Punishment Summer is about a city girl, Nicki, who gets sent away to stay at her grandpa’s cabin in a town called Punishment in the Mendocino Forest because of her out-of-control behavior—drinking alcohol and sneaking out of the house. Throughout the story she juggles with overcoming her past, dealing with the loss of her mother and death of her sister.
I expected this book to be a cute, predictable coming-of-age story, but it turned into this action-packed mystery that left me wanting more! From the very first chapter, the author drew me and kept me hooked until the very end! The story does have a slow start up at first, but once you get past the first few chapters the story picks up rather quickly.
I found Nicki very relatable and likable. I didn’t quite understand her decision-making process at certain times, but that didn’t take away from the story. The romance subplot didn’t sit well with me. It felt unnecessary and the chemistry between Nicki and her love interest felt forced. My favorite character was Queenie, the German shepherd guard dog. She was so cute and adorable.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the book was how knowledgeable it was. When Nicki first arrives at her grandpa’s cabin, she has to learn how to fish, hunt, shoot a gun…etc. As her grandpa was teaching her all of this, I felt like he was teaching me as well.
I loved that the story had TONS of action! From dealing with drugs, human trafficking, and the cartel, along with learning about herself and her family’s secrets, Nicki goes through so much in so little time. It was all so exciting—I loved it!
Overall, I really enjoyed Punishment Summer! I really hope there’s a sequel!
Sixteen-year-old Nicki is sent to stay at her grandfather’s cabin near the town of Punishment in the Mendocino Forest. As always, she hides her burn scars and keeps quiet about the mother who ran out on her. But soon after arriving, she begins to suspect Grandpa is also keeping secrets. Her exile brings an unexpected bright spot—Grandpa’s German shepherd, Queenie. The hunky neighbor boy’s another plus, though she quickly starts to doubt his honesty.
From secret pot farms to human trafficking, Nicki discovers nothing in the ‘Mendo’ is what it seems. When Grandpa takes off and the lives of new friends are endangered, Nicki must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect those she cares about. Before summer ends, Nicki will learn there are some choices she can’t undo.
It’s a good thing Grandpa taught her how to shoot.
14+ due to adult situations