Cruel Summer: A Novel

Paperback | May 27, 2008

byAlyson Noël

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"This was supposed to be my best summer yet, the one I've been working toward since practically forever. Now I'm being banished from everything I know and love, and it just doesn't make any sense."

Having recently discarded her dorky image--and the best friend that went with it--Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach BBQ's, and hopefully, more hook-ups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her crazy aunt Tally.

Stranded on a boring island with no malls, no cell phone reception, and an aunt who talks to her plants, Colby worries that her new friends have forgotten all about her. But when she meets Yannis, a cute Greek local, everything changes. She experiences something deeper and more intense than a summer fling, and it forces her to see herself, and the life she left behind, in a whole new way, in Alyson Noël 's Cruel Summer.

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From the Publisher

"This was supposed to be my best summer yet, the one I've been working toward since practically forever. Now I'm being banished from everything I know and love, and it just doesn't make any sense."Having recently discarded her dorky image--and the best friend that went with it--Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season o...

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoë, Cruel Summer, and the Immortals series including Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star, as well as the Immortals spin-off series beginning with ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 5.52 × 0.62 inPublished:May 27, 2008Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312355114

ISBN - 13:9780312355111

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright... When I first started reading the book I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but closer to the end it got a little better. Still not the best book i've read. Im a big fan of the author but this is probably one of my least favorite books from her. It was in the form of emails, letter, a blog and a journal and i found this made it harder to read. i don't recommend this book.
Date published: 2011-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed it :) So this is my most recent book I've read, and I liked it. The main character made me mad during the begining of the book, but then when she started to open up I liked her ahahaha she sort of reminded me of my friend. Anyway her parents made me really mad because they seemed to think that making there daughter leave would fix there problems. anyway I liked it not my favorite, butt its good :)
Date published: 2010-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Bad (spoilers) Well although extremely predictable and a little annoying at times this book wasn't bad. It had a good underlying message........ Some of the book, a small portion, was written in "text or IM" speak and Im not very good at that so it was pretty annoying, but like I said there wasnt too much. The characters were good, nicely developed and believable.... The plot not so much..... but still good. I really wish the ending would have been different..... like her parents let her stay, or her mom moved out I think it could have been a really good ending if here mom moved out too....... But thats just my opinion. :) Overall a good summer read, one I would definitely recommend. :)
Date published: 2009-06-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

