Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?
For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn't just the perfect summer escape, it's home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can't help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.
Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy's summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.
About the Author
Amy Melissa Bentley is a professional stage and screen actress. A member of SAG-AFTRA, she has performed in Scotland, New York City, and throughout Connecticut.
Read an Excerpt
"Spring signals the return of various species of coastal wildlife to the New Jersey shore, the place they call their summer home."
From "What's Love Got to Do with It? The Dating and Mating Habits of North American Sea Life." A junior thesis by Lucy Giordano.
I open the window shade in my third-story attic bedroom anticipating my usual-somewhat obstructed-ocean view and instead get an eyeful of Connor Malloy, sans shirt, on the roof of his parents' bungalow. Better than a mocha latte with two shots of espresso and whipped cream, as far as early-morning eye-openers and guilty pleasures go. Or at least he used to be until last fall, the Big Mistake, and the big storm-the one that tore apart our island and briefly brought together a local smart girl like me and a summer player like him. Now the guilt outweighs the pleasure.
Hammer in hand, Connor takes a nail from his mouth and taps a shingle into place. I would know those arms and that profile anywhere. I spent enough summers studying both from behind my sunglasses as Connor loped down toward the water with either a surfboard or his latest bikini-clad conquest tucked under one arm.
He stands to survey his work, glances my way, and does a double take before I can duck out of sight. My heart freezes midbeat, and I forget to breathe.
Shit. I don't want him to think I was staring, and yet I so obviously was. I should move. Why don't I move? It's like touching a scorching-hot stove top and experiencing a delay before feeling the burn. Step away from the window, Luce. Step away. I'm wearing a worn-out Conserve NJ Wildlife tee and tie-dye shorts, and my dirty blond hair desperately needs some sun-kissed highlights. Do I really want this to be the first time he sees me in seven months?
Connor waves his hammer at me. Too late.
"Lucy Goosey! What up?" Relief bordering on giddiness sweeps over me when he shouts his usual greeting, and I release the breath I've been holding since October. "Long time, no see."
Yes, it has been, I want to yell back, especially if you haven't been breathing ! Maybe things are back to normal between us. I spent all winter wondering if they could or even should be. Stupidly, I thought what we shared that morning before the storm meant something. I've dissected and relived each second we were together so many times that it's like there's a permanent PowerPoint slideshow in my brain. I'd almost figured out how to shut it off. Did he even give me or what happened a second thought? Were three post-storm text messages all he needed to move on? It's not like we normally communicate during the winter months, but this year I thought...no, I expected him to call. Because he said he would. And like the naive genius that I am, I believed him.
I should just wave to Connor and get ready for work. I've waited too long for his attention, and right now he doesn't deserve mine. But somehow, I can't stop myself. I open the screen and poke my head out.
"Hey," he says with a heaviness that makes my mouth go dry.
"When'd you get down?" I ask.
It doesn't matter what direction you're coming from; in New Jersey, people who aren't from the coastal regions go "down the shore."
He shades his eyes with one hand. "Late last night. I'm helping my dad finish some repairs."
Repairs, cleanup, rebuilding: they've all become part of the lexicon around here. "Here" being the barrier islands off the coast of New Jersey. "How long are you here for?"
"Just for the three-day weekend," he says. "Wish it were longer. I wanted to blow off school on Tuesday, but I've got a game."
"It's almost summer. Then you won't have to leave," I say, although I'm not sure why I'm trying to make him feel better.
Connor and I have known each other since we were kids and have had a good thing going. For years, I relished my role as confidante to the hot boy next door-my part-time summer friend who arrived on Memorial Day weekend and left by Labor Day. And then I broke one of the most important rules we have at Breakwater Burrito, where I've worked for the past three summers. "Feed the Bennies. Don't date them." Benny is the locals' word for tourist, and there's sort of an unspoken pact among us to keep them at bay.
Even though summer residents like Connor aren't exactly full-fledged Bennies, I never told anyone what went down between us. My friends, Meghan and Kiki, pretty much despise all forms of summer visitors, and my brother, Liam, would freak. Every May when the Malloys open their house for the summer, my twin bro nods his head in the direction of their two-bedroom bungalow and mutters his perennial warning. "Stay away from that douche bag."
