Over the course of several summers on the Atlantic coast, Chase struggles with his feelings for his best friend's sisters in the beach house next door while trying to get his own family through seemingly insurmountable problems.
Through a series of four summers at a family beach house, teenage Chase catalogues tumultuous changes in his family, from his sister's birth to his parents' divorce and his first sexual experience, with a family friend his older brother, Noah, has also slept with. Along the way, Chase and Noah discover Camus, who they quote at length, reflecting their feeling that they are "Stuck here forever. Stuck in the summer," despite these changes-until a tragedy permanently alters their family and forces them to grow up. Given the Camus references as well as a deaf younger brother who the family speaks with in ASL (displayed in bold throughout), Moskowitz's (Break) sophomore novel is an ambitious undertaking. The existential quotations give readers plenty to ponder and work well with the book's themes, though readers may find that the brothers' obsession with Camus strains credibility. Readers will have no trouble decrypting heavy foreshadowing about the accident that eventually rips this family apart, but even afterward the scenes between Chase and his family read more as overwrought than moving. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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April 19, 2011
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