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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  16,009 ratings  ·  1,531 reviews
A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically u ...more
ebook, 325 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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When you see someone on the beach with a beverage in her hand, chances are she’s not reading War and Peace or Crime and Punishment. Summer is a time for what is commonly called “chick lit.” However, no matter how mindless you want your book to be, some of it can be just plain awful. Very few books that take place in the summer and are geared towards women can be considered quality books. Elin Hilderbrand is one of those authors who writes these types of novels…books where you can do your “mind e ...more
This book details the aftermath of a car crash in which one of four teens riding in the car is killed. The book spends its time having the three survivors and their parents coping with the next phase in their lives and trying to determine why Penny, the driver of the car, deliberately crashed the car. The story is told from everyone's various viewpoints, but the reader never really gets to know these characters because they spend the whole book feeling guilty for whatever part they believe they ...more
Oh my god, BOO.

Can I give this less than one star? Until about halfway through, I felt as though this deserved a solid, resounding "meh"...but oh my god, it got so much worse.

I came across the audio version of this book on my Overdrive app, looking for something to check out from my local library to get me through a few evenings worth of cooking and cleaning and then the following days of driving to and from work. I chose quickly, and I wasn't expecting a masterful piece of literature. I'd neve
I have read every book by Elin Hilderbrand and this is definitely one of my least favorite. I normally love all of her books, but this one just wasn't that great for these reasons:

1. The title is misleading; this is not a light, summery beach read. This is a depressing and serious story, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't that enjoyable to read.

2. There were a few too many POVs, and some of the characters weren't developed that great.

3. I don't think it's realistic that all th
Mary (BookHounds)

In an isolated part of the country, Nantucket seems like paradise to most outsiders and the families that live there year round agree. This story about four teens in an accident that leaves one dead, one injured and the other two safe is just the beginning of a mystery in the island community of Nantucket and what is really is revealed will make you wonder if any community is safe from angst. The secrets that come to light make this whole community reel with their r
When I saw the cover of this book and read the title, I expected a great beach read--something light and hopefully. What I found in Summerland was really the opposite of that. Okay, so it does have some hope, I suppose, but readers have to really look for it.

The book focuses on a summer in the life of four Nantucket teens. The moment that brings them all together is a tragic car accident that kills one of the teens, Penny. The accident, along with Penny's death, throws the remaining three teens
Judy Collins
"A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt - but the emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel. As s ...more
Eh. While Elin Hilderbrand is still a fantastic writer, and I still stayed up way too late to finish this book, I think the Nantucket thing is running its course. Having read all her books, I feel that bits and pieces were taken from past books to create this one. Main female character a chef? See The Blue Bistro. Adulterous love affair? See A Summer Affair. Unplanned teen pregnancy? See Summer People.

In addition, I'm getting a bit tired of the elements that always find their way into every Hild
Jessica Mitchell
I started reading this book about two months ago while traveling and got 18 pages in before I started dozing off on the plane. I hadn't had much time to continue reading until recently, so I started over (whole 18 pages!) and it was hard to put the book down. I finished in less than a day.

That being said, Summerland is a great read especially for the summertime. However, it's not SO mindless that you find yourself immediately forgetting the story you just read. This one did leave me with some li
This was the first book I've read by this author. The book centers around 3 families on Nantucket following a tragic suicide car wreck that killed one girl, left her brother in a coma, and the other 2 passengers unscathed.

The book is told through the eyes of the 4 teenagers in the car, as well as their parents, who are also friends. I felt the characters were developed enough, and I didn't mind the various points of view. However, I found them to all be quite unlikeable and it seems like none of
This was a sad, moving tale not the light, feel good read the cover conveys. It‘s told in multi POVS about four teenage friends involved in an auto accident and the death of one of them. As the story unfolds you see how everyone is coping with the death and their parents learn a lot about themselves and their children. This book is fiction, but it makes you stop and think. It was hard to read this book at times as this is a lot of parents’ worst nightmare. Despite being slow at times with a jump ...more
SOS Aloha
“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.”

