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Invincible Summer

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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  4,836 ratings  ·  539 reviews
Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who' ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
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3.34  · 
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 ·  4,836 ratings  ·  539 reviews


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Emer (A Little Haze)
"... off down the hill they went, turning back to wave but still heading inexorably away from library days and party nights and mornings-after and endless afternoons spent huddled together laughing and clutching steaming cups of terrible coffee and everything else that had formed the fabric of their old lives together and which had seen it on the long as if it would never end but was now, suddenly and irrevocably, over."


This summer I have been in a terrible book slump. Reading to me can be ver
...more
BrokenTune
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
3.5*

"The streets of Hampstead teemed with belligerent old ladies and their posses of tiny canines, and they weren’t to be trifled with."

I must admit that I only picked this up because it fit one of the squares of a Summer Bingo Challenge. Otherwise, I would have judged the book by its cover and it's description, and I would have decided that this was probably fluffy chick lit.

I would have lost out. Big time.

Invincible Summer is the story of four friends, who try to come to terms with their lives
...more
Bill Kupersmith
Reflecting on this lovely book, I became aware that two subtle but major watersheds in English social history had been passed by in my adult lifetime. Our four principal characters are graduates of the University of Bristol, yet two of them go on to have very high-octane careers, one as a physicist practically on a first-name basis with the Higgs Boson & the other in the London financial sector. In Evelyn Waugh’s, or even in Kingsley Amis’s day, they would necessarily have been Oxbridge grad ...more
Blair
I picked this because I wanted something fun and quick to read on a very warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. It was on my radar anyway, and seemed like a natural choice – I mean, it actually has the word 'summer' in the title...

Like a mash-up of David Nicholls' One Day and (a much lighter take on) Linda Grant's Upstairs at the Party, the story follows a group of university friends for twenty years, starting with their first summer as students. They are Eva, physics student from a poor background, wh
...more
Kelley
ARC received courtesy of Goodreads.com First Reads Giveaway

This book is like looking back at the stories of our lives. We follow four friends from college, two of whom are brother and sister, through their turbulent twenties and into the rest of their lives. The main character, Eve, becomes financial wizard on the trading floor for a major bank. Benedict follows his dream to work at CERN in Switzerland. Sophie, the tortured artist, struggles to find meaning in her life. Her brother, Lucien, turn
...more
Brandice
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm frequently drawn to books about a group of friends or a family, and their various personalities, as they each deal with their own struggles as well as the collective group dynamic - Invincible Summer fell into this group well. The book was light and the story was interesting but there was nothing groundbreaking or any new twists. I enjoyed the story and was happy with the ending although somewhat predictable. It was a good, light, summer read.
Andrea
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
The concept is good (4 friends over 20 years), but the execution is amateurish. Reads like a first draft for most of the book. So much telling! Two-dimensional characters and no depth. Quit telling us so much about who we're supposed to believe these characters are. Let us base our decisions on your having SHOWN us who they are. Still, I read it in one day, so not much lost in the reading of it.
Joanna Park
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ref can also be found at:
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4.5 stars.

I so enjoyed this fantastic book! It was simultaneously funny, heart breaking and uplifting, and takes the reader on quite a journey. The book is told from the point of view of each of the characters in turn, though Eva’s story is the more dominate one. Due to the style of the book you feel as if you are right there watching all the action unfold. The reader gets to know the characters very well and you end up feeling
...more
Tess
May 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Oh, I so wanted to like this book! I am such a sucker for the “group of friends grow up as you follow them for years” trope, but after The Interestings by Meg Woltizer blew me away a few years ago, I’ve soured on books that don’t do it as successfully. Plus, this is a group of British people! I love British people!

Alas, we start following the 4 friends in college but all too quickly zoom ahead to life pretty much stinking for all of them once they are out in the “real world.” I think it would be
...more
Cindy
I was looking forward to reading this book but I had difficulty at times really getting into the story and characters. Things would get interesting, then kind of went nowhere for me. Back and forth throughout the book. Yet, I did enjoy the it. The good parts made me give a three star rating.

Invincible Summer spans twenty years in the lives of four college friends. We see them out of college with all their dreams and hopes for their future. But unfortunately, life and dreams don't always work out
...more
S.M.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
such a well-written book. I loved the correct use of language when describing physics data and high frequency trading processes. the level of proficiency made it clear that the author had a background in programming and scientific analysis. I didn't much care for Lucian's character but I suppose his wretchedness helped the others discover slivers of their own strength and resilience. this book describes the inner monologue several PhD students have at some point. highly recommend. can't wait for ...more
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: DNF

What a bummer! It seems like I've had a lot of DNFs in June -- I've never had a reading slump before but this may be as close to one as I get. Unfortunately, this book reminded of Bright Stars but not as well done, not in any good way. This book follows four friends from University onward, telling little snippets of their lives every year for twenty years -- Obviously, I didn't read how this ended but the snippets I did read did not intrigue
...more
Rebecca
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-bookbag
(Nearly 3.5) Four Bristol University friends navigate the highs and lows of life in the 20 years following graduation. Like in One Day, the narrative checks in on the characters nearly every summer. As happens in real life, even the closest friends gradually drift apart. Job situations and relationships change, and external events like the financial collapse of 2008 take a toll. The novel might get its title from an Albert Camus quote, but it struck me as clichéd in places. The chapters about Ev ...more
Alyssa Nelson
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher at BEA 2016. This is an honest review.*

Invincible Summer tells the life story of four friends over the course of twenty years, mostly starting when they graduate college and continuing from then onward. I know it says it’s a novel right in the title, but I have a hard time exactly classifying what sort of format this is told in; it’s not a saga in that it spends an excruciating amount of time detailing each moment of their lives. Instead, i
...more
adam
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 / 5

If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?
— Alice Adams

From the engrossing first line to the mystical story that followed, Alice Adams debut novel captured my attention for a multitude of reasons. The whole story unfolds and blossoms with emotion, character development, and a story that makes you want to see what happens next in these people's lives. I don't want to say that this is a sad story, but the description puts it best when it says that this is an unexpect
...more
Debbie
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, the story of four friends growing up, being close, growing away, coming back together and just sharing their lives together. I really liked the characters as well. They were friends, but they sometimes forgot how to be that, but they were always open with each other and told each other how they felt. It may take a few years, but they did it.

