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About the Author
Amanda HowellsAMANDA HOWELLS grew up on a small bay on the Atlantic Ocean and spent summer weekends in the Hamptons while a college student in New York City, where she studied creative writing. She has published many stories for teen and adult readers and now lives in the pacific Northwest.
From Chapter 1:
"This is terrible,” Mom moaned, fussing with her hair as we inched down the Long Island Expressway, a line of cars as far as the eye could see. “When will we start...
From Chapter 1:
"This is terrible,” Mom moaned, fussing with her hair as we inched down the Long Island Expressway, a line of cars as far as the eye could see. “When will we start moving?” she asked Dad. “Or will we have to spend the summer in the car?”
“Do I look psychic?” Dad replied in a rare moment of irritability. “This is your home turf, not mine, Maxine.”
We were all irritable. The heavy New York heat rolled over us like a carpet, so humid it constricted lungs and seemed to lick armpits. We’d been driving for days, and ever since the car’s AC gave out somewhere near Pennsylvania, everyone had been losing it.
Dad had said that driving to New York would be an “adventure” and that we’d “need an extra car” at my cousins’ house. But we all knew it was more about keeping costs down. Four airline tickets were nothing to sniff at for Dad, especially since his hardware business was struggling and his retirement savings had tanked in three months—along with everyone else’s since the economy took a nosedive.
“This sucks,” my sister, Eva, whined. She blew a giant Hubba Bubba bubble that exploded, leaving bits of stickiness across the back of my mother’s headrest.
“Eva Marie, stop that!” Mom said. “And watch your mouth, sweetheart. It’s not pretty to speak that way, and you need to behave well in front of your cousins, please.”
This was about the angriest my mother ever got with Eva, the family brat and apple of Mom’s eye. Eva was nine, and she had the biggest, bluest eyes imaginable—so big and so blue they could take her “all the way to Hollywood,” or so my mother never stopped telling her. Eva had been named after Eva Marie Saint, the actress from that old movie On the Waterfront.
I’m also named for an actress: I’m named after Mia Farrow, but unlike Eva, I look nothing like my whisper-thin, blond namesake. Luckily for Mom, she got what she had always wanted with her second kid: a beautiful replica of herself, who could live out the fantasy Mom had always dreamed of but never followed: to be a star. The last thing I would ever want to be.
“Mia, do you want me to put the radio on?” Dad asked. I caught Dad’s eye in the rearview mirror and smiled because Dad was always tuned in to me. So on the favoritism front, you could say things even out.
“Not that station,” I said quickly as the radio static turned to something recognizable. “I hate that song.” “Forever” was actually one of my favorites. Until six weeks ago, when my boyfriend, Jake, had dumped me.
“I didn’t plan this,” Jake said.
We were standing outside school. I was trying not to look at Jake because I knew if I looked at him, I would cry. I stared at his shoes instead.
“It’s just getting to be too serious too fast between us. I need space.”
“So that’s why you’re hooking up with Gabi? To get space?” I spat back. “How does that work?” I lifted my gaze and stared him down, picturing Gabi Santiago draping her leggy body all over my boyfriend. “Correction,” I snapped. “There is a lot of space when it comes to Gabi. Between her ears.”
“You’re going away for the summer. Gabi is here.” Jake looked embarrassed.
“It’s just timing.” He shifted awkwardly, rolling a skateboard back and forth under his foot like he couldn’t wait to roll on out of there and away from me. “Mia, I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say.”
But I thought I loved you! Even thinking the word “love” made me feel sick. This boy whom I had fallen for the minute I’d laid eyes on him. My first boyfriend. We’d only been together two months, but it had felt like forever. The way love should feel.
“How long has this been going on?” I asked, my voice low and hard. “What exactly is the timing of this relationship?”
“It’s not a relationship, Mia, I—” Jake began lamely, but I was done.
“—Save it,” I choked. I wheeled around and walked away, my eyes filling with tears. I didn’t want to know any more. Jake was a cheat. I could see it in his eyes. I could hear it in his voice. Not that it mattered anymore. Because the relationship I’d thought was real had never existed. Jake could spin it any way he liked, but I obviously hadn’t meant anything to him. I was just holding him back. If only I had held back from him! If only I could take back the three words I had said to him just last weekend, the words that had come tumbling out of my mouth.
But once you say something like that, you give something you can never get back.
“This debut novel is an excellent commentary of the pressures teenagers encounter daily. The author does an excellent job of creating dimensional characters and a web of different storyl...
