Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: The Summer Set by Jay Province

Title: The Summer Set
Author: Jay Province
Publisher: CreateSpace
Summary: (excerpt taken from back cover)
In the summer of 1956... 
Solving the mystery of the sinister Noqumiut carries a set of friends far beyond the innocence of their small Pennsylvania hometown. Santa and his merry elf magically appear in June running for their lives from a town hall fire; a teen girl flies her Cessna from the scene of a refinery explosion; and a dating pair leave a dead body on a leather couch -- wrapped in a full-length mink coat and holding a red gift bot in its hands. 
Fourteen-year-old catcher Peter "Chumbucket" Miller and his best friend pitcher Mike DeSorcier are on a mission to capture their youth league World Series championship. Spying on a league meeting from a sweltering attic perch they uncover a group of extra-dimensional beings infiltrating the league's leadership. The boys gradually discover two things: they are in mountains of trouble and they need help. Assistance (and more trouble) arrives in the form of two daring and mystifying girls -- Karen Croft and Jo Munro. The four friends share adventure, romance, intrigue and danger throughout three hectic summer months.

Overall Rating: 2/5

The Summer Set is a young adult novel with a fairly good story. While I think this is more intended for a young male audience (there's a lot of baseball stuff in here!), the intrigue about magic and the Noqumiut is enough to pull in readers of all genders. For me, personally, this book was hard to get into and didn't work out very well.

What really pulled me out was the writing. In terms of story-telling, I like there to be much more narrative than dialogue. The Summer Set has a lot of dialogue in it, and I felt that it really detracted from the story. Not only did the story lack in detail due to the constrictive nature of dialogue, the characters' conversations seemed formal and stilted because of the information they needed to convey. This affected the character development as well, because they were so busy giving each other information that I felt like I didn't really get to know the characters as well as I wanted to.

The content itself is interesting. I was able to finish the novel and I did care about the characters and what was going to happen to them. If you're a fan of young adult fantasy and can get past the style of the writing, you'll most likely enjoy it.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*