I appreciated that Liam thought I even had a chance with a guy like that. Look at him. With eyes the color of the clear, blue sky and wavy ash-blond hair that's always in perfect disarray, he belongs in an Abercrombie ad.
"You're so lucky you live here," Connor says.
A bitter laugh escapes my mouth. "Yeah. Lucky. We just got back ourselves. You know, since the storm turned our first floor into an indoor swimming pool."
The Malloys' house was spared any serious damage, so it's been a while since Connor or his parents have visited Seaside.
Connor backpedals. "I'm sorry... I didn't-"
I wave him off, but I'm annoyed. "No worries. Well...I'll let you get back to your roof. I've got a thing before work."
No need to bore him or our other neighbors with my volunteer duties harvesting baby clams for Reclam Our Waters.
"Later?" His question is so loaded with expectation that it melts my anger and resolve and tempts me to remember.
God. Must he smile at me like that? I can't say, "Put a shirt on, Connor, so I can think straight," so I search my brain for something easy. Casual. Something I would have said before the storm. Back when he was the charismatic kid who showed up every summer and I was the unabashed nerd-girl who never left-the one who knew better than to cross the line with a guy like that.
"Come by for lunch. If you order the Tsunami, I'll hook you up with a free drink." Ugh. Lame. The Tsunami is a mega-sized burrito that's nearly impossible for one person to eat. We ring a bell whenever someone orders it. I should have dug deeper to find the funny.
He laughs anyway. "You got it."
I duck back inside, close the screen, and pull down the shade, still hyperaware that Connor is on the other side and torn between wanting to see him again and establishing a safe distance between us. Thankfully, my baby clams and work call. I refuse to relive my brief but intense connection with Connor and accept that my love life is just one more thing that took a mega-sized hit from Superstorm Sandy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
**Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** The Summer After You and Me is about a girl named Lucy who lives on the Jersey Shore in a marvelous house. She gets to live there year-round, which is pretty awesome. She and her friends do their best to not fall for any of the summer tourists, like Connor who is Lucy's next door neighbor. Last summer, Connor and Lucy got really close and ended up falling for each other. They had a fling that nobody had known about, though they had to leave early that summer because of Superstorm Sandy. All Lucy had was a promise from Connor that he'd call her, but she never did. The Summer After You and Me is all about the aftermath of what happens the summer after the storm, when they come back. Now, Connor has a girlfriend (who Lucy doesn't really like) and Lucy has a boyfriend, Andrew. Andrew and Lucy have been really great friends their whole lives, so everyone says that they're the perfect match. The thing is, Lucy still isn't really over Connor and maybe, just maybe, he's not over her either. I'm so glad that I got to read this book because the second I read the synopsis last year, it became one of my most anticipated 2015 reads. Let me just say that this book did not disappoint in any way possible. I loved how much all the characters' relationships grew throughout the book, such as Lucy and Andrew's, Lucy and Connor's, and Lucy and her twin brother, Liam's. Lucy went through so many ups and downs throughout the summer and at times I felt really bad for her, especially because of the way that some people treated her. I also felt horrible for her since she hadn't told anybody about her spring fling with Connor before the storm. Everybody things that Connor is a player, Lucy included, because he always has a different girl with him every time that she sees him. She keeps thinking that she was stupid to have fallen for him in the first place, though the whole time I thought that they definitely had a special connection. I felt so much for the characters and felt like I was actually there with them, experiencing what Lucy was experiencing. The heartache, the love, the ups, the downs... all of it. I found it really awesome that Lucy was a huge fan of aquatic life. I love it when a character loves something that has to do with the ocean, because anything having to do with water really interests me. The beginning of each chapter featured par of Lucy's junior thesis, "What's Love Got to Do with It? The Dating and Mating habits of North American Sea Life" which really cracked me up at parts and foreshadowed what was to come with each chapter, which was a really cool addition to this story. I really liked how a palm reader played a special part in this story as well, since Connor and Lucy went to see a palm reader one night. I also found it interesting how there was a theme of disasters laced throughout the novel. Not only was the storm a disaster, but Lucy trying to get over Connor was as well. This book is definitely a new favorite of mine and I'm going to recommend it to everyone who asks for a good contemporary read.
