May Cobb | My Summer Darlings

The Book: 

My Summer Darlings by May Cobb
Published May 17th 2022 by Berkley
Date read: May 25, 2022

The Characters: 

Jen
Kittie and her husband Hank
Cynthia and her husband Gerald

Will, the new neighbor

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon


The Plot (from Goodreads):

A woman in the forest thinks she’s going to die.

I know he’s coming back for me.

Jen Hansen, Kittie Spears, and Cynthia Nichols have been friends since childhood. They are now approaching forty and their lives have changed, but their insular East Texas town has not. They stay sane by drinking wine in the afternoons, dishing about other women in the neighborhood, and bonding over the heartache of their own encroaching middle age and raising ungrateful teens.

Then Will Harding comes to town, moving into one of the neighborhood’s grandest homes. Mysterious and charming, he seems like the answer to each woman’s prayers. He’s a source of fascination for Jen, Kittie, and Cynthia, but none of them are ready for the way Will disrupts their lives.

As Will grows closer with each of the women, their fascination twists into obsession, threatening their friendships and their families. When he abruptly pulls away, each woman scrambles to discover the source of his affection. But what they’ll uncover is far more sinister and deadly than any of them could have ever imagined.

Click here for book spoilers for <em>My Summer Darlings</em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read My Summer Darlings, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

The “Present” POV was Chloe, Kittie’s daughter. I figured it wasn’t any of the women (although it could’ve been Cynthia since her other POV was her diary), and I figured the kids had something to do with it since they were so involved in the storyline.

Will asked Cynthia to run away with him, but he had also asked Chloe to. When Cynthia showed up at his house and saw them together the night before she was supposed to leave town, Will hit her with a shovel and killed her. He buried her behind his house and tied Chloe up in the basement.

Casey (Jen’s son) went snooping and saw Will in his yard after he was supposed to have left town with Cynthia. Kittie and Jen went there to find Cynthia, found out about Chloe, and fought with Will. Chloe killed Will in the scuffle and they called the police and admitted they killed him in self-defense.

The Ending:

In the epilogue Chloe sounds like a bit of a sociopath. She knew about Kittie sleeping with Will and was preparing to blackmail Kittie with it since Hank didn’t know.

The Review: 

Normally neighborhood dramas about catty rich women are right up my alley, but My Summer Darlings wasn’t quite for me. However, it was less problematic than the author’s first novel! I figured the age gap trope just wasn’t for me in The Hunting Wives and that I would give her another shot, but number two didn’t do too much to change my opinion. What can I say, though, I was drawn in by this colorful cover!

I can definitely see this book being someone’s poolside guilty pleasure this summer. It is full of secrets, lies, and catty, backstabbing frenemies. The love triangle trope doesn’t do it for me though, and I especially don’t care for the rampant cheating.

May Cobb can undoubtedly weave a deceptive tale, though! Read this if you enjoy love-to-hate characters making constant bad decisions.

Audio Review: I was glad to be listening to an audio copy of this book, because I likely would have DNF’d a physical copy. Only Kristen DiMercurio is listed as the narrator, and I’m wondering if she did all the voices. If so, she did an amazing job of changing it up between women. Each POV sounded entirely different! I will say, though, that I was not a fan of her Hotel Transylvania accent for Will. I can’t remember where exactly he was supposed to be from (Greece?) but the accent certainly did not fit the country mentioned. I kept picturing Dracula, and that made the steamy scenes a lot less sexy…

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