The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Sea Star Summer by Sally Partridge (and a trip down memory lane)

on June 3, 2020

Sally Partridge is a new to me SA author who writes YA fiction. I discovered her via nbpublishers advertising her {online} book launch, which I subsequently joined.  This was at the start of Lockdown and her book has now been published as an ebook. Sally approached me to participate in her Insta Book Blog Tour of her latest book Sea Star  Summer which I jumped at the chance to do, celebrating and sharing SA authors is my ‘thing’ right?

I received a copy of her book which I read in a couple of days. It is an easy read, one I thoroughly enjoyed (now, I want to read all her books), what I wasn’t expecting was a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Sea Star Summer

The Blurb:

All sixteen-year-old Naomi wants to do over December is read books and avoid other people. Jeffreys Bay promises the perfect drama-free holiday. But when she encounters the strange and imaginative Elize on the beach, everything changes. Elize, however, isn’t the first to notice the awkward, red-haired newcomer and soon Naomi finds herself caught between a blue-eyed local surfer and Elize’s dark and mysterious brother. But what if Naomi is drawn to someone altogether different . . . 

Not only does this book tackle the  idea of ‘normal’,  it also tackles sexuality, feminism and our idea of societies expectations. If you are participating in Pride month – June, this is a perfect book to read. Set in Jeffrey’s Bay, our main character is a geeky red haired loner who discovers she prefers the company of her new friend Eliza, to the completely different male counterparts who find her particularly enticing Marius and Daniel.

One section in the novel shows a particularly dark side of one of the young boys who is rather keen on Naomi, and sadly that is a very real factor in our society. I can only thank the author for not going down that path.

I love how Naomi is portrayed and how this holiday gives her the opportunity to explore her sexuality even when she wasn’t expecting to, when all she thought she wanted was to hide away and read.  This book was a tender look at love, acceptance, imagination, home, family and Sally managed to bring all those elements together with ease.  This apt coming of age novel is set in Jeffery’s Bay, South Africa and a book set in my home country, with our own particular slang is always a pleasure to read.

Sea Star Summer was particularly reminiscent of myself at her age.  Young, geeky, nose constantly in a book, and then life happened. The stirrings of young love, tender kisses, coming out – or not- silent to those who care the most but expect a normal of their own making. Oh, it was a nostalgic wander down my past as I read this book. First kisses, the delight, the fear, the angst, the wondering what comes next. The indecision, the am I, aren’t I , the labels. The exploration of sexuality. While the ending of Naomi’s story is only her beginning, I love that the author didn’t label her, allowing the character to be who she imagined herself to be.

It’s not often a book provokes nostalgia in me, but this had me digging through old photographs, old diaries remembering my 20year old self, remembering past girlfriends, those first kisses. Remembering how young and inexperienced and naive I was. How our life paths ramble along in ways we don’t expect, friendships that make us, that change us. How fear of being different can limit our lives in ways we least expect and how hitting our forties gives an insight we really don’t have in our twenties.

I would recommend you read this book. It may not ignite any sort of nostalgia within you but it is a book that shows that normal can mean many things, and for any young person wondering if girls liking girls, or boys liking boys, or any which way you look at it is ok, this confirms that it is.

Thank you Sally for a delightful read, a wander down my memory lane, and to NBpublishers for the review e-book copy. Go, get yourself a copy at your local bookstore and give it a read. Then, like me, go in search of more of Sally’s books. ( I think we need Sally to do join our {Homegrown} Q&A series don’t you?)

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Sea Star Summer by Sally Partridge (and a trip down memory lane), 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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