This book was so balanced. It was like surfing a wave: the freshness of the plot, the tension in the character dynamics, the excitement of emotional suspense and the satisfaction and joy of a solid ride. No one else has written a book from this perspective about Hurricane Sandy, and it will open many eyes. What I love is the gloriously harmonious mixture of natural disaster, marine life, family drama, romance and deep psychological/philosophical thought. I can't think of a more perfect summer read. Or anytime of the year read for that matter. Enjoy!
This is the perfect, perfect beach read (even in a January snowstorm. Maybe especially in a January snowstorm!). I loved how the NJ barrier island's recovery from Superstorm Sandy mirrored the main character's recovery from a big romantic event that shook her world in an equal way. In fact, I loved how much Superstorm Sandy was part of this story- it was a great way to lend a little (but not too much) gravitas to an otherwise sweet, beachy romance. Reminded me a lot of Michele Dalton's Sixteenth Summer- would definitely be a great follow-up for fans of that book.
A perfect read for fans of Jenny Han's THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY series! I love beachy summer romance books and this one has just the right amount of heft and depth to it. Lucy is a wonderful protagonist whose emotions and conflicts feel very real and relatable. The author also does an amazing job of evoking the setting--a post-Sandy Jersey shore that is much more than its party town reputation.
The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a sweet YA story about family, friendship and romance. It takes place in the Jersey shore, during the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Lucy is our heroine and she is the protagonist that drives this story. 8 months after Sandy destroyed so much of the community where she lives; Lucy is back home with her parents and brother. Memorial Day is close, which signals the start of summer, and the tourists will be visiting in droves, which due to the ongoing restoration, doesn’t sit well with the local residents. Lucy is working part time at the local clam restaurant, while also doing volunteer work that she hopes will help her get a scholarship to be a marine mammalogist. As Lucy prepares to go to work, she spots Connor, who spends the summers with his family in the house next to Lucy. The last time she last saw him was right before the storm hit, after he had kissed her, opening up a possible new relationship; but he never called her all these months, as he had promised. Giving up on any chance of a relationship with him, Lucy began dating her best friend Andrew, and now that Connor is back, she tries hard to ignore him. Connor’s reputation as a womanizer, and the fact that he is a seasonal resident, makes him not a favorite among the locals, which includes Lucy’s brother, Liam, who hates him. This is also a very nice story of family, and friendships, as they all try to recover and rebuild their town from the devastation of Sandy. I thought that the first half of the book was somewhat slow. It did pick up a lot in the second half, which turned this into an enjoyable story. Lucy slowly begins to realize she had no romantic feeling for Andrew, and that she still felt something for Connor. This is a very slow to build relationship, which will affect all those around Lucy. Her friends become upset that she never told them about her feelings toward Connor, and her brother really bad to Lucy when he finds out. For the majority of the book, Liam was nasty and provocative toward his sister, helping pull her friends away, as he could not control his hatred of Connor. This turned out to be a very nice sweet story that will see the beginnings of a romance, forgiveness, rebuilding of lives and friendships, as well as togetherness for families. With the real life background of the Jersey shore devastation, and the people helping one another to rebuild their town from the hurricane, this was a very nice and emotional read.
Summer brings flip-flop days, bonfire nights, castle-built dreams, tailgate friends…and occasionally a read so good it carries you way past fall. Doktorski’s THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME will do just that.
to be honest, this book was disappointing. Very mediocre. There was so much potential. There was really only one part of the book that I didn't expect to happen, the rest was easy to guess. I think it's too predictable. While it was beautifully written, it was not the best plot and disappointed me. The little drama that did happen, didn't last long, and was resolved too easily and quickly. Not sure if I'd recommend
Typical romance .
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor. Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?