Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.
I have to admit, when I first read the description for Saugatuck Summer I came close to passing it by. I avoid teenage angst at all costs and this had angst written all over it. Something kept pulling me back to this one though and I’m glad it did. Just so you know, the description doesn’t do it justice.
Topher was one of those kids that you just couldn’t help but like. I loved his personality and his determination to rise above his family’s expectations. He walked away when it was the only thing he could do to keep his sanity and self esteem. Dysfunctional was a mild way to describe Topher’s family. Even knowing that didn’t keep him from being harder on himself than anyone else. My heart broke for him more than once in Saugatuck Summer.
Then there was Jace. Topher actually met him earlier in the story. They had a fling and the whole time I was reading about their connection I kept thinking how much easier things would have been for all of them if that first meeting had grown into something else. A lot happened in between that initial meeting and when they were brought back together. In the beginning Topher was attracted to Jace, by the time they met each other again Jace was there to pick up the pieces. They had a whole different connection that I don’t think would have meant as much… sometimes timing is everything.
Inside Topher’s head wasn’t always a fun or even comfortable place to be, but I loved getting to know him. Jace had a few skeletons of his own that he used to help Topher put things into perspective. The supporting cast of characters were great… even the ones that I didn’t like. There were a couple that I went back and forth on and some that I admired from the first time they were introduced. This is my first Amelia C. Gormley read, but it definitely won’t be my last. The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams is a pre-Saugatuck Summer novella that is in my immediate reading future. Stay tuned. 😉