Category Archives: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Review: August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Title: August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


One last summer to escape, to find herself, to figure out what comes next. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will love this contemporary, coming-of-age romance.

Graduation was supposed to be a relief. Except Quinn can’t avoid the rumors that plagued her throughout high school or the barrage of well-intentioned questions about her college plans. How is she supposed to know what she wants to do for the next four years, let alone the rest of her life? And why does no one understand that it’s hard for her to think about the future—or feel as if she even deserves one—when her best friend is dead?

Spending the summer with her aunt on the Jersey shore may just be the fresh start Quinn so desperately needs. And when she meets Malcolm, a musician with his own haunted past, she starts to believe in second chances. Can Quinn find love while finding herself?


August and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a charming young adult novel about forgiveness and healing.

Recent high school grad Quinn Gallo’s life forever changed after the death of her best friend Lynn three years ago. Quinn has never forgiven herself for her self-perceived role in Lynn’s death and she has made one bad decision after another in the intervening years. Following her latest mortifying choice that landed her in the local news, her mom lets her spend the rest of the summer with her Aunt Annie on the Jersey Shore.  Quinn’s mom wants her to use this time away to come up with a plan for what she wants to do with her life. Will a chance meeting with singer/songwriter Malcolm Trent  help her figure out a direction her future?

Although on the surface he appears to have his life together, in many ways Malcolm is a bigger mess than Quinn. He is dealing with his own issues from a tragic accident that left two of his band mates dead.  Six months into recovery from an addiction to painkillers, Malcolm is hoping a few original songs will jumpstart his musical career. A relationship is nowhere in his plans but will the time he and Quinn spend together lead to a romance that lasts beyond the summer?

Quinn and Malcolm unexpectedly bond over their respective tragedies since they both struggle with survivors’ guilt and their misplaced belief they are unworthy of happiness. However their friendship  is firmly cemented when Quinn and her co-worker Liam become Malcolm’s band mates on his upcoming album.  Quinn does not have the best track record in choosing boyfriends so she is content with the slow development of their surprising romance. Their relationship has a shelf life since Quinn may not be staying in town past August and Malcolm is going to embark on a three month tour. He would like nothing better than for her to go on tour with him, but is leaving with Malcolm the right choice for Quinn?

With an appealing cast of characters, a picturesque setting and realistic issues to overcome, August and Everything After is well-written, engaging young adult novel. Although both Malcolm and Quinn grow and change throughout the story, Quinn undergoes the biggest transformation as she makes peace with her past and begins to figure out what she wants for her future.  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski brings this redemptive novel to a somewhat surprising conclusion that will definitely take readers off guard.  A fantastic read that I absolutely loved and highly recommend to readers of all ages.

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Filed under August and Everything After, Contemporary, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Rated B+, Review, Sourcebooks Fire, Young Adult

Review: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

summer afterTitle: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is a very sweet and charming young adult romance. Set on the Jersey Shore, it is a heartwarming story that takes place during the summer after Superstorm Sandy swept through leaving chaos and destruction in its wake. More than just homes need rebuilding when islander Lucy Giordano is reunited with summer resident Connor Malloy.

Lucy has a longtime crush on Connor but she knows a romance with a part timer is a recipe for heartache. But just before Sandy hits, she and Connor have a momentary connection that she hopes will lead to a real relationship between them. Outside interference derails their budding romance and when Connor returns for the summer, both have moved on. But it is pretty obvious they still have feelings for each other, and Lucy’s life becomes very complicated when a rash decision leads to problems with her friends and her twin brother, Liam.

Lucy is a very engaging and likable character. She has decided that love is not worth the pain, so she is going to play it safe when it comes to romance. But Connor’s return brings back all those feelings she has worked so hard to forget and once she finds out the real reason why their relationship fizzled, she finds it very hard to ignore her reaction to him. Lucy tries keeping all of her problems to herself, but in the long run, this causes a rift between her and her closest friends.

Lucy and her friends think that Connor is nothing but a player, but appearances might just be deceiving. He really is a nice guy despite his reputation and his friendship with Lucy is very endearing. Once he and Lucy work through their initial awkwardness, they enjoy hanging out together. For the first time since Connor started coming to the island, they take the time to get to know each other and Lucy is pleasantly surprised to discover she has misjudged him.

The Summer After You and Me is a light read despite the upheaval and turmoil in Lucy’s life. Jennifer Salvato Doktorski adroitly blends family, romance and friendship with real life problems and the resulting story is absolutely delightful. The characters’ growth is believable and the resolution of the issues is realistic. The storyline has plenty of depth and substance and it is blissfully angst free. A lovely young adult contemporary romance that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Fire, The Summer After You and Me, Young Adult