Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Rating:

Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.   When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.   But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Praise for Summer of Supernovas:

“A lovely, quirky, and hysterical book about questioning fate and what you’ve been taught to believe.”—
BookRiot

"A must-have title for upcoming beach reads recommendation lists."—
SLJ

Summer of Supernovas had me snort-laughing and swooning! It’s the heartfelt rom com I’ve been looking for.”—Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be and Being Sloan Jacobs    

“Curling up with Darcy Woods’s romantic, funny Summer of Supernovas feels like the best sort of summer night—dreamy, warm, and full of possible star-crossed lives.” —Kim Culbertson, award-winning author of Catch a Falling Star and The Possibility of Now    

“Sweet, funny, and swoony, Summer of Supernovas will leave you with stars in your eyes.” —Mindi Scott, author of Freefall    

“Smart, sweet, funny, and honest, Summer of Supernovas is as charming and original as Wil herself. I wanted to stay in this story forever.” Erica O’Rourke, author of Dissonance and Resonance

Quick Thoughts and Rating: ALL THE STARS EVER! Especially those brilliantly bright supernovas! For me, this novel is one of those rare books that feels like it was written just for you. You vibe with the book, you fall in love with the author, and it all feels very serendipitous and magical. Perhaps even fated! Summer of Supernovas is one of my special book unicorns.

Each page is infused with heart and humor. The characters are charming and complex. The romance(s) were tummy-fluttery, heart-pitter-patteringly sweet and I squealed more than once. There were even a few heart-clutches and a couple of times that I had to smother my cheek-splitting grin into a pillow just because I felt like such a huge dork.

Maybe it’s just a “me” book or it got lucky that it followed a particularly bad book, but I honestly doubt that either scenario will be the case. The more logical explanation would be that perhaps Ms. Darcy Woods stuffed a galaxy worth of awesome into this one book that I felt privileged to read it and it’s likely that you will, too.

Review: One girl with a promise to her deceased mom. Two guys: one her astrological soulmate, the other her astrological ruin. And it all revolves around her beloved astrological chart that precisely dictates her perfect match. But when it comes to matters of love, do you follow the stars, the ones that have been your guiding vessel your entire life, or do let your heart decide?

I’m going to perfectly honest here: the thought of writing this review leaves me in such a state of anxiety. Just thinking of the actual book itself leaves me so verklempt that the only thing that comes out is type-ish squeaks and flails and gibberish that looks something similar to aldkjfalkdjfksaldjf.  (No seriously, I flailed so hard about my love for this book to its author on twitter that I’m pretty sure she’s flagged me as “creepy stalker” which is a little embarrassing in hindsight. Sorry, Ms. Woods! I’m only crazy about the book. … Okay, maybe mildly crazy in general, but…the good kind of crazy??? I digress.) Where was I? Oh, yes, but writing reviews for a book that you are seriously crushing on is so difficult because you want to find those perfect words that are going to push that lovely book into the hands of every book-junkie so they can be just as cracked out and book-hungover as you are. So, forewarning, I’m going to try really, really hard to sway you to pick this book up, but it’s probably accurate to say that my review won’t do Summer of Supernovas any sort of justice. Instead, you should do yourself a solid and just go buy it. But if you’re looking for more, now that I’ve calmed down, I have no shortage of words when it comes to my adoration for this book.

Something that Woods managed to do with ease is create characters that came to life so vividly on the page, and how she naturally incorporated the relationships that these characters had with one another in a complex, believable manner. Wilamena “Wil” Carlisle is an absolute riot! This girl stole my heart from the very first chapter and kept me cackling and flailing with her until the very end. She’s equal parts quirky, nerdy, and sass, and I couldn’t decide which idea appealed to me more- having her be my best friend or actually being her. Now, you can’t mention Wil without mentioning her supporting cast and that would be her Grams and Irina. Grams was a freaking pistol and had me laughing just as much as Wil; that apple didn’t fall far from the tree with this one. Any elderly lady that tells a young guy “Just be sure to keep it in your pants, son. Have a lovely evening.” is a total winner in my eyes. We should hang out. Then there’s Irina, her hardcore pierced Russian bestie who was fiercely loyal and a little rough around the edges. I thought she was an amazing friend to Wil and a great addition to the story. I really hope we get the chance to learn more about her later. (Hint hint: I need her story, please!) Moving on, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the guys for obvious spoilery reasons. First up is Grant. He’s a bit broody with the whole talented, tattooed, laidback indie musician vibe he’s rocking and he had some amazing banter with Wil. Second is Seth. He’s more in your face, grandiose with his gestures, and has a cute puppy quality that just makes you want to cuddle with him. And since Grant is part of a band, we were introduced to his bandmates who will easily capture your attention in the brief appearances they make, but especially Manny who I also need a book about at some point (with Irina. See what I’m doing here?).

The love triangle (I heard your long, dreadful sigh and you stop that right now!) isn’t as straight-forward or predictable as most tend to be, and I think the complexity of this situation worked well in its favor. I’m putting this out there, when there’s talk of a love triangle before I read a book, it’s never a deal breaker for me because I don’t dislike them in general, and sometimes—as was this case with this novel—I even end up falling for both guys, even if it’s a little more hopelessly in love with one over the other. I really enjoyed seeing Wil interact with each of her suitors in this book and they both brought different things out of Wil. I swooned for both. I adored both. But one ultimately ensnared my heart a little more than the other, and I was definitely happy to see that it was the same outcome for Wil. Though, way to make us sweat it out there, Ms. Woods.

As for the other elements of this book, I’d have to say all of the astrology bits brought a unique aspect to this novel. You don’t find too many stories that revolve so heavily around the stars as a guiding force unless it has a more paranormal/fantasy edge, so it was fun to see it in a straight-up contemporary novel and see the ways it shaped it.  I will note that as certain issues of the plot were unfolding, I felt pretty confident that I knew how particular things would work out and there was a teeny bit of melodrama, but for the most part, it was a light-hearted and good fluff energy that made this a really enjoyable, quick read.

Teaser Quote: There were so many great ones to choose from, but I wanted to save all the swoonier and funnier ones for you to find on your own.

     I’m having trouble stringing my sentences together. His proximity muddles my thinking. “Um, well, remember how I said I was looking for someone?”
     “Uh-huh.” He spins me so we are facing each other. One of my hands falls to his chest; his breathing is irregular like mine. “Did you find him?” Grant’s eyes are dark, unreadable.
     “I—I’m not sure. Astrology is a complicated study.” Our swaying slows with the waning song.
     “Ah, well, I don’t put much faith in the stars.” He casts me into a final spin, tugging me back. I land solidly against his chest.
     “Funny,” I say, rather breathless. “I put all my faith in the stars.”
     His left hand splays over my back. The other hand gripped firmly to mine. I can feel his guitar calluses. His gaze lowers to my mouth; his breath sears my skin. “I put mine in people.”
~quote taken from the e-ARC of Summer of Supernovas at 18%

Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
Writing
Characters
Plot
Pacing
Swoons
General Book Feels
Cute, Fuzzies, Flutters
Overall:

Rec It? ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RECOMMENDING THIS! Summer of Supernovas

Make sure you add this to your TBR and pre-order it! Once you’ve read it, make sure you come back so we can flail about it together. If you’re like me and so freaking glad you’ve already gotten a chance to dig in to it, leave me your thoughts about it below. I absolutely need someone to book-talk about this with before I explode.

♥ A very special thanks to Crown/Random House and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An eARC of these title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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