The Summer We Ran Away
By Jenny Oliver
Published by HQ
What it’s about?
Here’s the blurb:
It was meant to be the party of the summer…
In Cedar Road, everyone is preparing for Lexi’s ‘White Hot’ summer party. For one night, parking squabbles and petitions are put aside as neighbours sip Prosecco under the fairy lights and gather by the hot tub to marvel at Lexi’s effortlessly glamorous life with Hot Hamish.
For Julia, it’s a chance to coax husband Charlie out of his potting shed and into a shirt so they can have a welcome break from the hellish house renovation they’ve been wrestling with. And it’s a chance for Julia to pretend – just for a night – that her life is as perfect as Lexi’s.
But when, during the party, one of Julia’s WhatsApp messages falls into the wrong hands and reveals her most intimate thoughts, things reach boiling point…
And when all the neighbours know exactly what you’re thinking, there’s only one thing to do.
It’s going to be a summer Julia will never forget…
What I think:
I loved this book.
It starts of with some super cringe moments that we can all relate to, but by the end it is just so joyful.
Julia has always been an overachiever. So buying and renovating the house of Cedar Terrace is the dream project. She can’t wait to start with the Farrow and Ball paint swatches and instagramable interior pics.
Her neighbour, glamourous Instagram influencer Lexi Warrington is Julia’s inspiration. Stylish and influential, Lexi is teh queen of the Cedar Terrace Whatsapp group and Julia spends a lot of time dreaming about Lexi’s picture perfect life.
I think everyone can relate to Julia’s fear of missing out and sense that her life needs to be some how better/different/more like other people. Julia fully invests in the filtered portrayal of Lexi’s perfect life and her attempts to fit in with Lexi and her friends are met with meanness.
When Julia teams up with free spirit Amber her life changes. Amber is heading off to France to buy antiques for a hotel room design job and Julia jumps in the camper van to escape the mean mums and go on an adventure.
But Amber is also running away.
The contrast between Julia and Amber the growing friendship between adds a great dynamic to this book. Julia is organised and thoughtful, Amber is spontaneous. They both have a lot to teach each other.
This was such a fun book. It makes me want to head off antiquing in France and eat Croque Monsieur. It’s the perfect summer read!
Thank you HQ for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.
The Summer We Ran Away is published tomorrow and you can order a copy from:
Waterstones: click here
Amazon.co.uk: click here