Monday, May 11, 2015

[Author's Note] The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

The Summer After You and MeThe Summer After You and Me

Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. 

They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

author's note: facts & more!

Greetings from the Jersey Shore—the real one! Long before non-natives arrived to film a “reality” show in a small oceanside town with less than a mile of beachfront, the 130 miles of coastline known as the Jersey Shore has existed and thrived in my home state. Our beaches stretch along the Atlantic Ocean from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May at the southernmost tip and include more than 40 towns, each with its own unique vibe and history. In doing research for THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME I learned lots of cools facts about this place that I know and love—facts that I’d like to share with you. So forget what Snooki told you and read on! The Jersey Shore has a long, proud history.

1. Sandy Hook boasts the oldest working lighthouse in the country. Its beacon was first lit on June 11, 1764 and it’s still in operation today.

2. The first vacationers at the Jersey Shore were Native Americans, who arrived at the coast seasonally to fish and collect oysters and shells.

3. The seaport at Elizabeth is the largest in the east and the third largest in the country.

4. Asbury Park has long been associated with legendary bands and musicians, but it has an even longer history as a resort town with its first hotel opening in the 1870s.

5. A little further down the coast, Long Branch, which was once known as the “Hollywood” of the East Coast, was also the oceanfront destination for seven presidents—Chester A. Arthur, James A. Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, and Woodrow Wilson.

6. Cape May, at the very tip of New Jersey, has the distinction of being the oldest seaside resort in the United States.

7. Salt water taffy was first produced and sold at the Jersey Shore in the 1870s.

8. The streets on the Monopoly Game board are named after those is Atlantic City.

9. Atlantic City also boasts the longest boardwalk in the world!

10. Fred Astaire made his theatrical debut in Keyport when he was a child. Legend has it he wore a top hat and tails for the first half of the performance and a lobster costume for the second.

11. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island? Ours. They’re not exactly at the shore, but they’re in our waters.

12. “Down the Shore.” No matter which direction you’re coming, when you’re headed to the beaches in New Jersey, you’re going “down the shore,” the place where as Bruce sung in Jersey Girl, “everything’s alright.”

About this author

Jennifer Salvato DoktorskiJennifer Salvato Doktorski is the author of the YA novels, How My Summer Went Up in Flames (Simon Pulse 2013), Famous Last Words (Henry Holt and Co., 2013), which was a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, and the forthcoming The Summer After You and Me (Sourcebooks Fire, May 2015). 

Her first paid writing gig was as an editorial assistant for the North Jersey Herald & News, where, in addition to developing a life-long passion for coffee and news, she wrote obituaries for eight months. She also worked as a speech writer, bank teller, ghostwriter, bookkeeper in a lampshade factory, pet shop clerk, and music zine editor.

She lives with her family in New Jersey and spends her summers “down the shore,” where she dreams of taking surfing lessons and observes sea life while keeping her toes in the sand.