Sea Star Summer has been out in the world for five months. It had a bit of a delayed start due to the pandemic. Books weren’t able to leave the warehouse before lockdown, and review copies were locked away in an office while everyone worked from home. But we got them out in the end, and books soon made their way to readers.
Here is a roundup of all the reviews and press coverage I could find so far.
“Even the sea and sky seem larger, more real than before, like I’ve been walking around half asleep this whole time and have only just woken up.” The sea moods and beach adventures of Jeffreys Bay are vividly portrayed in this sensitive and empowering story that will appeal to young people and those young at heart alike.
It sounds like a tongue twister, but Sea Star Summer is Sally Partridge’s sixth novel for young adults – and a magical one at that. In the book, Partridge explores a setting close to her heart, Jeffreys Bay. Sixteen-year-old Naomi and her family drive all night from Cape Town to the picturesque beach town where she starts to make friends for the first time in her life.
The Sunday Times
A story about young love and self-discovery which cements Partridge’s status as one of SA’s best young adult authors.
It’s not often a book provokes nostalgia in me, but this had me digging through old photographs, old diaries remembering my 20year old self, remembering past girlfriends, those first kisses. Remembering how young and inexperienced and naive I was. How our life paths ramble along in ways we don’t expect, friendships that make us, that change us. How fear of being different can limit our lives in ways we least expect.
The Book Club Blog
Sea Star Summer has incredibly well-written characters, a beautiful setting based on a real South African holiday place, that will sweep you away from the here and now. Beautifully written, Sally’s style smooth and rather elegant, this book also addresses real issues relevant to the youth, especially acceptance and conformity.
Mr Pink Ink
Sea Star Summer is the sort of YA novel you pick up and read in one sitting and when you’re done you feel a bit sad that the adventure is over. It feels like coming to the end of a really good December school holiday and having to come to terms with going back to normal life. Sally Partridge’s writing in this book is, for the lack of a better word, delicious.
I loved this easy read from page one right until the final page. Wonderful characters I could relate to. An important story told in a fun way. And an author that has a magical way with words. Highly recommended.
Journal of Entertainment
Sea Star Summer by Sally Partridge is the summer vacation book I didn’t realise I needed as a diversion from all the dross in my current days. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a seaside town, but the ocean has special meaning for me, and Sally *gets* what this is like. Also, her love for the little South African resort town of Jeffrey’s Bay, with its ephemeral summer population, shines through. Now I’d love to go visit just to see it for myself.
Nerine Dorman, author
I read this book mainly in one sitting and it was so refreshing. I loved seeing places I’d visited through the pages of a book. I thought the writing style was really lovely and the descriptions were so spot on.
Ruby Rae Reads
I’m sure I’ve said it before: Sally Partridge gets better with every novel. This is her best yet, a beautiful, sensitive romance, tender and truthful.
Jayne Bauling, author
Finding a LGBTQ+ novel written for younger ages and set in South Africa immediately excited me – and I was not disappointed. Our culture and heritage is neatly intertwined in the story. The beautifully descriptive writing put me on the beach, watching Naomi and Elize from the side and made me root for their relationship from the beginning.
A very necessary book in South African YA. Partridge has provided us with a beautiful F/F romance, filled with whimsy and the joy of summer. An immersive experience of Jeffrey’s Bay, I’m even more eager to visit it now!
Joha van Dyk
Books like Sea Star Summer would’ve helped teenage me feel more comfortable in my own skin. I’m glad the younger generation get to grow up with this. Thank you so much @partridge_sally for this touching coming of age story about accepting and staying true to yourself and the magic of the beach (there is almost nothing better than reading on the beach and I have been reminded of how much I miss it) I will definitely be recommended this to any and every customer possible.
Sea Star Summer fizzes with everything that makes a coming-of-age novel worth reading: the bubbling connection of friendship leaning on the edge of something more, and the bittersweet knowledge that what is found over a season of summer, may or may not last. Most importantly it’s a book about living your truth in a way that’s comfortable for you.
A highly enjoyable and fun to read, coming of age book. I really enjoyed the location of the book as I truly felt I too was on a summer seaside holiday. This book is about a lonely girl finding herself and the many issues she has to deal with. Perfect for Pride month as this is an LGBTQIA+ read.
Sea Star Summer is definitely one of my favorite books of 2020. I absolutely fell in love with this local South African LGBT book. The use of local slang gave it a wonderful homily feeling thats made be smile and laugh. I will definitely recommend this book, if you are a fan of Holly Bourne you will definitely love this book.
The feminism in the book has to be applauded. The main character challenges sexism more than once and questions society’s views on the ”norms” of sexuality profusely. Partridge illustrates how these norms affect those who do not conform to them – especially when expressed by those whose approval we desperately seek.
It’s written so beautifully and with so much passion, this book has so much time and thought put into it. The way Sally allows Naomi and Elize to be themselves without any fear around each other is really amazing and the way they are described and how magical Jeffreys Bay is. The way the story plays off is just magnificent!
How amazing are these bookstagrams???
I’ll keep updating this post as reviews and interviews appear. Watch this space!
Cover image by read.tea.chill