Publishing Info: May 10, 2016 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 16, 2016
When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.
But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.
SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS sounded really cute and like the perfect light, summery read! I thought the astrology angle sounded very fun so I was excited to start when I received a copy for review from Penguin Random House! Checking out the ratings on Goodreads after finishing, it looks like I’m the total black sheep here. The book has a 4.16 rating (as of the day that I’m writing my review) which is pretty dang good and something I often look at before picking up a book… So I think I sadly just didn’t quite mesh with SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS from the start!
I’m all for meet-cute moments and SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS had quite a moment of its own to kick off the book! Maybe it was just my mood but the whole first chapter felt quite overdone and really just over the top for me. I’m not averse to things getting a little silly but when instance upon instance is piled one on top of the other, they start to lose their humor and just start to get cheesy. I really couldn’t get over how many “sillly” moments there were in the first chapter alone and the whole thing just really wasn’t working out for me. A misunderstanding, a near-death (or maybe just near-serious injury) experience, an accidental flashing, AND the meet cute with the boy-with-the-wrong-sign all in the first chapter was just too much all at once.
Then there were the things that flat out turned me off, which sadly were a few within the first few chapters. The entire premise of the book is based off of the fact that Wil puts a ton of faith in her astrology charts. According to the latest, she needs to find her true love this year, otherwise she’ll be off-sync with the dating world for another ten years, a which time in her words she will be an spinster at twenty-seven with ten cats. I realize that maybe for some teens, 27 is a long way away and many people may not want to be single well into their 20s, but I really didn’t appreciate the message that it’s not okay to be single at 27-years-old and that those who are have something wrong with them. I really didn’t like that this was the entire concept of the book and the reason why Wil is pressing to find herself a match in this immediate moment.
I also had issues with the way the characters talked about each other. I’m all for owning your sexuality but when Wil shows up to an event trying to play down some of her curves with a blouse and pencil skirt, a guy makes a comment about her figure calling her a sexy school teacher and actually refers to her breasts as apples. It just felt all wrong and something that really wasn’t appropriate for a young adult audience. I’m not saying that teenagers don’t say things like that but it felt like she was being a bit objectified and since I’m not someone who usually takes offense to these kinds of things when I’m reading, it really threw up a red flag for me that I found this so off-putting.
Lastly, the love triangle was just not working out for me either. I know people have some very strong opinions about love triangles but if they’re done well, they do often feel realistic and they really don’t bother me. When they’re not done well, it’s instantly frustrating. I actually ended up getting confused between the two guys at first because I felt like they were so similar for some reason and then we find out… they’re brothers. Sigh. Like I said, I don’t mind love triangles but the choosing-between-two-brothers triangle seems about as tropey as you can get and this just felt forced.
Sadly, I really struggled with SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS. I just didn’t jive with the writing overall and there were so many situations that felt much more dramatic than they needed to be. Once I started off on a bad foot, the rest of the book kind of slowly kept spiraling in the same direction and there wasn’t much to really pull myself out of that funk. There were a lot of things that seemed to be in the story for the sake of the story but didn’t quite flow naturally and I never found my rhythm with this book. Lots of friends have enjoyed it for it’s cutesy quality and just a light and fun read but this one just didn’t work out for me.
Wil // Character Obsessions: Astrology, family, finding her perfect match.
Wil, Wil, Wil. She was just too much for me. I felt uncomfortable that her life was so dependent on astrology and she really let it dictate what she did. On the one hand, she was kind of a free spirit and didn’t care what people thought of her but on the other hand, her obsession with astrology drove her decisions and she really didn’t think for herself in a lot of ways. It was a cute concept but taken a bit too far, I think.
Kept Me Hooked On: Fun hooks. The astrology hook really did bring me into this book! I wished it hadn’t “controlled” Wil’s life so much because if it had been more of a hook than an entire plot point, it would have been a lot less dramatic and much cuter.
Left Me Wanting More: Reality. This book was quite dramatic and it was too over the top in many ways. It just left things feeling unrealstic and went past cute and into cheesy for me.
Normally when other friends enjoy a book so much and I don’t, I will recommend to try it but so many things turned me off about this one that I can’t really recommend it. Check out reviews and see what your friends say but this one is a pass for me.
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(Click the cover to see my review!)