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The Summer I Learned to Dive

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,091 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Since the time she was a little girl, eighteen-year-old Finley “Finn” Hemmings has always lived her life according to a plan, focused and driven with no time for the average young adult’s carefree experiences. On the night of her high school graduation, things take a dramatic turn when she discovers that her mother has been keeping a secret from her—a secret that causes Fi ...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published May 7th 2012 by Shannon McCrimmon
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Silver Lake by Kathryn  KnightFinale by Becca FitzpatrickCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareDare by Taylor LongfordThe Summer I Learned to Dive by Shannon McCrimmon
The best YA books of 2012
5th out of 111 books — 27 voters
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareFinale by Becca FitzpatrickThe Lost Prince by Julie KagawaProdigy by Marie LuThrough the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Must Have Upcoming YA 2012-2013
31st out of 51 books — 38 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,692)
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Aug 18, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Well friends, I finally won an ARC from Goodreads after years of putting my name in! I was so excited! I took it on vacation with me and I was all psyched up to read it. Then I turned on my Kindle. I saw THIS COVER (Doesn't Shannon McCrimmon have the best covers?). And hey, I was at the lake! So I just couldn't resist! I started reading it and I was instantly swept up in Finn's world (I'm so sorry, my ARC. I will read you soon, I promise). And The Summer I Learned to Dive was amaaaaazing!!!!!

Jul 07, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing

This was a great summer read! I devoured it in a day; I could not put it down! Finley, aka Finn, is 18 and fresh out of high school with plans to go to medical school. She learns a secret about her family which prompts her to head off to South Carolina in search of some answers. What she finds there changes everything she ever believed.

Beautifully written story about love, family, and learning who you really are and what you're capable of!
Aug 31, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.

The only way I can think to describe it is by saying that it is a very 'pleasing' book - which says nothing at all really, only that pleasing is how the book felt to me from beginning to end. I'll try to do a little better if I can...

Finley (GREAT NAME) is an intelligent, socially awkward 17 year old girl with a life plan. She is a good girl who has always followed the advice of her single widowed mother. She has worked hard to ensure a successful life path for hersel
Jun 01, 2012 Phammett rated it it was amazing
What a sweet book. I loved it and so would anyone else who has experienced a first love. It is so well written, without explicit sex and vulgar language. The Summer I Learned to Dive shows young adults making good choices about love and life. It is a book you can give to your teenager or your grandmother and they will love it. I love each and every character, I hope Shannon writes a sequel soon to let us know what Finn and Jesse are doing with their lives. Take this book with you to the beach, p ...more
May 10, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Highly recommend for a great, feel-good read.
Jul 30, 2012 Candace rated it it was amazing

Shannon McCrimmon's The Summer I Learned to Dive totally caught me off guard. I really didn't know what to expect with this book, so I went in with an open mind. I decided I would read a couple of chapters just to get a feel for it, and then save the rest for a road trip we were going to take on Saturday. Ummmmm, yeah. Once I picked this book up it was nearly impossible to put down. I even brought it to read at my hair salon, which is saying a lot. When I go to get my hair done, it's a gossip fe
Autumn Review
Oct 05, 2012 Autumn Review rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
When I first got this request, I saw the cover and fell in love. Then I looked at my crazy review schedule and wasn't sure when I could get it in, but I took in on with hope that I could get to it by the end of the summer. Well, I'm a little past my deadline and am so sad that it took me so long to read this book. I really enjoyed it!

We meet Finn as she's just graduated from high school. She was a quiet teen who focused on school rather than friendships. As a result, she looked at her high schoo
Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
Finley is what you could call a 'safe' person. Well in my opinion at least. She is safe because she keeps people at a distance and doesn't make room for friends. She has a plan in life and that is to make good grades...get into medical school and become a heart surgeon...marry by a certain time...have kids by a certain time. But that plan just got blown out of the water when on the day of her high school graduation she learns her grandparents have been trying to see her for years. Something her ...more
Avon Bernabe
Jun 21, 2013 Avon Bernabe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

The Summer I Learned to Dive is a very heart-warming book. It's a pretty quick read but you'll learn a lot. I didn't expect the book to be the way it was before I read it. I was surprised. I love it.

