I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the WHEN WE HAD SUMMER by Jennifer Castle Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway! 

About The Book:


Author: Jennifer Castle

Pub. Date: April 25, 2023

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/WHEN-WE-HAD-SUMMER 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets 13 Little Blue Envelopes in this new young adult novel about a tight-knit, daring, and eclectic group of friends who dedicate every summer to completing their #SummerSistersBucketList together – that is until one of their own passes away.

Best friends Carly, Daniella, Lainie, and Penny – aka the self-proclaimed #SummerSisters – have been coming to the New Jersey shore town of Ocean Park Heights ever since they could remember. And every year, the girls make a bucket list and dedicate their entire summer to completing every item on it, documenting their wacky escapades on FotoSlam for everyone to see. It’s their tradition, and as long as the Summer Sisters had each other, the rocky jetty on the shore, and their bucket list, that would never change. Right?

But then, tragedy strikes after Carly – the mastermind behind the bucket list– unexpectedly passes away. As the remaining Summer Sisters try to wrap their heads around their best friend’s death, life seems determined to throw more curveballs at the girls, threatening to split the Summer Sisters up for good. Daniella is accepted to a prestigious music academy in New York City, Lainie finds out her family is moving to Florida and leaving Ocean Park Heights for good, and Penny struggles to find her footing as she feels ready to leave childhood behind more quickly than either of her friends. What will hold them together with Carly gone and the Summer Sisters seemingly over?

Then, Daniella finds Carly’s final bucket list. And just like that, the Summer Sisters are back! But of course, things don’t always go as planned, and the girls try their hardest to navigate grief, loss, and coming-of-age woes while keeping the Summer Sisters – and Carly’s memory – alive.

About Jennifer Castle:

Jennifer Castle is the author of twelve books for children and teens, including the novels for BLAIRE WILSON, American Girl’s Girl of the Year 2019. Her YA novels published by HarperCollins include THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, which was an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE, WHAT HAPPENS NOW, and TOGETHER AT MIDNIGHT. Her four-book middle grade fantasy series from Bloomsbury USA is BUTTERFLY WISHES. She’s also the co-author of two non-fiction books, FAMOUS FRIENDS: BEST BUDS, ROCKY RELATIONSHIPS, AND AWESOMELY ODD COUPLES FROM PAST TO PRESENT and FRIENDS AND FRENEMIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE AWKWARD. Jennifer lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two daughters, and two cats/writing assistants on the edge of deep woods that are most definitely filled with magic…she just hasn’t found it yet. You can visit her online at www.jennifercastle.com.

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Giveaway Details: 

1 winner will receive a finished copy of WHEN WE HAD SUMMER, US Only.

Ends May 6th, midnight EST.

Rafflecopter Link:


Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Reads by Radus

Excerpt/IG Post/TikTok Post

Week Two:


Review Thick And Thin

Review/IG Post


Mallory Books

Review/IG Post



IG Review


YA Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post


Lifestyle of Me




IG Review



Review/IG Post

Week Three:


Tracey Reads and Rambles 

Review/IG Post


100 Pages A Day



Kayl’s Krazy Obsession




IG Review


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic


Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s 

Review/IG Post


Two Points of Interest


Week Four:


Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post



IG Post



IG Review



Review/IG Post


Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers 

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post



IG Post

Week Five:


Brandi Danielle Davis 

Review/IG Post


Author Z. Knight’s Guild

Review/IG Post



IG Review



IG Review


More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post



Review/IG Post



IG Review

Week Six:


The Book View


(aka the SSBL) 
1) All four of us have to agree on each SSBL item.  
2) After a Bucket List is written up and signed by all  of us, no changes allowed.  
3) Not all of us have to do an item together, but it’s  a lot more fun that way.  
4) Doing an item alone is okay, but much less  awesome (see #3). 
5) If an SSBL item is not checked off one summer, it  automatically goes on the list for next
6) SSBL items must be documented with pics or  video (hopefully both) on FotoSlam. 
7) The last item on an SSBL always has to be the  same and we all know what that is, so we’re
not  going to write it here. 
8) The SSBL is summer, and summer happens every  year forever, so we will do the SSBL every
year  FOREVER.  
We do hereby agree to these rules, blah, blah, blah. Signed, the Summer Sisters: 
Carly McFadden 
Daniella Franco  
Alaina C alderon 
Penelope Abrams

