Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - August 6-9

Book Blogger Hop

To check out other answers and join the hop go and check out for the Mr. Linky for the Blog Hop. 

This week's question:
Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

I'll be the first to admit, it use to have to be completely quiet when I read.  Now I can read amidst most distractions.  I listen to my mp3 player with just about anything on it while at the gym to tune out conversations.  I don't put music on at home though just to read.  I prefer the quiet.  If I did pick out specific music to read by it would be soft music, preferably with no lyrics to distract.  Music for yoga or nature sounds is what comes to mind.

I'm currently reading Spells by Aprilynne Pike and hope to get through that, Evermore by Alyson Noel and Firelight by Sophie Jordan this weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Book Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

 The Summer of Skinny Dipping
The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: June 1, 2010
Paperback, 304 pages

My Review:
Why I read this:  I asked to be put on this tour with Around the World Tour mainly because I was intrigued by the title.  Yes I just admitted that.  Then I read the description and really wanted to read it.

How is the novel driven: Character driven.  Yes there are important events, but this book is about the summer that Mia comes to the Hamptons and learns that not everything really is as it seems and she learns a lot about herself and the others around her.  It's a beautiful coming-of-age story that will resonate with me for quite a while.

My thoughts:
I just have to say wow.  When I finished this book with tears in my eyes, I simply thought back and thought this was a beautiful book.  An amazing book and one that should resonate with teenage girls everywhere.

Mia has recently broken up with her boyfriend and it feels like the end of the world, then her parents decide to return to the old family house on the Hamptons for the summer to vacation like old times with Mia's Aunt, Uncle and cousins.  Mia and her cousin are as close as can be and she can't wait to have fun in the sun, swim and just stay up talking with Corinne.  But when Mia shows up, Corinne is completely different, running with a high-society crowd and acting bored with everything Mia wants to do.  Mia is heartbroke, but continues on.  She swims which brings her great joy and takes refuge in the times that Corinnne is kind to her.  Then she meets Simon, who is much more on her level, but Simon has secrets that come out as the story progresses.  Still there friendship stands and romance develops.  That is what the story is about.  Mia finding romance and friendship in the midst of chaos.  Relationships she has known are not what they seem, she even finds herself not who she thought she was.  It's a beautiful story of a teenager finding her way in the difficult world of being a teenager.

I loved the characters.  Mia was excellent, Corinne makes a good character as well, and Simon, I fell in love with Simon along with Mia.  The characters move the story along very well and I found myself pretty much reading this in one sitting.  There is so  much to this book I don't want to go into because I don't want to give anything away.  But suffice it to say this is one of what I consider the must read books of the summer.

Beautifully written, The Summer of Skinny Dipping will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Sometimes I still wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the very beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything.

About the Author:
AMANDA HOWELLS grew up on a small bay on the Atlantic Ocean and spent summer weekends in the Hamptons while a college student in New York City, where she studied creative writing. She has published many stories for teen and adult readers and now lives in the pacific Northwest.

Her Blog

FTC Information: I received this book through Around the World Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.