It's sweet, sad and happy all at the same time. Nothing is over the top. Emotions all in-tacked. You will appreciate the importance of friendship, family, love and life with this book. From simple things to not so simple ones. It will make you realize that sometimes, planning is not needed.
Oct 14, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This book was a beautiful coming of age story. It was about betrayal,new beginnings, and a young girl learning to spread her wings. Shannon's books always bring warmth to my heart and soul. The Summer I Learned to Dive is like home made apple pie...or in my case, chocolate pie.
Oxana Tomova
May 26, 2016 Oxana Tomova rated it really liked it
At first I thought I was going to give this book 3 starts - it was nice but a bit too lethargic in the beginning. However then the pace picked up and after that I had finished the book.

The book is abour Finn - a girl that has to discover herself while finding out about her broken up family. The proceed is described very well and it flows naturally. I wouldn't say that I loved the main character, however considering how different we are and the fact that I did like her speaks volumes about how we
May 29, 2012 GW rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Received this free on the kindle, and it was quite an enjoyable read. I'd recommend this to all young adults - and it's a really good contemporary and realistic story. It's about rediscovering family and finding romance. It's a quick read as well, I finished it in about an hour or so without putting it down.
May 24, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviews
I bought this book on my kindle because it was free and was expecting it to be good since it had great reviews. This book was badly edited, and many of the scenes just seemed unrealistic. It was like reading a lifetime movie, and that's not a compliment. Good storyline, bad writing.
Nov 03, 2015 Michelle rated it liked it
McCrimmom knows how to write a really good coming-of-age story. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
D.M. Midgley
Oct 04, 2015 D.M. Midgley rated it really liked it
It was a cute summer read and i enjoyed it a lot more than i thought i would. Finn has been lied to for most of her life because she believes that her father is dead and her grandparents have never wanted anything to do with her but when she comes across letters from her grandparents, she realises that her mother's words were lies. She spends the summer with her grandparents where she gets to know them and then meets Jesse. He is her age and helps out her grandparents at the diner they own and w ...more
Jennifer Lee
I'm not sure why I don't read more realistic YA novels. I tend to flock toward sci-fi, dystopian, survival, apocalyptic stories. When I do read these types of books, I really enjoy them. This was great to read while sitting outside in hot summer weather. It wasn't perfect by all means, but I looked past the flaws because it was a sweet story of one girls discovery of who she is.

Finn is just graduating from high school, and she's beginning to realize that she has let life pass her by. She focuse
Jun 19, 2012 Tess rated it really liked it
The Summer I Learned to Dive is one of those great summer reads. The kind you want to have when your sitting by the pool, soaking up the sun, and in need of a cute romance.

Finn was the type of girl that had one goal in mind, and she didn't let anything deviate her from the plan. She graduated as the valedictorian and got into the college of her dreams, but it wasn't until after she graduated that she realized how much she gave up for the plan. That's when you get to see Finn finally dive into l
Jun 29, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
Finn Hemmings is graduating from high school, she is the valedictorian of her class, and she has her life all planned out, college, med school. Finn has even spent all four years of high school devoted to this plan. She has studied all the time, neglected friends and a social life, but for a greater purpose, or so she thought. On graduation night, Finn happens upon some cards that her mother has been keeping from her. All her life, Finn has believed that her grandparents didn't want anything to ...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. I read it every free chance I had.

Finn was a quiet, studious girl looking to go to medical school to fulfill her, and her mother's, dream. She knew her life. She knew that her father was dead, that her mother was the only family she had. Finn knew she didn't have many friends but that her end goal was the most important thing for her to focus on. Oh my, how things changed for Finn! The Summer I Learned to Dive was a wonderful coming-of-age young adu
Deborah Thompson
Nov 21, 2013 Deborah Thompson rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Yes some, no many of the characters were over the top but not to the point of distraction.

This is a coming of age story about a girl named Finley. She spends the summer discovering who she is not who others want her to be. But it's more than that. Finley has lived her life according to her mother's plan for her and her mother making decisions about her life she thought was best for her. No her mother is not evil or overly strict she just made a lot of decision out of fe
Jan 28, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it
Originally posted on my blog...

