∗ Indicates that a listing has been compiled from secondary sources believed to be reliable, but has not been personally verified for this edition by the author sketched.
Summer Boys, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
The Bridesmaid, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Summer Boys 2: Next Summer, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Hailey Abbott is the author of several young-adult novels about love and relationships. Her first novel, Summer Boys, follows three teenage girls, all cousins, through one summer at their families' traditional vacation spot: a Maine beach. One cousin, Jamie, had fallen in love with Ethan the previous summer, but after being away from each other for nearly a year Ethan moved on. Feeling betrayed, Jamie decides to take her revenge by seducing Ethan's best friend, Scott. Boy-crazy Ella is also on a mission to seduce; her target is older sister Kelsi's boyfriend, Peter. Beth, meanwhile, is forced to admit that she does indeed have feelings for her best friend, George, after he falls in love for the first time—with someone else. Now she too is overcome with jealousy.
Summer Boys is "perfect beach reading," Joanna Solomon declared in Kliatt, calling Abbott's debut "lighthearted and fun." Terming the book a "summer soap opera," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that "those swept up in the melodrama will surely have sufficient incentive to keep turning the pages."
Abbott's second novel, The Bridesmaid, also deals with teens, love, and family, this time in the context of Carol Beaumont's impending wedding to Tucker Robb. Carol's fifteen-year-old sister Abby, the book's narrator, is stunned by this turn of events. The two sisters have spent their childhoods helping out at the family-run reception hall and catering business that their parents run, and over the years they have watched as countless seemingly normal women turned into "Bridezillas" during the wedding-planning process. Everyone vows that they will not become the dreaded impossible customers that they have come to know and loathe, but inevitably, they all do.
"The characterizations are first-rate," Janet Hilbun noted in School Library Journal, adding that the plot of The Bridesmaid, "moves smoothly." Carolyn Phelan concluded in Booklist, that "this fresh and often funny story shows a good understanding of family dynamics."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2005, review of The Bridesmaid, p. 1447.
Kliatt, September, 2004, Joanna Solomon, review of Summer Boys, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, August 2, 2004, review of Summer Boys, p. 71.
School Library Journal, November, 2004, Rhona Campbell, review of Summer Boys, p. 134; April, 2005, Janet Hilbun, review of The Bridesmaid, p. 129.