My rating: 3.5 of 5
ebook, 245 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by Holly Leaf Press
Available on: Kindle, Paperback
What they say:
Chick Lit Central: “I really enjoy Wardell’s writing, and I love how she develops her characters.”
I’d So Rather Be Reading: “Summer ended up being my favorite character from the Seven Exes series. She has so many layers to her personality and I enjoyed uncovering them as the book progressed.”
What I have to say:
September is here. We’re in that transitional period in which summer is almost ending and a new season is starting. I couldn’t think of a better book to review for these last “15 minutes of summer” we have left.
Fifteen Minutes of Summer is a good summer read. I mean starting with the cover, that laptop at that white sand and turquoise watered beach screams summer time. It’s a cover that follows the design and composition of the previous books, giving the series its own personality and trademark-ish look. If I may add, it is a cover that would look great in any beach bag. 😉
As obvious as the title might seem, this book is not about the summer season per se. It is the story of a woman named Summer. She has been an important character in the series, and in this book we get to know more about her, the reasons that justify her actions when she betrayed her friends and former cast members of a dating reality-TV show that took place on an island. The title is so appropriate because when faced to choose between her friends or her career, Summer does get her fifteen minutes “fame”.
Fifteen Minutes of Summer can be read as a standalone; the author gives you some details that help you understand the plot and main conflict. But being that it is part of a series, reading the previous book(s) would give you more background and a better feeling of continuity and understanding of the story.
Having read the previous book in this series (click for review), I admit I was biased against Summer. Her betrayal and actions didn’t make her look like a good person. Her character is very complex. In this book she is portrayed as a beautiful but insecure woman with very low self-esteem. A woman of many contrasts because even though she thinks she’s dumb and could never be as intelligent as her sister and parents, she’s got a spark of a fighter and dreamer inside her. She has big dreams. She longs to be a successful fashion designer and is desperate to have her big break in celebrity show biz world. As we read, we see that her determination to succeed and meet her goals faces her with difficult situations that lead her to take bad and questionable decisions that won’t take her to the place in her life where she is successful and happy.
I tried to like Summer. It’s impossible not to feel compassion for her, especially with that disgusting slime-ball boss she had. In the end, the things she did to hurt her friends were caused directly and indirectly by her nasty boss. She’s not the despicable person her actions make her look like. But at the same time, for a woman who wants to be in show business she was too naïve in my humble opinion. I thought she was stronger. At times I wanted to slap some sense in her for the dumb decisions she took. I couldn’t bond with her like I did with Ashely in book #2 but I couldn’t fully hate her.
As with the other books by Heather Wardell, this story is not another women’s fiction story. This is a story of Women’s Fiction with a Plus. Summer’s story isn’t just a story about a girl trying to make it in show business hurting herself and loved ones on her way. It is a story about the meaning of friendship and most of all a story about forgiveness.
I must admit that I thought that what Summer did to ask forgiveness from those she hurt was a bit extreme and over the top. It was surprising and unexpected but it seemed like too much and felt unreal, but then I read this story online, which immediately reminded me of Summer. I never thought something similar could happen in real life, but life proved me wrong. And this is what makes Heather Wardell’s books so good. She writes contemporary stories with substance, depth and positive messages.
Fifteen Minutes of Summer deals with the subject of sexual harassment. Even though the events in this book are fictional, they are eye-opening. We can’t deny that situations like those portrayed in the book regarding sexual harassment may or may not be happening in real life. I would recommend this book for young women who are just joining the working force especially in show business, hoping that they don’t imitate Summer’s actions but learn from her mistakes and be aware and prepare themselves if God forbids they are faced with a situation like this. Book clubs can also find this book as an interesting way to discuss topics like work ethics, codes of conduct and the price of fame.
If you’re looking for a book about a woman who makes mistakes and amends them, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a book that makes you think of what you would do for fame, this is the book for you. If you’re looking for a story about the true meaning of friendship and forgiveness, this is the book for you. Summer ends on September 22nd, 2015 in this neck of the woods, if you’re looking for a good fast paced story to read in the last “15 minutes” of the summer season we have left, this is the book for you.
Because, no matter how much it’s deserved, hating someone hurts you more than it hurts the person. So I want you to forgive me so you can feel better.
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