CRUEL SUMMERbyAlyson NoëlJune 13Dear Aunt Tally,When I asked my mom for your e-mail address, she just laughed and told me you didn’t have one. But I know she’s just joking—right?I mean, it’s not like you have to have a computer or anything, since I’m planning on bringing my laptop anyway, I just need to make sure you have wi-fi, high speed, broadband, or whatever they call it where you live, since it’s really important for me to stay connected, because, well, I just started hanging with this new group of friends andAnyway, so my mom just walked in and when she saw me writing to you she said, “Don’t waste the postage, Colby. You’ll get there long before that letter does.” But just in case she’s wrong, I’m sending it anyway. And just in case she’s right, well, then I guess there’s nothing more to say. See you soon. Love, ColbyJune 15Dear Mom and Dad-Just in case you decide to stop arguing long enough to come look for me, you should know that I’m NOT home. I’m out with my friends, determined to enjoy my LAST NIGHT OF FREEDOM.Attempting one last stab at having a little FUN before you succeed in TAKING IT ALL AWAY.But don’t worry. I’m not running away or anything. Mostly because you’re decision to send me away makes running away seem almost redundant.Besides, I’ve done my best to reason with you and try to put an immediate halt to all that you’ve started, but since I’ve so clearly failed, I will soon surrender, comply with your wishes, and resign myself to the fate you have so randomly chosen for me.Only not now, later. Because now, I’m just going to try to enjoy myself—while I still can.Though before I go I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts for you to consider:It’s not too late!There’s plenty of time to reconsider!Everything you’ve done can still be undone!At least take the time to think about it.~ColbyColby’s Journal For Desperate Times Like Right NowJune 16I can’t believe I’m actually writing in this journal. I mean, today, (well, technically it would now be yesterday), when my mom gave it to me, I just looked at her and said, “What’s this?”And she said, “I thought you could use it to write about all of the exciting things that happen to you this summer.”So then I shook my head, rolled my eyes, and sighed as loud as I could.Then I tossed it onto my desk, and watched it skid all the way across the top until it fell off the side and tumbled to the ground, as my mom just stood there, still and silent, gazing between the upside down journal and me.But I just narrowed my eyes and stared right back, wondering if she was going to yell at me, cry, or both.But in the end she just shook her head and left my room. And the second the door closed behind her, I’m the one who started to cry.Though not for too long, since I didn’t want my face to be all puffy and red for the goodbye party Amanda was supposed to throw for me. Even though in the end it really wasn’t much of a party since it pretty much consisted of a six-pack of her brother’s beer, a bag of chips, and us.Well, at least until she made a few calls—Okay, I was just about to write the rest of the story, but then I decided to stop because it feels really weird to be confessing in this thing. I mean, as much as I’d like to write about EVERYTHING that just happened, (and trust me, there’s PLENTY to write about), because I’m thinking it might really help me to get it all down on paper and maybe even clear my head and put it all back in perspective, the thing is, I can’t help but think—what if someone reads it?I mean, it’s not like you can password protect a leather bound notebook.Not to mention how I can STILL hear my parents totally yelling and screaming downstairs, which is not only making it hard to concentrate, but also freaking me out to think what will happen when they come up here to check on me while I sleep, (because that’s what they always do after they’ve exhausted themselves from one of their arguments, and are ready to call it a night and head off to their separate rooms), and maybe even end up peeking at what I’ve written.And even though I know that probably sounds totally paranoid, in light of how they’ve managed to wreck just about every aspect of my life, I think the breakdown in trust is completely justified.So, with that in mind, it’s better to just sign off for now and continue this at another time, in another place.Or not.June 16Text Message:To: AmandaMessage: This is the last txt msg Ull get from me bcuz IM packed N ready N lvg 4 LAX v soon so I wanna say bye N also 2 say last nite was soooo fun but it also makes lvg that much harder I still cant believe my rents R doing this 2 me O well Plz say bye 2 Levi 4 me N plz give him my email cuz I 4got 2K, ttfn, ColbyJune 16Dear Mom and Dad,I really hope that by the time you return from dropping me off at the airport you will find this letter and realize what a big mistake you’ve made.Because this is NOT fair!It feels like I’M the one being punished because YOU GUYS decided to get a divorce—a divorce that, as you know, not only am I completely against, but that I definitely don’t agree with. And yet, here I am, being banished from everything I know and love, and it just doesn’t make any sense.It’s not like I’m the one causing trouble. It’s not like I’m the one yelling and screaming and fighting all the time. Because that would be YOU! And yet, somehow, the plane ticket is still in my name.I mean, did you ever stop to consider that maybe the WRONG PERSON is being sent to Aunt Tally’s? Did you ever stop and think that maybe one of YOU should go cool off on a Greek Island for a couple months, so I can just stay home and enjoy my summer in peace?Apparently not.I hope that by the time you finish this letter you will have come to your senses, stop fighting, see the error of your ways, and bring me back home immediately.It’s as simple as calling the airport and having me paged.I will be listening for my name.And even though it’s probably not necessary to say, I want to assure you that should you choose to reverse your decision, I hereby do solemnly swear, to never mention this little digression again. I will just tuck it away in the file of- Things We’d All Rather Forget.But if not . . .then I’m afraid I can’t be held responsible for my actions.Please take the time to reconsider. And remember, it’s never too late to correct a mistake.Love,Your sad, lonely, and already completely homesick daughter—Colby

Editorial Reviews

"Alyson Noël truly captures what it's like to be a teenager struggling to find herself." -Portrait Magazine

"Noël writes a smart and compelling story about life, love and loss that you won't be able to put down." -Cara Lockwood, author of Wuthering High

"Noël writes with a bit more humor and authenticity than some of her contemporaries." -Booklist