It was a story of ups and downs, wins and losses, mistakes and rewards and I was thoroughly entertained by it. I was doing a lot
...more
Kelly
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Invincible Summer was a very enjoyable read. It follows four college friends over 20 years. At first they all seem self-indulgent, but you watch them make mistakes and grow over the years. I thought this book really built in substance throughout and ended strong.
Icewineanne
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story begins in my favorite setting, university with four friends debating the big questions in life. Following them after graduation, finding out that life isn't quite as they that pictured it during their glittering school days.
Highly recommended
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
Maybe 3.5?. Very readable. The characters were very likable and it was very hard to put down. A bit predictable and at times a little preachy but a fun read for the beach or plane.
Hilary
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wish I could remember where I got the recommendation for this book, so that I could put less stock in those recommendations going forward.
anna
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book hits my sweet spot. It follows four friends from their university years (it helps that they graduate in 1997 - a year after my graduation) for twenty years through relationships (friendship, romantic, parental), children, making money, losing money, getting away with things and not getting away with others. It reads, deceptively, like a beach read when it is much more. People may call it chick lit - if that's what we're calling novels that explore the growth of people both as individua ...more
Marlathemom
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Perhaps it took me so long to finish this novel because I don’t want the summer to end, and the jaunty title and book jacket were just adorable. Or perhaps it was because, like the summer itself, some parts of this book were absolutely readable and enjoyable, while others droned on. The last third of this book was terrific, though, and the characters are warm. Put it in your beach bag.
Lauren
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, 2017
Won this from a giveaway! Great summer read for someone who wants an easy read with substance. In her first novel, Alice Adams paints a realistic picture of life after college revolving around 4 lifelong friends and the ways changes manifest. I'll be looking out for more of Adams's work.
Ruth
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Its like Curtis Sittenfeld and David Nicholls had a love child
Karen Mace
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I always find it refreshing to stumble across a book out of the blue and not expect much from it, and then you find yourself swept along in an intoxicating look at the world through the eyes of 4 friends from the beginning of their friendship in Bristol, 1995 right the way through to a beach in Dorset in 2015! This was such a book and I’m very glad it found me!!

The 4 friends are Eva, Lucien, Sylvie and Benedict – all very different personalities (Lucien and Sylvie are siblings) but drawn togethe
...more
Mwinchester97
Sep 24, 2018 added it
Shelves: own-a
Follow the lives of 4 people who are very different, yet are drawn together time and time again.

Lucien, Benedict, Sylvie, and Eva are four friends whom we first meet when they're in college. Even as they go their own separate ways, they find themselves coming together again and again throughout their lives and unexpected ways. They go through trials and tribulations along with their happinesses.

The four friends were unique and have their own lives that were interesting. Lucien, a bit of a jerk,
...more
Leo Robertson
Thought I'd already removed this from "currently reading" :P

Fun summer read, though fate's hand got "Sliding Doors"-tier clunky at times as the author tried to show us how "FATE SHOVES PEOPLE-IN-RANDOM-DIRECTIONS-GO IN THAT FUCKING DIRECTION, CHARACTER! I'M MAKING A PROFOUND-STATEMENT ah there we go, he married the wrong woman after all. Fate, eh? Wind blows in the wrong direction and all of sudden... you get the point. Phew! I'm exhausted."

Also a Camus quote for a book about holiday boinking in
...more
Laurie
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I picked this book up at the library based on the title and the cover, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it. The four lifelong friends do come to mature conclusions about life as they age, and those parts are extremely well-written. But you have to wade through a lot of drug usage, language, and sex to get there, which I'm learning seems to be prolific in books set in modern-day England.
Sheila
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 1/2 stars. Ah, youth! Quickly gone, and then we learn there are more coming-of-age cycles to experience before we kick it. This one is a coming-something-short-of-middle-age story, and I loved it. It's got depth, it's got true to life, it's got happy & sad, and now it's got me.
Jamie
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I really slogged through the beginning and the end. Wish it would’ve kept the unpredictable pace of the middle. All in all, too much showing, not enough telling. Good enough for a light read on the beach, tho! Was initially drawn to its 1997 backdrop for the nostalgia factor. 👌🏼
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Alice Adams is half Australian but has lived in England for most of her life. In addition to an MA in Creative Writing, she has a BA in Philosophy from Bristol University and a multitude of maths, finance and computer programming qualifications from a career in banking. She lives in London but escapes into the wilderness as often as possible.
“You could look through the windows at any one of these people, but you would only ever see what was there, not what wasn’t. The losses and absences didn’t show, despite so often being the immovable facts around which a life orbited.” 5 likes
“it’s that friendship and love are pretty much all we’ve got that’s worth anything.” 3 likes
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