Summer of Supernovas
Author: Darcy Woods
Expected Publication: May 10th, 2016
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Format: e-ARC, 352 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Read: May 2016
I received an e-ARC of this book from Random House Children’s and Crown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.
But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
I really enjoyed myself while reading this book. It has all the style of a light contemporary, super cute and entertaining plot but it also deals with some deeper issues as well. There are mentions of grief, death, friendship, romance and what it means to keep a promise. There were some parts where I laughed out loud and was thoroughly engrossed the entire time. I love how the topic of astrology was incorporated into the plot as I am a huge fan of it and this feels like a perfect mix of coming of age and romance.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
While there’s nothing particularly mind blowing about the writing style, it was perfect for the story itself. It was very simple and easy to read but also engaging. I was able to fly through the book in a few days, less if it would’ve been my sole focus I’m sure. I was very entertained and the writing was also very funny. There were some instances when it felt like the narrative was really young but it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. In general, great for a contemporary.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This was definitely my favorite part of this book, there’s a huge cast of characters that are all interesting and complex and bring something completely different to the novel. Wilamena or Wil is our main character and I instantly liked her. Not only because our mutual love for astrology but because she’s a really genuine person. She’s quirky and fun and sweet. She likes what she likes whether people understand it or not and she’s so comfortable with herself, it made me a little jealous. She spends most of the book torn between different options and decisions and while sometimes that caused her to be a bit immature and juvenile, it didn’t turn me off her character at all. She’s kind of obsessive about somethings and it takes her awhile to find her truth but I really enjoyed her development and how she shared her story. So there’s two love interests in this story. I’m not going to say much except for the fact that they’re similar and different at the same time but it’s very easy to figure out the outcome just by the summary. However, there are a lot of amazing side characters that tried to steal the show and almost did. They were all really fun and interesting and diverse and also one of my favorite parts of this book.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, but it took me completely by surprise.
The plot is sincere. I’ve never described a plot with that word, but there’s no other way to describe it. We follow Wilamena whose lived her life by the stars as a way to honor her mother’s legacy. When tackling her biggest fear – the Fifth House, relationships and love – she gets tangled between two options from the opposite sides of the astrology chart. While the plot was predictable for me, which is not surprising since I have that tendency and it’s a contemporary, I really enjoyed the movement of the story. It was more than just a romance, there were a lot of different things that were going on within the story. There were some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Things that happened with the characters and some unexpected turns in the relationships. I wasn’t expecting that at all and it gave the plot more dynamic and kept me hooked into reading it. It was really funny, especially in the beginning, and really quirky, the astrological part is really fun and accurate. But my favorite part of this book is its deeper theme. This has a focus on love of all different kinds, between family, friends and romantic partners and what they mean and how to honor, accept and share in those loves. It’s a really interesting concept and I love the way Woods explored it in this novel.
Wil was a funny narrator. I liked her personality right off the bat. She’s sweet and kind of sarcastic yet really nerdy in a kind of special way. I loved all the zodiac and astrology talk, although she called my sign too feely and that offended me a bit even if its true haha. Though she had the tendency to be stubborn and kind of obsessive in things she felt were right and even immature in moments, I really enjoyed her personality. She grew a lot throughout the novel, not only mentality in her way of thinking but also emotionally in dealing with her grief and the best way to honor her mother. I would’ve liked to see more of a specific plot concerning her family history but that really wasn’t what the story centered on. I wouldn’t mind another book a bit farther in the future about her and what her life turned out to be and how she changes the way she views astrology after the end.
Like I said above, there are two love interest and they’re both similar and different. They are both very passionate and intense, though in different ways and situations. They tend to throw their whole hearts when they love. However, one of them was very flashy. Kind of like the cocky guy who goes after what he wants with no thoughts to anyone or anything else. Those guys that throw out all the tricks up their sleeves to get you into them and that sometimes might be incredibly overwhelming. The other is a lot more vulnerable and sensitive. He has a a deeper understanding of hardships and how those things can shape a person. Both were very interesting to read from but you can definitely tell what the outcome if you’re like me, which is one of the reasons I’m not clarifying beyond this. Wil had an amazing best friend named Irina, a saucy Russian goddess. I really loved their friendship and the way they looked after each other in more ways than one. Again, I would’ve loved to have learned more about Irina and her background because she seems like a really complex and interesting character. Then there’s a special little nugget named Manny who was the Latin flavor for this story. I loveeddd him! Not only is his Spanish dialogue correct but his personality reminds me of Leo from the Heroes of Olympus series so ya’ll know I’m going to adore him. I would’ve loved to have gotten under his skin too. Seriously all the characters in this story are amazing and I feel like I could do with a book from each of their points of view.
Overall, this was a great contemporary romance. The plot was interesting and entertaining while a bit predictable, it still had a lot of unique qualities. The characters were all entertaining, engaging and interesting. The main character’s growth throughout the book was stellar and I’m really looking forward to more from this new author.
SO that’s it for this review! Let me know if you’re thinking about reading this book, which you should because I definitely recommend it. Do you know any other books that feature astrology? I’d love to check them out! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post.