Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale

Life's too short to tuck important conversations in your pocket for later.

Title - Summer by the Sea
Author - Jenny Hale
Publication Date - June 12th 2015 
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 286

The blurb

They say there's always one summer that changes you.

For Faith the one summer she can't forget is when she fell in love as a teenager - only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday - at their childhood beach house, where it all began.

Faith hasn't seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she's not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan - the owner of the beach house - or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.

Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?

Becca's thoughts

Firstly, I'd like to say a huge thank you to the wonderful Jenny Hale and her fabulous publishers Bookouture for providing me with a digital copy of Summer by the Sea in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Summer by the Sea is the second book by Jenny Hale that I have had the pleasure of reading. A Christmas to Remember (see my review here) was the book that first introduced me to the author, and a book which I absolutely loved from beginning to end. So, as you can imagine, I just couldn't wait to dive into Summer by the Sea. The cover, the blurb, and my lasting experience from reading Jenny's previous novel, all had me eager to get lost within her newest story and I couldn't wait to see what Jenny had in store for me and the rest of her readers next.

Summer by the Sea follows Faith and her family during a holiday back to the seaside beach house where they've spent many a happy, summer holiday during the years already gone by, bar one. Jenny's descriptions of this gloriously peaceful and serene place had me wishing that I had somewhere just like that to escape to, with the soft sand and the to-ing and fro-ing of the sea. It was Faith's home away from home, but only now did she feel able to return, despite her evident love for it. Everything about the setting made me feel as if I were slipping into the world right beside Jenny's characters. It was clear from Faith's inner feelings that she'd always had a soft spot for the beach house and it was so much more to her than just a place to stay for the summer. Full of beautiful childhood memories and being surrounded by family, it sounded like a true delight. It had a real 'homely' feel to it, despite having been renovated since their last visit, and I just felt, right from the moment that they arrived, it wasn't just the beach house itself that held the magic, but the space which it occupied, the area in which it sat. Everything held memories for Faith, but not all of them good. Jenny holds back the reason behind Faith's wariness of being reunited with her sister Casey until a little bit later on into the story, which had me just dying to know exactly what had happened between the sisters all that time ago. Faith's inner thoughts, her movements and facial expressions provided me with everything that I needed to know about how she felt towards Casey, and from those, I was able to gather that whatever had happened between them had been pretty monumental to say the least. I couldn't wait to see how they'd approach the mysterious subject as Summer by the Sea progressed.

    Throughout the entirety of this gorgeous novel, I felt overwhelmed by the nostalgia which emanated from Faith. It was clear that, despite the troubles between her and Casey, there were definitely happier times between them, although the differences in the sisters had always been evident. It got me thinking about my own sisters (all four of them), and how I'd feel if I were in Faith's situation. It would break my heart to become distance from any of them, but what happened to Faith was heartbreaking. Faith wasn't as confident as her sister, even now after spending so much time away and finally building herself up for seeing her again, and their differences are discussed throughout the novel; their opposite personalities, their lives and circumstances. Reading the moment where they set eyes on each other again for the first time was tense. I was eager to see how each sister would receive the other, how they'd react after such a long time spent apart. Jenny's descriptions only heightened this feeling for me, and knowing that I had the rest of the novel to explore and see how their relationship would pan out had me incredibly eager to keep on reading.

The pace within Summer by the Sea was perfect, I was hooked right from the very start to the very end. I'm a massive family girl at heart so when those tender, moving moments came about, I really paid attention. I loved watching as the relationships within the novel began to change over time, leaving me wondering about how it would all end. Jenny lets us know right from the beginning that Faith is nervous about what lies ahead, and this worked perfectly on me, reeling me completely in!

During Faith and her family's stay in the beach house, Faith meets Jake, who isn't all that he first appears to be. I enjoyed the interactions between Faith and Jake as they began to get to know each other, but with plenty of problems cropping up along the way which kept me interested. Faith is also joined by her mother and grandmother, whose birthday they are celebrating whilst away. We're also introduced to Casey's little girl, Faith's niece, Isabella, who Faith hasn't really spent much time with. Again, watching the relationships change throughout the novel was truly wonderful, and warmed my heart repeatedly. 

Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale was gorgeously enveloping and the setting wrapped itself around me completely. This was such an enjoyable read involving all of my favourite things: romance, family and learning to let go of the past. Definitely one to add to your summer reading list this year! Becca's Books is awarding Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale with FOUR SCRUMPTIOUS CUPCAKES! Thoroughly enjoyable, fantastic plot and brilliant characters.


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