An Unexpected Favorite: Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

I picked up this book from a sea of similar looking titles at the bookstore the other day because I knew it was a classic summer book, and I was in the mood for something beachy/summery to read since the weather was nice. In the time it took to read a chapter standing at the table and get it home, it had started raining, and I was already invested. So, I didn’t read this at the beach or even in the sun but I did love it … a lot more than I was expecting to.

I actually hadn’t read anything by Judy Blume before, even when I was younger. I didn’t realize that¬†Summer Sisters started out in the ’70s, or that it followed two women from the time they were 12 to well into adulthood. I honestly thought it was about adult friends. Caitlin and Victoria (Vix) have nothing in common, and know each other from school, but they aren’t close. So when Caitlin chooses Vix to spend a summer at her family’s island home, Vix is equally thrilled and nervous. Caitlin is gorgeous and confident and outspoken — all of the things Vix doesn’t see in herself.

The book spans decades on the island, as they grow up together, become family, sisters, best friends, enemies, and everything in between. Their relationship is one of the most complex and strange and beautiful I’ve read in a long time. I loved Vix and honestly hated Caitlin, but I think that was kind of the point. She took advantage of absolutely everyone she came into contact with, and always wanted to be the most loved person in a room.

I can’t fully explain what it was that I loved so much about this book. Since finishing it, I just want to read something exactly like it, which I’m sure will be hard to do. Elin Hilderbrand comes to mind but I don’t think it will have the depth. Plus, I love the ’70s-’90s time period.

I figured I would like this book because it is so universally loved, and I wanted something for the summer, but I didn’t expect to love it so much! If you’re like me and haven’t read this one yet, I definitely recommend you do.

Do you know of any books like Summer Sisters?? Please tell me about them!

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