ARC Review: One S’more Summer by Beth Merlin

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One S’more Summer (The Campfire Series, #1)

34389634By Beth Merlin | Published on May 30, 2017 by INK Monster Books, LLC | Number of pages: 209 pages | Format: Advance Review Copy (ARC) | Genre(s): Young Adult; Chick Lit; Romance; Realistic Fiction; Contemporary Fiction | Goodreads

Since that first bus ride to Camp Chinooka twenty long years ago, Gigi Goldstein has been pining for her best friend’s guy. She knows her crush is wrong and has to stop, but her heart won’t listen to reason. To escape the agony of their impending wedding, Gigi accepts a summer job at the only place she’s ever been happy.

But working at Chinooka isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every inch of the campground is laced with memories.

When Gigi realizes she can’t fix the present by hiding in the past, she’s forced to reexamine her choices. Maybe everything she thought she wanted wasn’t what she actually needed… But if she can get her act together, Gigi might have one last shot at the summer love of her dreams.

I was provided an advance review copy (ARC) from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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YAY! This review is free from spoilers.

My Rating: ★★★★★ or 5 out of 5

One S’more Summer is such a cute summer read. I enjoyed it. I loved it so much. I couldn’t contain my over-to-the-top excitement over this book. I’m so glad that I came across it when I was hunting and requesting for books through NetGalley, and I was even happier that I was approved (for the first time ever) by the publisher to read and review it.

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If a thought ever crossed your mind that One S’more Summer would be another cliché novel, I would have to scream “Shame, shame!” for disapproval. Trust me because clichés aren’t my thing, but of course I would have to admit that at first I thought I might be reading another typical summer camp love story. The author, Beth Merlin, proved me wrong otherwise. This book was so much more.

I loved Merlin’s writing style. I was amazed by how well-balanced the story was, especially with Camp Chinooka and Gigi’s past. The author was able to put the right fruits in the blender and come up with a well-mixed and refreshing summer smoothie that I was able to enjoy from the beginning until the end. In other words, the writing elements were applied beautifully, with the central idea, organization, expression, word of choice, point of view, pacing, etc.; also, I loved the feeling like I was on a mysterious adventure in finding out the true and exact purpose of Gigi, along with Perry, as to why they rejoined Camp Chinooka and became counselors, which made the story even more interesting to read.

As for the romance, you don’t have to worry about “insta-love” because that is definitely off the table in the book. Between Gigi and Perry, their pacing towards their love for each other was just right. Furthermore, I was glad that One S’more Summer didn’t fully revolve around the romance, for it also focused on friendships, dealing with the past and guilt that had been eating these characters alive, and the experience in being part of a summer camp. It, indeed, proved to be a realistic fiction.

I’ve never gone to a summer camp before, but Merlin was able to capture an ideal summer camp that I totally want to give a try at. Her ideas of the various activities for Camp Chinooka are so unique and entertaining. What a job well done! *applauds*

In conclusion, I had so much fun reading One S’more Summer. It was light, heartwarming, yet complex at the same time, and I’m looking forward to read the second book of the series, S’more to Lose, which will release on December 2017! Here is the blurb:

S’more to Lose (The Campfire Series, #2)

35110234Four years after her life-changing summer, Gigi Goldstein thinks saying goodbye to Camp Chinooka means saying hello to a brand new life. Now faced with a second chance at her career, she is filled with more hope than she’s felt in a long time. Her design house is taking the fashion world by storm, even attracting notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress in London, she is forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End.

But when Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister, who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication, Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate in everything. Her world begins to crumble as she develops a creative block so debilitating, she fears that a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Even a budding relationship with the handsome, wealthy, and rich Viscount of Satterley can’t make her forget about Perry and her inability to get over him. As the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and failures of her past.

Will she be able overcome her creative paralysis to design the dress of Victoria’s dreams, or will she break down now that she has even s’more to lose?

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What do you think about One S’more Summer? Have you read it? If not, are you planning to read it? Whatever it is, let me know by leaving a comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts or personal opinions. If you want, you may follow me on Twitter and add me on Goodreads.

Thank you!

Credits go to Goodreads for the images and information of both book and author.

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16493075Beth Merlin is a native New Yorker who loves rom-coms, Broadway, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

“There is always that one summer that changes you.”

Love, Ysabel

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