WHEN YOU STAY UP ALL NIGHT, THERE’S A POINT when you stop being tired and start feeling
kind of indestructible.  Like you could do anything. Leap a tall building. Lift a truck off a  little
kid. Maybe even fly.  
Or hop from one rock to another out toward the ocean, without  worrying about slipping.
Without even looking back to see if your  friends were right behind you.  
Penny was in that zone. The no-sleep-totally-hyper phase in  between being really tired at 4:00
a.m. and passing out at lunchtime,  hopefully in the car on the New Jersey Turnpike.  
Every year, on the last night of summer, Penny and her friends  Carly, Lainie, and Daniella had a
sleepover on the screened porch of  Lainie’s grandparents’ house. The house was right across

from the  beach. They’d drift off sometime after midnight, then wake up early  to climb onto
the longest jetty in Ocean Park Heights and watch the  sunrise.
But this summer they were thirteen. Officially teenagers. And  they’d decided pretty early on
that they’d have to do something that  fit better with how much older and cooler they were. So
this year,  sleepover meant they’d sleep when it was over.  
“When there’s only one day left of summer,” Carly had said, “you  should be awake for every
minute of it, you know?” 
Penny agreed completely. Summer was sliding away, like each wave  at low tide after it hit the
jetty and rushed back out to sea. She hopped  onto another rock, breathing in the salty air,
which already felt a little  colder, a little more September.  
“Hey, I can’t go that fast!” Daniella called. “I’m carrying important  cargo!” 
Penny glanced back. Daniella was holding out one arm for balance.  Her other arm hugged a
giant bag filled with three colors of cotton  candy: pink, blue, green. 
“Ah, crap! My flip-flop just broke!” Lainie cried.  
She stopped to pull it off her foot and held it up in front of her face,  eyeing one piece of rubber
that had come loose from another. “Really?”  Lainie said to the useless sandal. “You made it all
summer. You couldn’t  have held out for, like, another hour?” 
“When you start talking to footwear, you know it’s time to leave the  shore and go back to real
life,” Carly said, laughing, her hands on her  hips, her long auburn hair whipping around her
face. Penny could see  her freckles, even from seven rocks away. By late August, Carly always 
had twice as many as she started the summer with.  
Penny could still remember the first time she met Carly, when they  were six years old. She
could actually see where it had happened: that  stretch of sand down there, in front of
Lifeguard Tower 9. Penny had been digging in the sand for an hour, trying to find the little
plastic  lizard she’d buried the day before. When she finally gave up, she curled  into one of her
holes and stared glumly at the water.  
Then a girl’s feet had appeared in front of her, sand stuck to her  skin halfway up her calves.
“Hi,” Carly had said. “What are you looking for?” 
“Lost treasure,” Penny had mumbled.  
“Cool,” Carly had replied, nodding her head. “Can I help? I’m good  at finding stuff. My dad calls
me Eagle Eye Carly.” 
A few minutes later, Carly had pulled the lizard from the sand and  Penny had tackled her in
glee. From there, Penny’s memories blurred  into meeting Carly’s cousin Daniella and then later
that summer,  Lainie.  

