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Atomic Summer

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
THREE friends, TWO secrets, ONE lie, and the summer that changed their lives
2012 Southern California Book Festival, Honorable Mention recipient

From award winning author, Elaine D. Walsh comes an introspective and emotional novel with vivid characterization. This insightful, nostalgic, and witty story follows the lives of three teenage girls as they 'come of age’.

In 1953,

Paperback, 380 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Barks Out Loud
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Christine D.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I got to tell you. Atomic Summer was an enjoyable read!

I certainly commend Walsh on her characterization. Normally when I read a book in two days, I am not that impacted by characters at all. However, Atomic Summer is an exception. Each character evoked different emotional responses from me. Faith's character was eponymous of her name. She is a loyal Catholic, and though she tries her best to uphold morality, she is often gullible. There are times when I feel so sorry for her when she cannot int
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorite
THREE friends, TWO secrets, ONE lie, and the summer that changed their lives.

This is the second time I write this review, so I don't think it would be as good as the original because I am a dork and I happen to delete all my novels by mistake yeah I am a dorky....

My professor said once about a novel that is it enlightening novel. I feel this way toward this book. However it is not a boring book. It is not just a book; it is a book about real life, about war, love, faith, loss, dreams, some may g
"THREE friends, TWO secrets, ONE lie, and the summer that changed their lives."

This caption definitely attracted my attention and I believed many others. I knew I want to read this book.

The story is mainly told from two point of view, Faith & Octavia, about the lives of the 3 girls. I wouldn’t called them best friend because Bernadette apparently had a character which made most people dislike her right from the start. Faith is one of the pretty and holy girl who had no flaws and is so innoce
Bernadette Davies
I had been recommended this book by the author and checked out the ratings and some of the reviews before I committed to reading and then reviewing this book. I started reading it pretty soon after I downloaded it and was initially a little unsure as to how I felt about it. For me, the plot moved quite slow at first, and I am that type of reader who likes to be engrossed from the start and particularly love books that has me frantically turning the pages. Normally I would put a book aside that ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fun summer read. It’s one of those stories that you can sit by the pool or on the beach or anywhere you can curl up for a few hours and escape for some R&R reading enjoyment. The first lines intrigued me and from there I kept turning the pages to see what came next and I was not disappointed.
The story opens in 1973 with a brief flashback from Faith, who is one of the main characters. She is traveling back to her hometown for a reunion where she will be reunited with her girlh
Nikki Bennett
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. It’s rare when you get a story about teens that doesn’t have zombies, vampires, or supernatural stuff in it, and while I enjoy those types of books, this story, set in the 1950′s in the small town of Port Pompeii, is a very satisfying read on its own. It immerses the reader in another time and place and brings that place, and the quirky, dramatic, and sometimes scary people in it, to life.

While this book is about three sixteen year olds, it really isn’t written for
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Atomic Summer by Elaine D. Walsh was a heavier-hitter than I thought that it would be. Despite it’s coming-of-age premise, it deals with a lot of heavy topics like suicide, religion, homosexuality and abuse.

Twenty years later, Faith and Octavia recount the summer of 1953 in a small town in upstate New York that was a turning point in both of their lives. Faith’s boyfriend Allen is seemingly repulsed by her, and she can’t figure out why. Octavia is the wall-flower who doesn’t have the confidence
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-of-age
Captivating and enjoyable!

Author Elaine Walsh paints a vivid image on each page through a detailed depiction of character and setting in this 50s coming-of-age tale.

The experiences, dreams, and fears of the cast of young teens will hit home with readers who have lived through the same exploratory—and sometimes confusing—period in their own lives. I could easily relate to the characters and even recognized specific traits in a few of my former school friends! Emotions run the gamut in this tender
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was only five years old in the summer of 1953. I remember hearing about the Rosenbergs being executed but I was too young to understand what they had done. Everyone was worried about nuclear war. We had air raid drills at school that scared me to death. Some folks built bomb shelters.

The three girls who are the main characters of this story are sixteen when the story begins. Bernadette is the spoiled, self-centered daughter of a Southern Belle wannabe who has changed her name to Savannah and r
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a Amazon Kindle cheapie (it may have even been free).

I am teetering between 4 and 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book, even though I put it down a couple of times for lengthy periods. It reminds me of 'Stand by me' and similar books. All the characters are ordinary people you have met whilst growing up, but they all have complicated lives and backgrounds at the same time.

I particularly liked the character of Octavia and the dynamics between her, her family, friends and the community.

Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read! Every once in a while, I pick up a book that appears simple, no thought required, a quick time killing book. That is why I picked up this book, plus it was a free read. Then I got blown out of the water. The historical background, lay out, and character descriptions were not delegated to their own little chapters. They were spread with the progression of the story. I liked the spread very much. It was unique.
I expected to read about Allen and Faith falling in love, then he wou
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best "coming-of-age" novels I've read in a long time. The characters, some of whom you grow to love (Octavia and Wesley, in my case) and others whom you just love to hate (*ahem* Bernadette *cough, cough*), are extremely potent. The story builds slowly, and although I had imagined different plot twits and a totally different ending, I found this to be an enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
Helen Hixon
I looooved it! This book will go down as one of the best summer reads in history.I could not put it down. Elaine had the gift to put me inside the book.To "see "that wonderfull small town and all of the people who live in it!I will miss you Faith,Octavia and yes ,even you Bernadette...all of you.....
Helen Hixon

Jodi Ellenbogen Rosen
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, I wanted to strangle Bernadette throughout most of the book. I also wished I could knock some sense into Faith and make her see what was so plainly obvious to the rest of us. I would be lying if I said I didn't guess virtually everything that happened. The only future I really hoped I was wrong about was Octavia. I definitely felt for her. It was a great book and I enjoyed it enough to read it on my tiny phone.
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So when is the movie? The characters in this book were wonderful. The story had me hooked from the very beginning. Elaine Walsh lands us in 1953 with a group of teenage girls-the bossy rich girl, the bookish girl, and the sweet, pretty girl who lives over a bar, then she adds the Korean War, nuclear paranoia, and religion. It's a coming of age story that is well worth reading. Excellent!
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was provided a copy of Atomic Summer by Elaine D. Walsh in return for an honest review. I thought this read was original, with a unique storyline that held my interest. I'm not sure where the cover is, however I did see it, but did not feel it was the greatest. I did enjoy the story, as it is a long one, but rating a 4, for lack of, and, an interesting book cover.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is June 1953, and the lives of three 16 years old friends living in Port Pompeii NYC is told from the point of view of Faith the gullible and Catholic, and Octavia the socially-awkward with family responsibilities. Then there is Bernadette the last of the trio of friends.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed the story. Loved getting into the minds of some of the characters. They were multi-dimensional. Well done!
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw the description Atomic Summer, I honestly thought it would interest me, and for the most part it did, so four stars.
Mary Seely
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The end of the book made reading the first part worth the time. This is another free download from Kindle.
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Atomic Summer is a beautifully tragic coming-of-age story written by Elaine Walsh. Her words draw the reader into the world of 1953 where life should be simple and fun. In actuality, it is far from it. Ms. Walsh introduces us to Faith, Octavia and Bernadette, three teenagers trying to find their hopes and dreams in Port Pompeii, New York. The entire book is from the perspectives of Faith and Octavia; who have very different beliefs but remain loyal friends.

I found so much tragedy in the book; ho
Colleen Bratley
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a story about growing up from a small town. Things that seem so very important to you, are specks of dust in the sea of life. Yet we cling to events as major milestones, because they are. At least to those living them they are.
Most of the characters in this book revel in the we are getting out of dodge and see the world thought patterns, yet as so often happens of course, the ones who squawk the loudest are the ones who stay all their lives.
The story could have actually been based on rea
Sue Campbell
Dec 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I like this book, but it wasn't was I expected. The relationship of the three girls is well-explored and interesting. The three characters are all quite different, and Walsh does a good job of painting vivid pictures of them through their idiosyncrasies and actions.

From the title I really thought there would be more background on the cultural effects of the cold war and the fears of the bomb on society. In fact it is really centered more on the girls curiosity about sex and their conflicting gu
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
So, i was tired of reading my usual mystery or horror books, so i decided to read something completely different. Being a manly man, i rarely venture into books considered 'chick lit', but this one caught my attention because of the era in which it's set, the 1950s. Set during the cold war, when we all were convinced that nuclear bombs were poised to fall on us any minute and there was a communist behind every bush. It made us all a little crazy. Anyway, this is a coming of age book about 3 teen ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This book felt very much like The Virgin Suicides to me. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. The characters were pretty unlikeable, although I loved how Bernadette was written. She was so wicked and manipulative, definitely the most interesting character in the bunch. The multi-perspective kind of threw me off, I don't really like books like that but I decided to give it a try. I also felt like the prank on the town was kind of understated...I only realized what the prank was supposed to be ...more
Abuela Linda
Dec 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was mediocre. I wish I had stopped reading it rather than completed it. I grew up in the 50s also, but we certainly didn't lecture each other as friends about virginity or losing it or discussed confession or religion the way these friends did. I found it all rather lecturing at times rather than literature. I kept hoping for a more interesting ending, but didn't find it.

I will mention that the book was free on I guess you get what you pay for.
Carson hall
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the most amazing book! I love love love it. The characters just come alive. I found myself really relating to Octavia and mostly Stephen.

The book takes place in the summer of 1953 and really shows the innocence of the characters as well as the fear of Americans during this time. (please note the reviews I leave are for myself, so they are not really detailed).
Sep 18, 2013 added it
I was captivated from beginning to end, I truly enjoyed the way the story weaved in and out of characters. Just when I was getting a little comfortable with where the story was going, something surprising would happen, great read,
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I would have enjoyed it more if the perspective was in one person than the others storylines added in at the end. I enjoyed the over all story however.
A.B. Shepherd
Oct 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Review coming soon.
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Nimitz Highway and River Street is an intersection on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is also the place I impatiently came out of the womb ready to start my own personal history. Plan A was the military vehicle whisking my laboring mother toward the bas
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