Those Sum­mer Nights

  • Review
By – September 13, 2022

Extreme­ly relat­able and down­right charm­ing, Lau­ra Silverman’s most recent young adult nov­el, Those Sum­mer Nights, is a cap­ti­vat­ing page-turn­er. Alter­nat­ing between the present and the pre­vi­ous sum­mer, Sil­ver­man molds the pro­tag­o­nist, Han­nah Klein, into a com­plex young woman who is try­ing to find her new nor­mal after a series of life-chang­ing events. As she begins her sum­mer job at Bonan­za, an enter­tain­ment mul­ti­plex with minia­ture golf, bowl­ing, and oth­er activ­i­ties, Han­nah must face the demons that con­tin­ue to haunt on her jour­ney of self-dis­cov­ery. All audi­ences, not just young adults, will be able to relate to Hannah’s story.

The novel’s flash­backs allow read­ers to gain a deep­er under­stand­ing of Hannah’s char­ac­ter. Han­nah loves soc­cer and had hopes of mak­ing it to the Olympics — but then she shat­tered her ankle. That same sum­mer, she lost her bub­bie and made a string of cat­a­stroph­ic deci­sions; now, she reels with grief. Her sum­mer job helps her recov­er, offer­ing her friends and mentors.

Sil­ver­man does an excel­lent job weav­ing in Jew­ish rep­re­sen­ta­tion, as when she depicts Hannah’s rela­tion­ship to her beloved bub­bie and her friends from Hebrew school. While Judaism isn’t cen­tral to the sto­ry­line, Sil­ver­man makes sure to incor­po­rate plen­ty of Jew­ish con­tent, such that there’s no mis­tak­ing the protagonist’s Jew­ish identity.

Eliz­a­beth Slot­nick works in the tech­nol­o­gy space but has a grow­ing pres­ence on book­sta­gram, where she reviews books span­ning across all gen­res. She grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia and lives in Seat­tle, WA.

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