quiz

What Summer Adventure Will You Have?

Take this quiz inspired by The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse to find out what summer adventure you'll have this year! Maybe you'll head to Europe for the summer or have a romantic romp in the tropics. Regardless of the answer, this summer will be the best summer yet!

ABOUT THE SUMMER OF US BY CECILIA VINESSE

American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she's nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they're going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe.

But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae's trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there's Aubrey and Gabe's unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe's best friend. And then there's Rae's hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they're moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?

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Why I Wrote The Summer of Us

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In The Summer of Us, best friends Aubrey and Rae spend ten days traveling around Europe by train before moving away to start college. The trip is nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and none of it goes according to plan, which, to be honest, is how I often felt while writing this book. Partially because The Summer of Us is my second novel, and second novels are notoriously difficult to write. (See: Second Novel Syndrome. Believe me, it’s A Thing.) But mostly, I struggled because this story ended up being so much more personal than my first.

I wrote the trip from both Aubrey and Rae’s perspectives, and while they spend a lot of it navigating their friendship with each other, they both also have their own love stories to tell. Rae’s is about her long-term (and secret) crush on her seemingly straight friend, Clara. Rae and Clara’s relationship was one of my favorite parts of The Summer of Us to write, but it also felt intensely private, like I was cutting and pasting pages from the stack of notebooks I used to scribble in as a teen and holding them up for the world to see.  

Not because I’d ever had a summer romance quite that swoony, but because I kept remembering the first time I had a crush on a girl and how…confused I felt. Up until then, I would have described myself, without hesitation, as boy-crazy. I was obsessed with rom-coms where boy meets girl and they both end up happily ever after. I didn’t understand how that side of me could sync up with this other side falling head over heels for a girl. Looking back, I know I felt so bewildered because I’d never read or seen any girl-meets-girl love stories before. I couldn’t hold them up like a mirror, trying to catch a sliver of a reflection of my own future. So, as I was writing Rae and Clara—the two of them sharing glances across crowded trains, nearly touching hands, exploring the sun-soaked streets of European cities—I finally realized why their story felt so intensely personal: it was because I was writing the book I’d been searching for back then. I was filling in the blanks for my teenage self, giving her something that was bright and romantic and—yup—unquestionably queer. Something she could use as a hopeful landmark while charting her own life.

Things have changed a lot in the past ten years. F/f love stories are constantly becoming more and more visible, and I feel grateful that Rae and Clara can now sit on shelves next to so many other LGBTQ+ romances that I have fallen in love with since then. I’m excited for readers to meet them, but I know part of me will always see their story as something I wrote for my past self. For the girl who felt so afraid that being who she was meant giving up the breathless, daydreamy romances she used to cling to like promises. It’s my way of telling that girl that, even though the map of her life doesn’t look quite the way she’d always planned, it’s still the best adventure she could ever hope for—and it still leads to her happily-ever-after.

novlbox

The June 2018 NOVLbox!

 
June 2018 NOVLbox
 

What time is it? SUMMER TIME! You know what that means, NOVLers—sand between your toes, passport in your hand, and your nose in a book. Maybe your TBR is looming over you, demanding to be read during your travels this summer. Don't worry about all the other things, we've got you, because...

THE JUNE NOVLBOX IS CURATED BY CECILIA VINESSE!

The author of The Summer of Us and Seven Days of You has chosen a few books and accessories for your summer adventures. Whether you're traveling to Europe, Tokyo, or having a staycation with your bookshelf, this box will prepare you for the journey ahead.

What’s a NOVLbox? It’s a care package from one of our favorite authors or content creators (or us). What’s inside? Everything in that ^ GIF and more! To find out about the other prizes, keep an eye on the #NOVLbox hashtag on social media.

How It Works:

  1. Enter HERE for a chance to win.
  2. We’ll select & notify the winners at the end of the month.
  3. We'll ship out the boxes in the following two weeks!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.