Finn was girl who did everything she was supposed to do. She was great in school, a great daughter and never got in trouble. But she always felt something was missing. She never experienced how it was to be a real teenager. She had questions about her past and wondered if there was more to what her mother has always told her.
When she realizes that her mother lied to her about her father and grandparents she goes off in search
A. Bookzilla.
Oct 20, 2012 A. Bookzilla. rated it really liked it
Shelves: clean-read
First thing's first: Shannon McCrimmon can paint a beautiful scene with words. I could see the setting before my eyes. Wonderful prose, I was taken aback. I didn't really expect it to be so good.
However, it was sometimes a bit repetitive, and the author often points out the obvious. Also, I get that Finn is a well-read, smart young woman, but the use of words like "obsequiously" and "acquiesced" was a bit over the top. Why not simplify? But it didn't bother me too much.

Finn's somewhat melancholi
Alessandra Torre
Sep 11, 2012 Alessandra Torre rated it really liked it
One thing I've noticed, since I started "writing" is that I don't enjoy books nearly as much as I used to. Grammar and poor writing stick out like sore thumbs, and I often can't see the beauty of a book because I get too distracted by little crap items that shouldn't really matter.

That being said....

This is a sweet story, and was a light-hearted, enjoyable read. I definitely would consider it YA, which wasn't something I expected, and isn't something I ever read. A friend of a friend of someone'
Finley discovers at graduation that her mother has lied to her. She does have a family - grandparents - who have tried to be a part of her life for years. She runs away to rural SC to meet her grandparents. While getting to know them, she realizes a life she has missed by following her mothers dreams of her focusing only on school without letting anyone in her life. She discovers the truth of her father, and what it is like to have friends.
Lindsay Paige
Full thoughts in my May's Paperback Pick post.

I loved the setting of the book. It's set in South Carolina in the summer and there was just a cozy feeling to it. Kind of odd because I didn't know books could feel cozy, but this one does.

I enjoyed reading about Finn, seeing some similarities between us, and watching her break out of the shell she was in. This book makes you settle in, get comfortable, and enjoy the journey. I swear, it's cozy.

All the characters were great and I have to say, it was
Kimberly Trivette
Jan 30, 2016 Kimberly Trivette rated it it was amazing
All about growing up

Finn touches many hearts I am sure. With her strong will, and survival of so many lies from the one person, the only person, she thought she had.
This will put a lot of things into perspective, hopefully, for many parents. Honesty IS the best policy
Christie Brumley
Jun 24, 2016 Christie Brumley rated it it was amazing
This was a great summer read which I devoured. It really has a lot of life lessons that even made me think as a 36er. First time to read this author and I'm in love. Will be reading the sequel The summer I almost drowned. Looking forward to reading more of this author's work. Highly recommend to all my fellow bookworms
Stephanie Scarbrough
Sep 19, 2015 Stephanie Scarbrough rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful book, full of heart and soul. Learning about love and life isn't always easy, but watching Finn find her way was lovely and poignant. Great storyline, great characters! Can't wait to read more about her in the next book.
Michael Burhans
Feb 26, 2013 Michael Burhans rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book, wonderful characters, a compelling story. Watching people grow and change in realistic ways. A self-contained story but obviously ripe for a sequel, which I just bought. LOL

A different spin on coming of age than I have read. It only missed 5 stars in my eyes because it didn't have quite the pop of a Nyrae Dawn or Colleen Hoover or some others. As a first book though I am very impressed and as I said, as soon as I tweeted I had finished it I bought the nex
Jul 11, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This was a sweet book. It looked at a girl who thought she had everything figured out, and in one summer her life completely shattered through a long kept lie and how she rebuilt it and altered her "life plan".

I enjoyed watching Finn grow and start to break out of the shell she had placed around herself. It was interesting to watch her make friends for the first time, go out, learn to dive, and become interested in a boy.

I also loved the sweetness of the relationship between Jesse and Finn (oh
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Shannon McCrimmon was born and raised in Central Florida. She attended Rollins College and earned a Master's Degree in Counseling. In 2008, she moved to the upstate of South Carolina. It was the move that inspired her to write her first novel. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She'd love to hear from you! Connect with her at
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“You can't have expectations. You just have to do it. If you go into it expecting something, then you'll always be disappointed. Just dive.” 4 likes
“He leaned down and placed his lips on mine and gave me the most delicious kiss of my entire life. I saw fireworks light up the night sky. My heart beat like a drum. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I loved him, and that made this kiss the best of my entire life. This kiss was the real thing.” 3 likes
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