Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Blog Tour: The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti

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Let me preface this by saying, I love Summer Camps. I've never been to one, I would never ever go to one, but I adore stories set at camps or involving any kind of on-campus or end-of-Summer project/performance. Freaky Friday, Dirty Dancing, that spin-off Sweet Valley High book series where Liz & Jessica became camp counsellors, right up to AHS 1984 - I could go on and on. 

I've long thought that there should be more adult stories set at camps, so this one screamed "READ ME" when I got the press release & realised that this one centered around a former Hollywood Actress who is forced to do her Community Service at a Theater summer camp of sorts. 

Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood's hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she's pushing forty, exiled from the film world back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career - and where her first love, Nick, is the artistic director.

It's not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself thriving: bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships, and even reigniting her spark with Nick despite their complicated history. 

Until Charlie's old rival, Hollywood's current "It Girl" is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she's been working towards. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on one heck of a show to fight for the second chance she deserves in her career and in love.

So, we know I'm a fan of ye olde summer project. Do you know what else I'm a fan of? Broadway musicals and Hollywood celebrity gossip. Combine the lot and you have a winner - Charlie was an instant like for me, I really enjoyed her as a character and I felt that I knew the type of person she was and the expectations others placed on her because of her upbringing. A former wild child, the daughter of a very well respected Shakespearean actress, just trying to find herself again - I liked her a lot.

The setting is based on the real life Williamstown Theatre Festival, which happens annually in Massachussetts. This years' will go ahead in a different way - it's due to air via Audible from the end of June, according to this article in Playbill, marking the first ever time that this has happened.

Back to the book - the story itself is really good, very readable and all of the characters slot in nicely in their own way. I liked the story of the younger female character, Sierra, equally. She's a kid who really wants to shine but keeps finding herself in the background. Ditto Ethan, who lives and breathes theatre and really wants the opportunity to show his idol what he can do. No character is there just to fill a spot, they all have a purpose and they all add something to the story.

I enjoyed this a lot, it's hard to come by easy-to-read holiday/beach/quarantine reads that have unique settings and strong female characters, but this has both in spades. I flew through it, I'll miss these characters. 

"It were a grief so brief to part with thee. Farewell."

You can keep up to date with Aimee Agresti at her website here, or @AimeeAgresti on socials.

You can request The Summer Set from any good bookshop or find it at the links below. 

Don't forget your library!

Thank you to the publishers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. 

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