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The Eyes of Summer: Another Summer with Ian and Dee

The Eyes of Summer: Another Summer with Ian and Dee by [Denise Ann Stock]

The Eyes of Summer by Denise Ann Stock is a heartfelt story of a young woman named Dee, who narrates the aftermath of her life following a traumatic event. The prologue sets the adventurous tone with a summary of the event, which involved a yacht’s pirating, quickly escalating to violence and heroism. The life-changing ordeal rippled through the lives of those aboard the ship, including Dee and her future husband, Ian, who later becomes a surgeon. Dee reminisces about her life as a professional surfer and her current search for a new career path in television news broadcasting.

Denise Ann Stock’s main character, Dee, narrates the story with passion and emotion, in such a way that the reader is drawn in and wants to learn more. As the story progresses, the reader is introduced to key people in Dee’s life and the role they play in her past and present. The story gradually builds as we learn how the yacht experience unfolded from a vacation with friends to a danger filled adventure.

From the beginning of the book, the reader understands the story’s essential nature, which details the events leading up to the pirated yacht and its impact on everyone. As the narrator paints an grounded but riveting picture of the main characters and their relationship. Smaller plots and developments, with varying degrees of intrigue, wind their way through the story to create a stunning visual of coastline beaches, close friendships, and lively social parties.

This fun novel is captivating right from the beginning. While I was initially skeptical of the prologue’s direct approach to significant development, I found the story engaging overall and found this story hard to put down once I was invested in the characters. While some aspects of the story seemed a bit detailed at times, it added depth to the story and certainly built up the exotic locale. The first-person narration was natural and felt consistently authentic throughout the book.

The Eyes of Summer by Denise Ann Stock is an entertaining read that takes character development to a new depths with exciting and complex relationships. What I liked about this story is how the author layered the dynamics of each personality and how they relate to one another. The writing amplifies the anticipation of what the reader expects to happen, with the potential for plot twists and unexpected moves ahead.

Pages: 227 | ASIN: B07QM49SPC

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Blowout Summer

Blow Out Summer by [Stock, Denise Ann]

Dee Dee is a surfer, an aspiring tennis player, and a girl who is always up for a good party. One summer in particular stands out in her memory as she reflects upon her life. With her close band of friends around her, Dee Dee sets out to thoroughly enjoy her summer off and does not hesitate as she goes about seeking the company of friends new and old. Her “blow out summer,” as she calls it, teaches her some valuable lessons and gives her time to reflect on her own choices as she learns who is worthy of her affection and trust and who falls short.

Set in Huntington Beach, California, Blow Out Summer, by Denise Ann Stock, reads less like a novel and much more like a memoir. The conversational tone of the book makes it a quick and easy read. Dee Dee’s reflections on her experiences with the drug trade and her laid back approach to her participation in drug trafficking read shockingly smoothly. For as deeply involved as Dee Dee seems to be in buying and selling illegal substances, she seems much less concerned than she should be. I attributed her naivety and lack of real concern to the time period, the mid 70’s.

I found myself waiting for that one point in the story that would point to a gripping climax. Everything in Dee Dee’s eventful summer points to an action-packed high point. However, with all her close calls, second guesses regarding her associates, and her relationship woes, there never came that one moment where the entire book seemed to pull together. Reading much more like a diary of the summer, I was a little disappointed not to see a resolution to many of the dilemmas created by the main character and her friends. I believe I was more determined to find answers than Dee Dee herself.

The one scene providing the most harrowing visual comes when Dee Dee’s friend, Jaycee, makes a frantic call about a possible overdose. I felt, as a reader looking for answers, this was an ideal opportunity for the plot to tie neatly together with some life-changing decisions being made on the part of both Dee Dee and her friends. As in real life, however, secrets prevail, and not much changed for those most deeply entangled in drug use and trafficking.

As pleasant as Dee Dee seems throughout the story and as much as her remembrances of her eventful summer kept me interested, I felt the overall story was missing something. The memoir style of writing Stock uses is appealing and will suit readers seeking a fairly light read without highly stressful rising action.

Pages: 360 | ASIN: B01C58JXJI

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