Now, the four of them were moving in a practiced zigzag across the  stone shapes they’d all
played on in the years since. At first, the jetty  was a castle wall and they were princesses and
witches and fairies and  various flying animals. Then it was a ship, and they were all a crew of 
famous pirates . . . but nice pirates who stole stuff from other pirates so  they could give it back
to their owners. It all seemed so silly to Penny  now. But in a good, we-were-so-cute kind of
way. Once they all got  big enough and brave enough, they started leaping across a series of 
smaller rocks to one huge, flat rock, which was a little separate from  the jetty.  
Rock Island, they named it. This was their place.  
Once Penny stepped onto that rock, she looked out at the horizon,  painted with a huge blue-
gray stripe across the sky. They still had a  few minutes, at least. Penny turned and reached her
hand out to Daniella, pulling her (and the cotton candy) onto Rock Island. Then
Lainie scrambled on, the broken flip-flop tucked into the waistband of her  sweatpants. Carly
came last, gripping the strap of the purse that was  strung diagonally across her body.  
They arranged themselves facing the horizon, sitting with legs  intertwined—a pretzel of limbs.  
First, the light changed from blue gray to gray pink. The color of  the smooth side of a seashell,
or the perfect shade of frosted lip gloss.  Penny reached out and tapped the cotton candy bag.
“Let’s open  that baby up!” 
Daniella laughed as she ripped open the bag and put it in the center  of the rock. They took
turns reaching in and pulling out handfuls of  fluff. This part of the tradition started four, maybe
five years ago. One  of them had grabbed a stash of leftover cotton candy on their way out  to
the jetty, and now the sunrise really wasn’t the sunrise without it.  
Carly mixed a tuft of pink with some blue and held it up, comparing its colors to the ones in the
sky. “Yup,” she said. “We got a match.” Penny let the candy turn to crystals in her mouth,
sucking on the  sweetness, hanging on to it as long as she could before it dissolved.  Suddenly,
there it was: the brightest spot of the highest tip of the sun,  glowing like a flame above the
“Look,” Lainie said, and leaned her head against Daniella’s shoulder.  That first fiery spark
turned into a sliver, then a chunk, then a  semicircle. Seagulls shrieked and a truck honked
somewhere off in the  
distance, but the four of them were silent as the sun kept rising.  When Penny saw the lower
curve clear the horizon, she whispered,  “It always happens so fast.”  
“Now it’s officially today and I totally don’t want it to be,” Carly  added. 
“Same,” Daniella said, popping the last of the cotton candy into her  mouth.  
Today meant Penny and Carly and Lainie leaving Ocean Park  Heights until next May, while
Daniella stayed because she lived here  year-round.  

It meant Daniella would be back in her youth orchestra’s first  chair oboe spot, and Lainie no
longer skateboarding all over town. It  returned Carly to the fabulous New York City life she
shared online in  artsy photographs and original fashion creations. And Penny would  once
again be “Pikachu,” her nickname at school since third grade  thanks to having yellow-blond
hair and being overweight. She wasn’t  overweight anymore but the name had stuck, and she
couldn’t tell anyone how much she hated it.  
Worst of all, today meant the four of them wouldn’t be together  again for months and
“Okay, down to business,” Carly said, and lifted the purse off her  shoulder. It was covered in
seashells and made a half-pleasant, half annoying click-clack sound when it moved. Carly had
saved up prize  tickets to get it at the boardwalk arcade five summers ago, the year  they’d
made their first Summer Sisters Bucket List. Who the hell actually wins enough tickets to get a
decent prize like that? Penny thought as  she looked at the purse. Carly, of course.  
Now the purse had one purpose only: to hold the list. To keep it  safe, folded in quarters on
lavender-colored paper torn gently out of a  journal. The purse traveled most places Carly did
during the summer,  and somehow, it always went perfectly with whatever she was wearing. 
Then again, everything Carly wore went perfectly with everything else  she wore. Penny could
never quite figure out how she did it. 
Carly pulled the list, along with a purple pen, out of the purse. She  unfolded the paper and laid
it out carefully on the face of the rock.  Penny let Lainie and Daniella wiggle in closer to see it.  

8th GRADE 
Go through the Village Pizza drive-thru on our  bikes 
Get your ears pierced (or a third hole if ears  
already pierced) 
Make elephant toothpaste and post a video  
mashup of it 
Watch the sunset from the lighthouse 
Ride the Delusion at FunLand and not puke 
Firecrackers on the beach 
Try waterskiing 

Cannonball off the Grove Street bridge (this year  for real)
Eat a whole Great White Sundae at Captain Cones 
Learn to read Tarot cards and then do readings  for people at the flea market 
Silly String fight on the Boardwalk 
Trampoline sleepover 
Sing at Open Mike Night at the beach pavilion Go fishing on Lainie’s grandpa’s boat 
Hold hands with a boy 
Have a boy win something for you at a boardwalk  game 
See a humpback whale breach (this is the year!) 
Labor Day cotton candy sunrise (stay up all night  this time) 

