Saugatuck Summer is a really good coming of age story. Normally I do not read a lot of new adult stories, but I had heard this one was different and not to be missed. After reading it I have to say I agree with the recommendation.
Topher is a college student who comes from an abusive family and as a result he has almost no support system. He is almost done with college and is surviving off a partial scholarship and monies he earns each summer. This story starts with him moving into the beach house of a friend so he can have free rent while he saves for his final year. Topher freely admits he has a lot of insecurities and self-esteem issues. Two major things happen in the course of this story. Topher enters in to an affair with his best friend's closeted, married, father and he meets a nice guy who believes in him.
The story had a lot of angst for a new adult story and I found the subject matters were handled more seriously than many other books in this genre. I was a little worried about how the affair would be handled, but it was really well done. The events and circumstances were believable and I felt such sadness for both Topher and Brendan.
As the story continues Topher makes some good choices and some bad ones, but the storytelling helps you to understand why he does the things that he does and makes the choices that he makes. And really at the end of the day it's all about growing up. It’s about the difficult and sometimes very painful things that lead us from youth into adulthood. Topher is fortunate to meet some good role models and a guy who believes in him and these things take us to his happily ever after. It's a journey for both Topher and the reader and much of it is difficult, but I thought it was worth the trip. I definitely recommend this book.
One summer can change everything.
Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.