Life gives us a continent of knowledge, not always what we want or expect. Elin Hilderbrand explores what we can learn from the unexpected in her newest novel, SUMMERLAND. This is my second outing with Hilderbrand, having discovered her last summer with SILVER GIRL. Hilderbrand returns with an equally compelling read in SUMMERLAND. The story unfolds through the point of view from several characters. Although this technique
Sarah Beth
I dislike books that hinge on a secret that is only being kept a secret as a way of moving forward the plot. Nothing will happen if someone finds out the secret. Sometimes, the secret is told to one character at the beginning of the book and they take drastic action, and then we are left to wonder what the secret could be for the entire book, only to find out it's just kind of a middling secret that is upsetting to the characters, but NOT TO THE READER. The secret must be upsetting to the reader ...more
Kelly Davis
I’m always impressed when an author can make me feel nostalgic for someplace I’ve never been. Elin Hilderbrand’s Summerland made me long for Nantucket like a native of the island, or at least a person looking back fondly on a place she’d spent more than a few happy summers (confession: didn’t actually know where it was until I read this book).

Hilderbrand seamlessly weaves together all-American beach town images – seaside bonfires at twilight, locals and summer tourists mingling under Fourth of
Jo Anne B
This book was all over the place. What contributed to this was telling the story from multiple perspectives. In doing so, we got tidbits of information about all these characters yet never feel like we fully know any of them. It is a good premise for a story. A bunch of graduating kids get into a car accident and one of them dies. The survivors and their families are left asking why, everyone thinking it was their fault. This could have been a good book if only it was better executed.
Usually Elin Hilderbrand writes women's contemporary fiction that has, in general, a happy tone. However, Summerland, it quite different from the other novels of hers that I have read. To be quite blunt it is tragic. The story opens in June on the graduation night for Nantucket High. 4 friends, who are juniors have gathered together to join their senior friends at the senior graduation parties. Penny and Hobby Alistair are twins. Penny is popular for her beautiful singing voice and actually sang ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Someone knew why the accident that killed Penny Alistair happened, and that someone was Demeter Castle. Demeter knew exactly why Penny flew into a rage and drove so fast that she killed herself and seriously injured her brother, but she wouldn't divulge the information. She just couldn't tell the police what she knew.

Ms. Hilderbrand created another marvelous book with wonderful characters and amazing descriptions of Nantucket Island. The descriptions of the landscape and the town will provide a
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
This was only my second Elin Hilderbrand book and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. Her characters are very human and easy to relate to. The story is told by revolving around all of those involved - Hobby and his mom, Zoe; Demeter and her parents, Al and Lynne; Jake and his parents, Jordan and Ava. Each of their lives is touched by this tragedy and the surviving three kids each spend part of the summer wondering what set Penny off on her crash course that night, and dealing with the gui ...more
Perhaps reading a "beach read" in October contributed to my lack of enthusiasm, but this novel did nothing for me.

On a balmy summer evening on Nantucket, high school junior Penny deliberately crashes a car, killing herself, seriously injuring her twin brother, and stunning the townfolk. The survivors she leaves behind - her mother, the childhood friend who survived the crash, her boyfriend, among others - narrate the story as they struggle over the course of the summer to make sense of it all.
I like to pick my summer reading by as random a method as possible. This year I have tried to choose from the title of a book in one of the local papers without reading the review. Summer books are a strange breed and the books I have read, thus far, this year, all have to do with death, alienation and dysfunctional families. The first book was a waste of time, the second was interesting, yet, lacking. Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand felt like a reward for seeing the last two books to the bitter ...more
Let me warn you, I feel a rant coming..

Maybe I should also warn you that there will be words such as ‘lesbian’, ‘paranormal romance’ and ‘what the fuck?!’ in the review you’re about to read.. If you decide to keep going that is.. Oh, and the stuff tagged "spoiler" below is very, very spoiler, so dont hit those if you dont want spoilers from the book.

