Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Title: Invincible Summer
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: April 2011
Length: 288 pages
Genre: YA, contemporary
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....

Summary by Goodreads 


INVINCIBLE SUMMER tells the story of two families and four summers around protagonist Chase. The character cast is made up of the parents and the seven kids Melinda, Chase, Gideon, Claudia, Noah, Shannon and Bella and that would be it. The diversity of characters is low and I cannot think of many secondary characters at the moment. The story always circles around them, what they are doing, or not doing.

The protagonist Chase shows how one can age and still stay the same. His voice always felt the same although he grew and became four years older over the course of INVINCIBLE SUMMER. But I was lucky that Hannah made him the person we always related to, because he was the one person I liked the most, because he has courage.

These families do have grave problems and the kids are troubled in many ways. Often I couldn’t comprehend the actions and thoughts of several protagonists. Throughout the whole novel I never felt a connection to the other siblings and their friends. Their behaviour mostly annoyed me and sometimes even made me angry.

Nevertheless I really appreciate that Moskowitz included a character like Gideon. He is the brother of Chase and is deaf. I can imagine living with a deaf sibling is everything but easy. His character added some more emotions to the story. 

INVINCIBLE SUMMER is everything but a light summer read. Throughout the whole novel the kids keep quoting Camus, which can seem wise and cool in an occasion or so, but not if every chapter has numerous Camus references in it. The words seem way too big for the characters and made the story feel so dragging. In my opinion there were too many references, but that’s just because I’m no one who enjoys philosophical debates. 

Then INVINCIBLE SUMMER also didn't feel like a standalone novel, but like the second in a series. It misses to establish a connection to characters and setting like a first novel in a series and also didn’t bring the story to a satisfying end like a third novel would do. It's like the second novel that serves as connection between first and third.

1) we get to follow the characters over the span of time of four years and watch them grow up
2) it’s the perfect read for Camus fans
3) it’s a different kind of beach read
4) of the beach setting
5) of the charming personality of brother Gideon

 2/5 ** INVINCIBLE SUMMER- Anything but a light summer read, Camus would probably love it.

I wouldn't recommend INVINCIBLE SUMMER as a light summer lecture, because it simply isn’t. Mostly it feels dragging and too heavy for the characters to carry. It's more a collection of often incomprehensible actions and events than a coherent and enjoyable story. You should still read it if you are interested in exploring the connections between the two families and the tragic and confused personalities of their members.

* Read an excerpt of INVINCIBLE SUMMER here

* Watch the book trailer here

* Visit for more information about Hannah and her books.

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster and their Galley Grab programme for allowing me access to the galley of INVINCIBLE SUMMER.

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