Ruixin Zhang Zhang itibaren Русская Васильевка, Самарская обл., Ресей, 446818
Jenn once said that in Literary Fiction "nothing needs to happen." I kept thinking of that while I was listening to this book, because in this book nothing really happens until the last few chapters. Instead, it's "literary fiction for little tykes," a series of very detailed, and quite beautiful, character sketches and an examination of each of them as they live through one summer. The "story" mostly focuses on a group of 14-year-old friends, but occasionally head-hops into the minds of their older siblings and even parents. The theme centers around the awkward yearning for first love. Although the theme is timeless, Lynn sets this book in the 1970s -- she did the same with her previous book, All Alone in the Universe, which covered another timeless theme of friends drifting apart. I didn't mind it so much in the first book, but in this book the time era got on my nerves. It didn't seem to enhance the story at all to set it in the 70s and it just made something that is relevant to all adolescents feel quaint and out-of-touch. Really, I think it just reveals that Lynn Rae Perkins is totally uncomfortable writing about "today's young'uns," which she shouldn't be, because she has the emotions of adolescence down pat. And although I don't usually comment on the narrators when I read audiobooks, I want to advise anyone who is interested in this book NOT to listen to it. The narrator is so annoying -- she has this sort of smug voice that makes me think of a teacher who has no time for her students because they can't see how truly brilliant she is. Plus, the printed version of the book had cool pictures. :) I'm going to give away my own printed version of this book, so if anyone wants it, speak now or forever hold your peace.