This book is about a suicide on the tiny island of Nantucket. It’s the suicide of Penny, the most popular 15 year old girl, the star of the island,

Elin Hilderbrand has to be one of my favorite authors ever. She creates such intricate characters who may have their flaws, but at their core they are good people and that makes them very empathetic characters. You want to hate them for their broken moral compasses and horrible decision making skills, but instead you just feel empathy for the situations they have created for themselves. I think the most shining example of the broken moral compass is the re
SUMMERLAND, by Elin Hildebrand was FABULOUS! I have read most, if not all of her novels and this was her best (to me, anyway)! I read all 400 pages in 2 sittings. I loved how deeply Hildebrand delved into each characters' flaws, while still making them sympathetic. There were surprises, which I always appreciate as opposed to being able to figure everything out half way through a book. Most of the story takes place on Nantucket, beginning on graduation night, when a terrible accident takes place ...more
This was my very first First Reads experience, and I was very excited to receive a free advance reader copy from the publisher.

This was also my first Elin Hiderbrand book, but it certainly won't be my last!

Summerland weaves an excellent story about the lives of the permanent residents of Nantucket. The storyline revolves around an accident involving for the the young people in the community---and the effect on the lives of those around them. Many stories are woven into the main storyline, and t
Disappointed by this book; to me it appears the author was in to big a hurry to her her summer book out and rushd through the character development as well as the plot development. The story is told from several different perspectives - too many so you never become to involved with any one character. And large issues such as the death of a teen, a teen pregancy, dissolution of a marriage and discovery of a teenager who is an alcoholic seem to be resolved/discussed in an abstract way.
I usually e
Ronya Misleh
Hilderbrand's best. Everyone has secrets, and it is these secrets that propel this novel. Each chapter is told in the third person about a different one of each of the main characters; to me, the greatest, most interesting, and most compelling character was the town of Nantucket. The story flowed well, was not obnoxiously over the top, and had an ending that neither left you wanting more nor cringing at its niceties. A great summer read for sure.
I don't even have the words for how much I loved this book. Outstanding read!! It has all the makings of a "true to life" novel dealing with sometimes harsh and sometimes beautiful stuff. Death, birth, affairs, marriage, family, small town life, kids on the brink, life changing events and choices people make.... I loved how Elin Hilderbrand wrote it from several points of view and wove all of those together seamlessly. READ THIS ONE!
Jess Pillera
Not much I can say other than excellent! This was the first book I've read by Elin Hilderbrand and now I want to read more! Her writing does such an excellent job of getting down to the nitty gritty of feelings and what really goes on inside people's heads. And she hit the nail on the head with how secrets are at the core of just about everything and that every single person has secrets, whether they are small or large.
I found this book to be very different from past books by this author. And I've had a difficult time deciding whether that was a good thing or not. But ultimately this story has stayed with me and actually been rather haunting so I'm going to say this book was a success! But certainly it was not the light beach read I was expecting and that's okay.
So glad to be done with this; I only finished it because it was Elin Hilderbrand...but it was just not that good. It was boring- same thing over and over from the various characters viewpoints....I just wanted to finish it and move on. Not her best by far....
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Gwinnett County P...: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand 1 22 Jan 28, 2013 02:03PM  
  • Spring Fever
  • Beach House Memories
  • Heat Wave
  • Porch Lights
  • Little Night
  • Driftwood Summer
  • Ten Beach Road (Ten Beach Road, #1)
  • The Opposite of Me
  • Summer Island
  • Sweet Salt Air
  • One Good Friend Deserves Another
  • Things We Didn't Say
  • Life Without Summer
Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.
More about Elin Hilderbrand...
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“What happened when we died? How were we to know that death wasn't as profound an adventure as life was?” 6 likes
“If everyone slept with the person he or she had secretly fallen in love with, the world would be chaos.” 4 likes
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