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Five Summers

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,401 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Bittersweet, funny, and achingly honest, Five Summersis a story of friendship, love, and growing up that is perfect for fans of Ann Brashare's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Judy Blume's Summer Sisters.

Four best friends, five summers of camp memories

Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie have all come back to camp for a weekend of tipsy canoe trips to the island, midni
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 16th 2013 by Razorbill
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,401 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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This was a generic, relatively enjoyable read. At times I was totally absorbed in the story and 30 pages later I would find myself trudging through it.

It was very, very YA and at points I had a hard time caring about the issues these girls found important.

I loved Jo, but found Emma and Skylar grating and petty, and Maddie entirely forgettable.

The major issue I had with this book was the way it was written. It was written in third person, but told from 4 different perspectives so I sometimes h
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Summer camp novels always fill me with a strange sense of nostalgia. Reading about summer friends and canoe trips across the lake and bonfires and camp songs always makes me wistful for summer camp days of my own past, which is impressive because I never actually went to summer camp. I think it speaks a lot to how ubiquitous an experience it is in our culture that even someone like me who has no first hand experience to draw from can still relate to the setting.

Which was the thing for me with Fi
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
his book is all about friendship & I love reading books on that subject matter. My all time favorite series about friendship is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I'd say if you liked that series, you will like this book as well.

This book follows 4 best friends throughout their 5 summers at camp. The book begins with all of the girls reuniting for a weekend for their camp reunion. They all haven't been together since their last summer at camp, their 5th summer. Throughout this whole week
Kelli Spear
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've never been to summer camp, but this is exactly how I always pictured it to be. I was always jealous of those who got to go, make new friends, experience something different during their summer.

This book definitely made me want to go back in time and beg my parents to send me.

The initial reason I picked this up was for the second chance romance factor. I absolutely love those tropes, so I thought it would be pretty great when combined with a summer camp reunion. And it is. But it's really
Michelle Leonard
4 friends and their friendships that spans 5 summers at sleep-away camp. Fun read...felt long at times. The storyline jumps back and forth between girls and summers so it can get confusing if you aren't paying attention.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: This was a cute book filled with lots of drama, heartache and love.

Opening Sentence: There are some things that seem like they’ll just never happen.

The Review:

Emma, Skylar, Maddie, and Jo met at camp when they were nine years old and they soon became best friends. They went to camp together for five years and through that whole time their friendship grew and they were inseparable during camp. During the year they lived across the country f
A great book about friendship that made me smile on quite a few occasions. :) Each of these girls are so strong and have a clear unconditional love for each other. It really makes me wish I had gone to summer camp as a kid!
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
F-you Adam. Also what Nate said to Jo was NOT cool. DOWN WITH BOYS!!!!!
(My reviews are intended for my own info as a language arts teacher: they serve as notes and reflections for teaching and recommending to students. Therefore, spoilers may be present but will be hidden.)

*Note: I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.*

SUMMARY: First-time YA author Una LaMarche is clearly a talented writer. On that note, I did have some problems with Five Summers.

The narration is a combo of multiple third person limited POVs that jump back and forth in time.
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Often I look for books that will give me feels like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series from years past. I look for something summery that is heavily focused on friendship. Although the Traveling Pants books are still number one in my heart, I did enjoy this book.

Growing up, my best friend used to leave me in the summer for a couple weeks to go to camp. I was not a camp person so this made me pretty unhappy. Through Five Summers, it was nice to read about what camp is all about. Despite
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: camp, read-in-rwanda
Parts of this were really good and felt so authentically "camp", even though it is one of those weird lax New England camps without enough rules where the counselors are too young. (So sad to have to finish your career as a camper at 14. Technically 14 was also my last year as a regular camper, but my next year as a part-time dishwasher and the two after that as a CIT were really still being a camper.) But I got a little weary of the storyline after a while, which dragged out forever, and never ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: middle grade girls
Shelves: ya, 2013
More like 3.5 stars.

I thought this was well written--the language was lovely and the imagery was pitch perfect. This is what summer camp is like, and it's something many young girls will relate to. Even if they haven't been to camp, they'll relate to the trials and triumphs of friendships and crushes. I found the book very readable overall and enjoyed tearing through it.

That said, at the reunion, I felt like the main characters WERE the girls in their 20s. Generally, they didn't seem like 17 yea
Magic Shop
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like novels based on a group of friends in summer.
Recommended to Magic Shop by:, public library, my sister
My sister really liked this book a lot. I also thought it looked interesting, so I gave it a try. I thought it was really good and really sweet. I like books tat have a plot with a group of friends in summer with crushes, bonfires, broken hearts, love triangles, etc. I thought the plot was really sweet and told a lesson that everyone should know about friendship. I just loved it! I was able to finish this in three days, I would have done it in two, but i was really busy with school and stuff. I ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
i really didn’t enjoy this book
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it for what it was...a simple, nostalgic book about camp, hanging on to special friends while growing up, crushes, etc.
This book was entertaining at times, but also felt tedious. It's kind of reminiscent of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, but not nearly as endearing. All in all, the plot was fairly predictable. Lots of guy drama, a bit of fighting, make up in the end. I've never been to camp so maybe I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I had. I liked Emma and Maddie, Jo was alright, I couldn't stand Skylar. I found it rather generic and don't have much to say. 2.75/5
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

In Estelle world, comparing a book to Summer Sisters by Judy Blume and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares is like hitting the jackpot. Those titles have been some of my favorites for years and years now. It’s also kind of scary to see two of your favorite books written on the back of a brand new one because your expectations might skyrocket and the possibility of getting disappointed is so much greater.


