The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau
(from the back of the book)
Fourteen-year-old Jamie will never forget the summer of 1976. It’s the summer when she has her first boyfriend, cute surfer Flip Jenkins; it’s the summer when her two best friends get serious about sex, cigarettes, and tanning; it’s the summer when her parents throw, yes, naked swim parties, leaving Jamie flushed with embarrassment. And it’s the summer that forever changes the way Jamie sees the things that matter: family, friendship, love, and herself.
This book is okay. Just okay. And those are always books I find hardest to review. There was nothing very good or very bad about it. It had its moments. There was some humor and some serious parts. I liked the complicated relationship between the sisters, it felt very real. It did a good job of making you feel the awkward, embarrassing moments. And it made it okay to be different from your friends and everyone else you know and it let you know that you are not the only one who feels apart from everyone else. But was there a lot of sex, drugs and drinking for a bunch of 14 year olds? I think so. And if I had a daughter I don't think I would want her to read this. There was something lacking in the characters here too. I couldn't care as much about them as I think I was supposed to. There was nothing here that I can point at and say 'that is what is wrong with this book'. Nor can I pick anything out that I loved. It turns out I just don't want to read about 14 year olds having sex with boys 3 and 4 years older than them or about what happens to various naked body parts when people are swimming and jumping on diving boards.