Tuesday, February 05, 2013

REVIEW: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

I'm not entirely sure why I have a copy of Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz? I don't remember reading anything about it by other bloggers previous to me reading it and I've never read anything before by Hannah Moskowitz either.  But that will soon change as I loved this book so much more than I'd believed possible.  And sadly for you lot reading this review, I'm finding it difficult to put into words the reasons why I loved this book so much!

Invincible Summer is the story of Chase and his family told in parts over four consecutive summers.  It's an unusual format, hearing the events that happen to this family from just a few weeks over summer every year but it also makes really good sense as you are reading it.  Chase mentions early on that his entire life seems to revolve around the weeks he spends at the beach house and the time he spends with the Hathaway family who summer next door. 

The first year, the summer that Chase turns 15, is really idyllic and perfect-sounding almost.  Chase has a big family - there are his parents, his older brother Noah, his younger sister, Claudia, his younger brother Gideon and his mother is currently pregnant with the fifth child.  I'll say it right now, I love the idea of big families.  I've always wished I had been part of a big family like this. But things are not at all perfect with this family as you come to realise as you read further into this story... And as the story begins, Noah and Chase are waiting.  They say summer doesn't officially begin until the Hathaway family join them at the beach.  They consist of Melinda and the twins, Shannon and Bella.

I think the thing that I love the most about Invincible Summer is how messed-up everything becomes.  As Chase's family begins to change and shift into something entirely different than how it was when the story begins, I started to notice different things.  I really found the family dynamics between Chase and his siblings to be fascinating.  Chase and his relationship with his older brother Noah is almost at the heart of the novel.  Noah is always disappearing or wandering off from his family.  There's a real disconnect between Noah and his younger brothers and sisters.  It really just seems that it is Chase who is the link between Noah and the rest of his family. 

I kind of loved witnessing Claudia's transformation over the summers trying to assert her grown-uppedness by wearing skimpy bikins and experimenting with her sexuality.  It must have been hard for her being a girl with three brothers for most of her life.  And Gideon is a such a sweet younger brother.  Born deaf, he relies on the sketchy signing of his family in order to communicate and his existence and needs seems to be the catalyst of familal problems.What I love about Gideon's role in the family is how he seems to highlight the real lack of communication between brothers and sisters and parents and children. 

And the relationships! I can barely describe how messy and complicated these relationships are!  The narrator of the story, Chase, is aged 14-18 throughout the story and we really see him grow up go through a huge hormone surge.  While he at first shares a sweet kiss with neighbour, Bella, it is the kiss he shares with her older sister (and Noah's on/off girlfriend) Melinda which causes Chase to feel conflicted.

When I first began Invincible Summer, I really felt like this Chase-Melinda kiss would be the main thing that this story works through, but it isn't at all.  Invincible Summer is a much more complicated story than that about a family falling apart and about children growing up and making choices and I loved absolutely every single page!  I highly recommend that you pick up this book and I will for sure be on the look out for other books by Hannah Moskowitz!

14 comments:

  1. I've seen a couple of glowing reviews for Invincible Summer that make me think that I should get my hands on a copy sooner rather than later. It sounds like the kind of read that I would really enjoy, plus it's set at the beach, which I love. Great review! :)

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    1. Thanks Hollie, I really do hope you find a copy to read soon :) I loved it and will for sure be looking out for other books by Hannah Moskowitz!

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  2. This book sounds perfect for the summer! I have seen so many positive reviews of this, I must read it soon. I'm glad you enjoyed it even though you didn't know what to expect. Thanks for the great review :)

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    1. You're very welcome, Zoe! This book was such a wonderful surprise! Loved it.

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  3. I've heard brilliant things about this book (and Moskowitz's books in general) from so many friends now. I really need to try something by her soon. Great review, Michelle! :)

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    1. Thanks Sam! I'm kind of desperate to read more by her now. If this book is anything to go by, I will LOVE them :)

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  4. This sounds really wonderful, Clover. I'm wondering if this ends happily, though. I love the thought of a big family. My Life Next Door featured a big family and I just adored that story. I've heard of this author and usually it's with praise. I'm going to have to pick up one of her books soon. Great review. :)

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    1. I SO want to read My Life Next Door! I've heard amazing things about that book.

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  5. I have not heard anything about the author before but it definitely sounds interesting. I love books about family dynamics and growing up Since it fits my age, currently
    GREAT review!
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    1. I love books about family as though, and this family is so complicated and falling apart, it was hard not to love each of the brothers and sisters..

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  6. How does my library not have this?? I will need to track it down, I think. It sounds like my kind of book, for sure.

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    1. Yes, definitely find a way to read this book! :)

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  7. Hi there, the February edition of Books You Loved is open for entries. Here is the link Books You Loved February Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book/s you loved. Maybe this post? Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks, Carole, you have a great week too!

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