Book Review: The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon

August 13, 2015 Book review 11 ★★★

I have a bit of a conflicted feel about this book, parts were FAB but at the same time I struggled to read it at times. So let’s just go with a list of pros and cons and you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

Book Review: The Summer of Secrets by Sarah JasmonThe Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon
Published by Transworld on August 13th 2015
Genres: Thrillers, Suspense, Romance, Coming of Age, Contemporary Women
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

The summer the Dovers move in next door, sixteen-year-old Helen's lonely world is at once a more thrilling place. She is infatuated with the bohemian family, especially the petulant and charming daughter Victoria.

As the long, hot days stretch out in front of them, Helen and Victoria grow inseparable. But when a stranger appears, Helen begins to question whether the secretive Dover family are really what they seem.

It’s the kind of summer when anything seems possible . . .

Until something goes wrong. A suspenseful, spell-binding coming-of-age story about how one simple action on a summer's day can echo through the years.

First Line of The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon:

“So much blue.”

The Pros of The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon:

The writing gave me shivers at the start. It’s descriptive and really carries you right into the setting. There is a ‘but’ though and you’ll see that in my cons.

Speaking of the setting. Huge thumbs up for that; I loved the 1980s English setting. I loved the contrast between the 2 main characters. Helen is lonely, needy and overly concerned about doing things the right way. When Victoria and her bohemian mother and siblings move in down the road, it shakes her life right up. Plus I love coming of age stories, I never get tired of them.

The mystery is well maintained throughout the book and the intrigue of discovering just WHAT happened that summer kept me reading.

The characters are complex and interesting. I won’t say likeable because Victoria got right under my skin! But I loved working out what was driving each character and the knotty moods of the both Victoria and Helen.


The Cons of The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon:

The pace. It was sooooo slow. I wanted things to happen faster. As much as I loved the writing, it was also too descriptive. I would love to see some of the description cut and more action. Less is more for me. Especially in a thriller.

I should have felt more emotion as events unfolded but I just didn’t.

The ending was very ambiguous and I felt that it left too much still to be explained.


Overall it was an enjoyable read but I just wished the pace was snappier.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon?

I do recommend this book if you like atmospheric reads with interesting characters and a coming of age setting. However do be aware that the pace is slow and if this is a deal breaker for you then, then maybe this isn’t the book for you.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK (Transworld) for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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11 Responses to “Book Review: The Summer of Secrets by Sarah Jasmon”

    • trish

      I think if I had known going on that the pace would be an issue, then I would have been prepared for that and enjoyed it more. Hope you enjoy it if/when you get to it.

    • trish

      I can take slow books in certain genres but in a mystery, it just doesn’t work fully for me. I still enjoyed it though and am glad I read it.

    • trish

      I know pace can be a huge issue for me too. I don’t want to have to trawl through a book for it to get to the point 🙁

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