Beth's Reviews > Summerland

Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: borrowed-from-library, fiction-general, fiction-womens
Read from July 02 to 12, 2012

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 the storylines wrapped up so easily and neatly at the end, especially considering how heavy some of the issues were. You don't just get over/get past some of those issues in a few months.

4. This is my biggest gripe with this book -- I absolutely cannot stand it when authors use the wrong 'voice' for their characters, or when the characters use words or 'speak' in a way that doesn't fit. For example, a British author writing about American characters, yet making those American characters speak in 'Brit-speak'. That seemed to be happening in this book, and it's something I've NEVER seen in any other Hilderbrand book. It actually seemed like Elin Hilderbrand didn't write this book, or that she co-wrote it, or that she was just toying with writing in a completely different style. So many times in the book, words and phrases were used that an American would absolutely not use, but a British or Australian author might. Here are some examples:

"Hobby was daft when it came to females"
(Tell me what 17 year old American kid would use the word "daft"? None.)

"Somehow Demeter got hold of the info..."
(An American would say "got ahold of", not "got hold of")

"...allowed herself to couple with such an artless boor"
(HUH? What American teenage boy would use the word "couple", or "artless boor"????)

"I was a blind, stupid cow"
(The word "cow" used in this context is definitely British and not American)

I know that Hilderbrand set part of this story in Australia, and one of the characters is Australian, so it would be acceptable if any of these examples above were spoken by that character -- but they were not. All of the examples were from Hobby or Jake or some other American teenage character, so it sounded very disingenuine and frankly it annoyed me.

All in all, this was just an okay book -- I won't be recommending it to any of my friends, although I will still read every book Hilderbrand comes out with. I guess all of them can't be hits, right?
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Reading Progress

07/05/2012 page 217
08/30/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Julie I could not agree more. I couldn't even give the book a 2 star rating. Typically I can finish a book within 2 days... this was hard to even get through the first 100 pages.

Emily You took the words right out of my mouth - it was an okay read but I too had all of these moments while reading it that I just thought: "Really?"

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