Monday, June 13, 2011

THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE: REVIEW AND BONUS GIVEAWAY ENTRIES

GIVEAWAY ENDED  
THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE
BY DEBORAH CLOYED

MORE ABOUT THE BOOK:
Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends --- Isabel, Kendra, Mina --- on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they’ve created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras. But for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.

For Samantha, the vacation just feels wrong without Mina. Despite being surrounded by her friends --- the closest thing she has to family --- Mina’s death has left her a little lost. Unsure what direction her life should take. Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend's surprise proposal, it'll be the wrong one.

The answers aren't in the journal Mina gave Sam before she died. Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation's stories of love and loss, and Sam's glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart. And follow it. (Synopsis from ReadingGroupGuides.com)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deborah Cloyed lives in Los Angeles, in Humphrey Bogart’s old room with a view.  A photographer, travel writer and curious nomad, she has previously resided in London, Barcelona, Thailand, Honduras, Kenya and New York City. In addition to her diverse travel history, she was also a contestant on CBS’s The Amazing Race.   She runs a photography school for kids, teaches writing to teenage girls, and is happily working on her next book.

MY REVIEW:
At first glance, Deborah Cloyed’s THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE might be just another story about the relationship of friends over one glorious summer. While that is an enjoyable scenario, let us not confuse THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE with the typical “summer beach read”…not that you can’t enjoy reading Cloyed’s novel anywhere, anytime…even at the beach and in the summer! However, there is much more substance in Cloyed’s book and while it entertains, it also is an emotional journey.

The journey revolves around four friends who vacation together each summer often with their mothers but this summer, things have changed. As they spend time in a rented beach house in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, all know that this is a much different year. If ever their normal support and love of each other in good times and bad is needed, it is now.

After Mina Bahrami, one of the fearless four, dies of cancer, Samantha Wheland seems the most disturbed by the loss. Mina was Sam’s best friend and ever since she died six months before, Sam has found herself struggling to define herself and make sense of her life. This is affecting Sam in all that she does including her relationship with French boyfriend, Remy. As the summer goes on, Sam will find comfort and some answers in her remaining friends, Kendra and Isabel, and their parents, as well as with Mina herself. Their time in Honduras includes some fascinating experiences.

With the baby boomer parents on the trip, comes a variety of different cultures and experiences to add to the story. They also give credence to what life is really about when considering such subjects like politics, marriage, friendship, and love. Visiting native villages and enjoying the local color adds some levity as well as culture to their summer. But the questions in Samantha’s mind still leave her feeling disconnected from everyone despite all their attempts to help.

Reading her childhood friend’s journal, Sam finds some solace in the memories left behind by Mina. However, she also knows that death came too early to Mina and with the journals the two friends kept, Sam now begins to explore different theories of the after-life and even tries to communicate with Mina. This twist in the story took it in a direction I never expected and I have to say was an intriguing one. Edging on some physics and unexplored theories, the alternate dimension that Cloyed brings into the story is one I didn’t see coming. It makes one think about personal feelings on how to mourn and handle the loss of someone you love. Whether you choose to consider these things scientifically or religiously, it will get you thinking. This was the part of the story, for me, that gave me pause as I contemplated Sam’s actions and beliefs. I found THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE to be a remarkably moving story about what is most important: the people in our lives, the love we share, and the reality and significance of loss. If you want a book to really get wrapped up in, THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE will do it. 


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO ERIC AT PLANNED TELEVISION
ARTS/RUDER FINN, FOR TWO COPIES OF
THIS PERFECT READ FOR SUMMER!
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE IN MY REVIEW ABOUT THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE AND WHY YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, COMMENT ON EACH ENTRY SEPARATELY.

BE SURE AND READ MY INTERVIEW WITH DEBORAH CLOYED HERE SO YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE AND SO YOU CAN GET MORE ENTRIES TO WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JUNE 20

91 comments:

debbie said...

I would like to read the twist in the story. You said you didn't really expect it, it must have been good.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

bermudaonion said...

I'd like to read this because it sounds like a beach read with some substance. I love emotional books about friendship.

Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

I love books about friendships and books involving journals or letters

Carol N Wong said...

I am glad that the book has more than lifelong friendships, exploring loss due premature death.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

My Twitter name is Carolee888 and I twitted:


http://t.co/Dv3h199 Giveaway of " The Summer that We Came to Life'

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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'Never Wave Goodbye'



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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'Summer on Blossum Street'.



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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'To Be Sung Under Water'.



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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
'The First Love Cookie Club'.



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Tore said...

I want to win it because it sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

petite said...

A novel with depth and wonderful characters appeals to me greatly. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered To Be Sung Underwater. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Never Wave Goodbye. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Blackberry Summer. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Finders Keepers. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Already Home. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Beaten, Seared and Sauced. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Margie said...

It is interesting that this book is a much more complex one than might be considered from the cover.
I also find the Honduras connection fascinating.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

entered Never Wave Goodbye
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Margie said...

entered Dreams of Joy
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Margie said...

entered for Vaclaw and Lena
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entered for Hummingbird Wings
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Margie said...

entered for Beaten, Seared, Sauced
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Margie said...

entered for To Be Sung Underwater
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rubynreba said...

I have some lifelong friendships and one of these friends is currently gravely ill and I would find this book very interesting.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Entered Beaten, Seared & Sauced
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Entered Already Home
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rubynreba said...

Entered The First Love Cookie Club giveaway
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rubynreba said...

Entered To Be Sung Underwater giveaway
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rubynreba said...

Entered Summer On Blossom St giveaway
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rubynreba said...

Entered Blackberry Summer Giveaway
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rubynreba said...

Entered Finders Keepers giveaway
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petite said...

An interesting and unique novel for this summer. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Finders Keepers. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

rbooth43 said...

THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE to be a remarkably moving story about what is most important: the people in our lives, the love we share, and the reality and significance of loss. If you want a book to really get wrapped up in, THE SUMMER WE CAME TO LIFE will do it. That hooks me to want to read this book. Also, I started Journaling after my husband's death in 2001, Many journals now, but what a release writing in a journal is, clears your head and puts everything in a simblince of order. Who reads these after I die might be in awe or disappointed. But this sure helps me cope.
Thanks!
Rebecca
rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

holdenj said...

I like the idea of the alternate dimension twist.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Blackberry SUmmer.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Beaten Seared and Sauced.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Disney at Dawn
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Already HOme
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered Summer on Blossom Street.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered To Be Sung Underwater. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Blackberry SUmmer. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

I love books about friendship and books with a twist so this sounds like a good one! Thanks for the review and giveaway.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lag32583/status/80604763695230976

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I entered the To Be Sung Underwater giveaway.

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lag123 said...

I entered the The First Love Cookie Club giveaway.

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lag123 said...

I entered The Summer We Came to Life interview giveaway.

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Pamela Keener said...

Thanks for the review it makes me want to read it just to see what happens with the twist in the story.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered To Be Sung Underwater giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

lag123 said...

I entered The Summer on Blossom Street giveaway.

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lag123 said...

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lag123 said...

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bison61 said...

theories of the after-life that sounds interesting

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I like that you said it makes us take a look at ourselves and our feelings. I'm all about that.

Amy // amyismyfriend at aol dot com

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

I entered Beaten, Seared, and Sauced!

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Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

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bloomerbear said...

I'd love to read this and see the different parenting types and how they get along

pattifritz2000 at yahoo dot com
thanks bunches

mamabunny13 said...

I agree with Debbie about wanting to read the twist in the book. I'm very curious.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

mamabunny13 said...

tweet http://twitter.com/#!/mamabunny13/status/81697770175602688
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mamabunny13 said...

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I entered Beaten, Seared and Sauced
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mamabunny13 said...

I entered Already Home
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I entered Blackberry Summer
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mamabunny13 said...

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mamabunny13 said...

I entered The First Love Cookie Club
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Linda Kish said...

It sounds like there were some really strong friendships there. I like that.

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Linda Kish said...

I entered the AREA 51 giveaway.

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Linda Kish said...

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Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...

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