. I was definitely rooting for those kids.

 

A perennial is unchanging and never truly ends. I adored the way that this theme recurred through the book and how it ultimately came to fruition and truth at the end. This dealt with growing up very well and really provoked thought about youth and how it fades.

 

If you adore the summer camp vibe or need a solid YA, this is a good contender. Ultimately though, the theme was the only point that made this book stand out.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-30 13:19
Perennials
Perennials: A Novel - Mandy Berman

They spent their whole summers at Camp Marigold, their whole summers! I can’t imagine this freedom, this opportunity to spend my childhood years with my summer friends without any parents around. It was usually the same set of kids and they’d pick right up where they left off last summer as if no time had separated them. They ‘d take time just to notice the physical differences that had occurred while they were apart, knowing that later they would take the time to talk about anything deep that needed to be exchanged. They had truly formed great friendships. With a whole summer ahead of them, counselors leading the way, the rules were stated but as the campers got older, the rules often got broken.

 

Inside this novel, we follow Rachel and Fiona, these two girls fill out each other’s voids. Rachel was the risk taker, the outgoing one, the one who seemed to be out there. Fiona, she’s the one who lies in the shadows, she is the girl who individuals can count on for she seemed to have what others want. Meeting at Camp Marigold, we read about how their relationship grows and changes as each year passes. When they first arrived many years ago, they were campers and now many years later, they have assumed the roles as counselors and are now guiding and instructing other female campers. On the outside, Rachel and Fiona looked responsible to the young campers but I had to wonder myself, if Rachel and Fiona were mature enough for these young campers and could handle this responsibility? It was the freedom of the camp and the individualism of each of these young women that had me questioning their role. Their actions and behaviors were questionable at times. Only time would tell, if this role fit them.

 

I loved the carefree atmosphere of the camp, the friendships of the individuals attending and the friendships that were promised next year. It brought back memories of my own experiences of summer camp. The anticipation of tomorrow’s activities, the promises of next year, the bond of being with your friends for a whole week without your parents and the stories. I enjoyed being away at Camp Marigold, the time walking through the woods, swimming, the late talks, the relationships that were formed and built upon and all the drama. It was good to be away, to experience camp again and to be reminded again of what camp was all about. There was a frustrating part about halfway through this novel, when I found myself whisked off into other individual’s stories, stories of secondary characters who suddenly got center stage. I didn’t really understand the need for these stories but nevertheless, the novel finally got back on track. I can’t say I was pleased with the ending but thinking about the novel, I can see why it ended that way, but it was not what I expected.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House for providing me a copy of the novel. This is my own opinion of this novel.

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review 2017-03-01 02:09
Something more
Happily Ever Alpha: Falling for the Billionaire - Victoria Pinder,Jina Bacarr,Opal Carew,Eileen Cruz Coleman,Margo Bond Collins,Rossie Cortes,Tara Crescent,Michele de Winton,Blaire Edens,Nicole Garcia,Erin Hayes,Courtney Hunt,Mary Hughes,Sydney Logan,Alix Nichols,Tierney O'Malley,Peter Presley,Mandy

Happily Ever Alpha: Falling For The Billionaire is an anthology of 20 erotic stories about hot men, who have too much money.  This makes finding a wife even harder.  How do you know she is with you for you and not your bank account?

 

Because there were so many books inside, I chose Finding Mrs, Right by Debbie White to review.  What was the best part, is that Gabe is honestly trying to find "the one."  His friends fix him up, he meets many women and asks them out, and there are certainly complications.

 

It just is such a sincerely funny and sweet story.  I enjoyed seeing him try to find the best of the choices he meets.  Good read and honest picture of what trying to find someone can be like.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2016-12-17 16:43
Heated Holiday
Heated Holiday: A Vampire Romance (Bureau of Paranormal Investigation Book 2) - Mandy M. Roth

Cambridge is one of the heads of the BPI (Bureau of Paranormal Investigation). The supernaturals are out to the world. Cassie is half fae and doesn't know it. Her mother married an asshole and anti-supe leader. He had consistently threatened Cassie while growing up. C&C meet when she tries to stop something from happening.
Instant attraction (of course, right?). I did really like this, with the crazy, fun cast of characters. I smiled quite a bit reading this.

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