While Five S
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Emma, Jo, Skylar, and Maddie attend Camp Nedoba every summer and are the best of friends. One summer they make a promise to be good friends and support one another. Many years later, they aren't the best of friends as they had hoped, but meet up for a camp reunion. Things start to go haywire for all the girls due to boys (of course!), secrets, and lies. There's Maddie, who has a secret about her family and hasn't been forthcoming with any of the girls. Then there's Jo whose Dad runs the camp and ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five Summers by Una LaMarche was a book I picked up last summer at Walmart. I was camping and decided to get a book for the trip, but I never ended up reading it during that time. So as I was perusing my shelves looking for a nice summer-y book to read, my eyes skimmed right past this one. i found myself doubling back and found this book. Intrigued, I read the back and decided that this would be my next read.

I had no expectations of this book whatsoever, so I figured this could turn out to be an
Savannah (Books With Bite)
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Starting my summer reading pile, picking up this story is the best way to start.
1. Plot. This story is told between 4 best friends. There are enough point of view switches for the reader to gather all of the information needed with out feeling lost. It’s paced nicely and pulls you in quickly within the first few chapters.
2. Characters. Each girl is defined nicely. You have the innocent girl, the quite girl, the party girl and the shy girl. The author did a great job in creating a different voice
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book Five Summers by Una LaMarche is a realistic fiction novel about 5 teenagers at Camp Nedoba. Emma the main character, is just a lovable happy girl who is a little boy crazy! She has her closest best friends, Skylar,Maddie,and Jo.They call them selves the "JEMS" as in the first letter of their first name combined. Emma and the girls all like the "boys" at camp Nedoba but there is only so many guys and girls, and Emma has her heart set on Adam. I enjoyed reading this book because the girls ...more
Beth Gordon
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this because I'm an avid reader of the author's blog. She is a hilarious blog writer with an eye for late 80s/early 90s pop culture and witty remarks. Surprisingly, there were fewer pop culture references in the book than I expected; however, the unibrow made an expected appearance.

As I read, I wondered which character or characters the author created after herself and who she modeled the others after. My guess is that she was pieces of each of the girls.

Perhaps I got detoured throughou
Sheila Bigelow
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a welcome departure from the never-ending YA doom and gloom! A story about 4 girls and their journey through 5 years of summer camp together. If you have a daughter this is the kind of book you want them to read! The girls learn so many lessons together about life and trust, and it isn't necessarily a smooth path. In the end, there is forgiveness and bonds that will last a lifetime. I hope this is a stand alone book and not a trilogy, like so many authors are doing. I loved the ending and h ...more
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I had little tolerance for the petty teenage girl problems throughout this book. I did not enjoy this book mainly because it seemed like a huge compilation of middle school girl problems. When I picked this book up, I thought it would be more interesting. To me, the title sounded like they all went back to camp and came face to face with a murderer or something. Maybe that's far fetched. However, this book could have been a lot more interesting. It also could have been worse. The memories before ...more
I went to sleep away camp June-August from 1997-2005. That's 9 summers. All together I spent a year and a half of my life living in a bunk with 12 other girls in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. I am always looking for the perfect camp book that will bring me back to those summers...but this wasn't it. I mean, maybe some camps are like this, but mine wasn't so I just couldn't really connect with it. I know that's a horrible reason for losing a star, but whatever. Also, I just didn't really ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-read
I received this through the First Reads giveaway and I truly loved the book!! I liked how each girl was a very complex character that unfolded through each chapter, and it really made you want to keep reading and find out more and more. The ending was cute and made me wish that I had been at this camp with those girls! They are all girls I would love to have as best friends. This is the perfect book to stick in your beach bag and be whisked away to Camp Nedoba.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
I recieved this book through goodreads first reads and omggg! It was such a cute story and relaxing read. The end nearly had me crying in the middle of class because it was just so heartwarming. You really get to live through all these girls and their camp friendship over all these years. Its kind of cheesy but if you like heart warming books you'll definatly like this read!!
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book would have made much more sense and been more interesting if the girls had actually been seniors in high school and not seniors at camp which is equivalent to....sophomores?? Juniors?? Why are they having sex and drinking and driving/flying hundreds of miles for a camp reunion when they are barely old enough to drive?!
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Straight out, Five Summers does a pretty okay job at capturing the magic of camp, if not with winning me over with the characters.
Read the rest of my review here
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Teen/YA bookclub: Five Summers: pages 1- 192 2 5 Jun 08, 2014 10:30PM  
Young Adult Conte...: #5: Five Summers by Una LaMarche 1 22 Jul 21, 2013 06:40PM  

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Una LaMarche is a writer and amateur Melrose Place historian who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, her son, and her hoard of vintage Sassy magazines. Una used to be a fancy magazine and newspaper editor before she had a baby and started writing from home, sometimes pantsless, for a living. Her first novel, Five Summers, is being released from Razorbill in May, and she’s currently in de ...more
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“This was the kind of guy who should be someone's first love. Someone who brought you flowers and refilled your water glass without your having to ask. Someone who watched you across the crowded rooms just to make sure you were okay. Someone who loved you quietly from a distance, without pressuring you or wanting you to change.” 10 likes
“Plus, he was funny, with that almost imperceptible edge of sadness that's like catnip to anyone with a double-X chromosome. Throughout our years of friendship, Adam always had some not-quite-thing going on with some not-quite-right girl. He had a knack for making everyone feel close to him, when no one really was.” 5 likes
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