“This debut novel is an excellent commentary of the pressures teenagers encounter daily. The author does an excellent job of creating dimensional characters and a web of different storylines. Readers will appreciate the departure from the run‐of‐the mill girl meets boy on the beach story. Skinny Dipping is a perfect fit for fans of Sarah Dessen. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Elizabeth Duffy, Regional CATS Coordinator” - The Cat’s Meow
“Howells has created a touching love story and an inspirational self-discovery story all in one book. I highly recommended it to anyone who wants to be truly moved by a piece of literature.” - The Charleston Gazette
“Howells really captured my interest and emotions, taking me on a wild entertaining ride. I would totally recommend this story to readers!” - Literary Cravings
“Howells does a masterful job of creating interesting, multi-dimensional characters, as well — and despite many opportunities to fall into caricatures (we’re taking about people rich enough to spend their summers in Southampton), Howells deftly avoids this pitfall.” - Novel Novice
“Looking for a book that you can lose yourself in this summer? Pick up The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells. It's told from the point of view of 16-year-old Mia Gordon - a character you'll surely relate to. She starts off her summer vacation excited to get to the Long Island shore, hang out with her cousins, and nothing more. See, she's just broken up with a cheating boyfriend and having her heart broken again is the last thing she wants to ruin her break. But Mia's summer takes an unexpected twist when she discovers that she has nothing in common with her cousins and finds herself falling for the boy next door - Simon Ross. He's unlike anyone she's ever met (or dated) and when he encourages Mia to let go of her inhibitions and go skinny dipping for the very first time, well, Mia knows her life is about to change forever! You'll also love the fresh and easy writing style that author Amanda Howells surely perfected as a ghostwriter for series like Sweet Valley High and Fearless!” - CosmoGirl.com
“Summer of Skinny Dipping is the perfect summer beach read. You don’t have to be just a young adult to enjoy this book; you just have to be young at heart. ” - Cheryl’s Book Nook
“ I don't want to compare The Summer of Skinny Dipping to anything else, because it's very unique, but I just have to say: It was better than a Sarah Dessen novel. I know, I know. That's saying a lot, but really, Amanda Howells' writing is just as great.” - The Naughty Book Kitties
“A deep, realistic exploration into first love and, yes, even loss.” - RT Book Reviews
“This is a touching novel about falling in love, being independent, and learning to believe in yourself. It's
definitely bittersweet at times but very realistic. This a terrific summer read!” - Teens Read Too
“I pretty much devoured this book in one sitting. For me this was the perfect book to start off the summer season. As I am reading this it brought back memories to when I was Mia's age (16 years old) and a summer filled with romance and of course drama.” - Cindy’s Love of Books
“Howells does a fantastic job of sinking her writing teeth into you and not letting go. She wrote a story that made me smile, made me laugh and broke my heart all at the same time. She wrote a story that I will not ever forget, I'm thinking.” - Book Binge
“connected with the characters and still think about them. Thoroughly engaging and bittersweet, The Summer of Skinny Dipping, is a thoughtful read which compelled me to finish in just a few days time.” - Linus’s Blanket
“The Summer of Skinny Dipping will make you wish for days with nothing to do but lie on the beach and read while giving you issues to think about.” - Mother Daughter Book Club
“The Summer of Skinny Dipping was an exceptional debut, that had me crying, laughing, shouting, and smiling. It was original and well done, with great characters and a sweet romance. If you're looking for a vivid, refreshing summer read with depth, The Summer of Skinny Dipping is the book for you! Amanda Howells is definitely an author to watch out for! ” - The Book Scout
“” - Pop Culture Junkie
“The Summer of Skinny Dipping is a book I’d recommend for not only teens, but also adults searching for a sense of nostalgia. A beautiful book that I highly recommend.” - The Fiction Enthusiast
“It’s an understated love story told by a truly talented author. I can assure you…Amanda Howells is going to be a huge name in the YA genre. I have already referred my best friends to this book and I suggest you go pick it up now.” - Lindsay Blogs
“Perfect for Sarah Dessen fans and the upcoming summer, readers (primarily girls) will gobble up this nostalgic, breezy tale of adventure, family secrets, first love, and loss.” - Bookworm Readers
“I especially liked The Summer of Skinny Dipping because Mia is very similar to me and I really connected with her. Also, I fell in love with Simon along with Mia and they are now two of my favorite heroine and hero in YA.” - Books and Makeup
“I had thought I would like it a lot, but I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. ” - The Book Cellar
“Sad and happy, dangerous and free spirited, angry and loving and so much more. A most definite read for anyone this Summer and one that should be on high school reading requirements nationwide.” - Yankee Romance Reviewers
Length: 8.25 in
Width: 5.5 in
Weight: 13.60 oz
Page Count: 304 pages