“I hate this part,” Carly said, drawing a little sad face next to the hump back whale line.  
Every single year, they tried and failed to see a whale breach. From  Lainie’s grandpa’s boat or a
sunset cruise, even one summer from an  actual whale watching trip. It was Carly’s dream to
see one. For them to see it all together. That might be the one thing in the world Carly can’t 
make happen, Penny thought.  
“Can’t we just take it off the list?” she asked. “I mean, it’s practically  impossible to see one. I
hate having that unchecked space.” Carly bit her lip. “I hate it, too, but giving up on a Bucket
List item  is like . . . I don’t know, giving up on us.”  
Penny glanced at Lainie and Daniella. They shook their heads, so  Penny shook hers, too. “No,
you’re right,” she told Carly. “We can’t give  up.” 
“And now we get to do the best part,” Carly said, her eyes brightening as she uncapped the
purple pen. “Who wants this one?” They were all silent. Duh, they all wanted it. Especially Carly,
who,  as usual, had come up with most of the list. But this was how they did  things. It was the
Summer Sisters way.  
“Penny should go,” Lainie said. “I don’t think she’s had a turn for  a while.” 
Penny took the pen from Carly and put one hand on the SSBL. The  paper felt warm from being
in the purse and a little damp from the  ocean mist. She reached out and made the check mark.
Writing it once  the normal way, bottom to top, then tracing it backward top to bottom  to
make it extra-thick. Ahhh, Penny thought. So satisfying.  

Then Penny signed her name in the empty space below the list, and  passed the pen to Lainie to
do the same, who passed it to Daniella, who  passed it to Carly.  
“Selfie time,” Carly said after they’d all signed it, her eyes sweeping  over their handiwork.  
They huddled in tight and Penny held up the SSBL just below her  chin. Carly took out her phone
and reached out her arm as they all pressed their cheeks, still cool from the chill, close
together. Penny  glimpsed the four smiling faces on the screen, each one so distinct:  Lainie’s
dark brown skin and short hair. Carly’s rusty-gold wisps,  escaped from her high ponytail.
Daniella’s light brown skin and curls.  Penny’s own paleness and sun-bleached highlights.  
Somehow, though, on that screen they all fit together just right.  Four parts of a whole.  
Carly took a series of shots, then checked to see how they came out.  “Perfect,” she said, then
added, “Next year we’ll have to crank it up.  We’ll officially be high schoolers and the SSBL has
to be, you know,  
worthy.” She got a devious look in her eye. “I might have to start brainstorming earlier than I
usually do.” 
“Let me guess,” Daniella said, elbowing her cousin. “You already  have.” 
Carly gave a wicked little laugh. “Maybe.” 
“What do you have so far?” Lainie asked. 
Carly wagged her finger at them. “Nuh-uh. No spoilers.” Penny felt her phone buzz in her
pocket with a text message. Probably her mom, telling her to come home now. She had to
finish packing,  and they had to get on the road to Philadelphia soon.  She could ignore it for a
few more minutes. As long as she was here,  on Rock Island, at Ocean Park Heights, with her
Summer Sisters and  the Bucket List, nothing had to change yet.  
Suddenly, a laughing gull flew by them, low and squawking with its  haaaa call. They all got
quiet, staring at the ocean for what seemed to  Penny like a superlong time. The sun was much
higher in the sky now.  This day had started for real.  
Penny closed her eyes and took a deep breath. 
“I need to go,” she said, standing up.  
Her friends rose with her, and they hugged. First one by one, then  all together.  
“See you later.” Penny turned and started walking quickly back up  the jetty. Don’t look back,
don’t look back, don’t look back.  She was stepping onto the sand when her phone dinged with
a notification.  
FotoSlam: One new post from your friend  

It was the photo they’d just taken. The caption read: 
Best one ever. Bucket List—over and out!  


Penny laughed and clutched her phone to her chest as she kept  walking up the beach. She
didn’t need to look back. Lainie, Daniella,  Carly—and summer—were still with her, and they
always would be.


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