So yes, I missed the original #BlumeALong date for Summer Sisters but I was participating in spirit. The most important thing is that I finally read an adult book by Judy Blume and it was Summer Sisters, two items to cross off my TBR list.
Caitlin Somers and Victoria Leonard (Vix) meet in sixth grade in 1977 and couldn’t be more opposite. But opposites attract. The book follows their friendship over the next 20 or so years and here’s why you should pick up a copy if you haven’t read it yet:
Judy Blume Is The Master of Non- Shaming: There are topics (many sexual topics) covered within the 400 pages and Blume does not hold back. Again, this is a book for adults and if you don’t like her no holds barred approach (and language) then this is not the book for you. But among all the discussions and open dialogue, not once does Blume shame a girl for wanting to be sexual, curious, experimental, assertive nor does she have characters shame each other. You know the whole slut-shaming thing.
Simple Yet Effective Prose: This is not Shakespeare people and thank goodness. It will not win any literary awards but it doesn’t need to, to be excellent. It captures your attention and doesn’t let go because the writing is like sitting down with a great friend.
The Unbelievable Is Believable: My overthinking, logical brain needed this book desperately! I found myself questioning situations at times but then after letting go and just take in the sentiments and story, I couldn’t put it down. I found myself relating to it more than I thought I would. I quickly went back to that time when I had a friend like Caitlin and how our relationship changed and altered over the years.
Spot On Era References: I am a product of this era and it couldn’t be more accurate. The music references instantly transport the reader as well as political change to the AIDS crisis. Blume incorporates this so well into her stories and it was published in 1998. I read it seventeen years later and it didn’t feel dated. I wonder if younger/older readers felt the same?
Overall, I am so glad that I finally picked up this book. It got me out of a bit of a reading slump and out of my head which could not let go of the many “to-do” lists I have going at the moment. It made me think about reading the right books at the right time but also putting aside the book snob tendencies (I sometimes have) when choosing ones that are less “literary” and challenging. Once again I was proven wrong.
“Not everything has to have a point. Some things just are.” ~Summer Sisters