Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Published April 19, 2011
Invincible Summer is certainly not one of your typical beach reads. A beach read, according to me, is something you can mindlessly read without getting too involved. This book was a very intense book about an extremely dysfunctional family. It’s not particularly funny but it is very real and raw - something that a beach read should not be.
This book is written from Chase’s perspective over the course of four summers and the summers only where he spent his time on the beach with his family and their neighbors, the Hathaways. The characters Hannah wrote were very dynamic especially in Chase’s family. There was the oldest brother, Noah, who was never really there and no one ever really knew when or if he was coming home or leaving. He would often disappear for days just because and would miss out on important events such as Chase’s birthday even though he was closest to him. Claudia, the younger sister, was also trying to become a woman even when she was, like, 11 years old. When I was 11, I don’t remember trying to get boys and dressing sleazy – I was just trying to hang out with my friends. And then there was the youngest sibling, whom I forgot the name of, who was deaf and everyone had to cope around it by either trying to learn sign language or using another family member (usually Claudia) to translate into sign language for them. To put it shortly, this family was and is dysfunctional. Plus, there was “New Baby” that came and right after that, the parents got divorced. What was up with that? If you were having marital problems, I don’t think that having a baby would be a particularly good idea. It just seems so irresponsible and ridiculous.
The Hathaways were no better but at least there were only three kids and they seemed somewhat easier to deal with. There was Melinda, who ended up sleeping with both Noah and Chase. AND the two boys knew about it. That is just so odd to me. How are you okay with that? It wasn’t as if the boys were sharing her (that’s another thing entirely) – Melinda went out of her way to be with the both of them at separate times and once Noah found out, he shrugged and went on his way. Like what?! I tell you, this family was weird. Bella and Shannon were pretty normal so I have really nothing to say much about either of them.
Even though the characters were so strange, the one thing I can really say for this book was the raw and grittiness of it. There were a lot of topics being discussed that were very serious (again, not at all like a beach read) and there was also a very saddening tragedy that occurred later and you see how the family mends itself.
Honestly, this book really threw me off guard. I was expecting a fluff book with hookups and hot boys. This was not like that at all. There may have been some hot boys but they were drowned out by the seriousness of the book. And while there were certainly a lot of emotions being displayed throughout this book, it was not a book I particularly enjoyed. If I wanted to pick up a gritty novel, I would not have picked up this one. In a way, this was way too intense for my state of mind.