Beach Colors, by Shelley Noble.
Nick watched the girls join another girl. His heart tightened - just a little - when he saw her halo of red curls. She had been his talisman ever since the summer after his father died. Then she was just a kid, sharing his table at the library. Drawing pictures with the tip of her tongue pressed to the corner of her mouth as she concentrated. Pushing curls out of her face with an impatient hand. He could hardly wait until school was out and she came back to sit across from him.
Only this summer was different. She had grown up, become one of them, and that put an end to everything.
He would become a history professor someday. The army would pay for his education. And she would become - he didn't know. He just knew that she would always be a summer person, and he, just a townie.
I liked the characters in this novel a lot, as they were all very easy to relate to. Margaux wants to start up another fashion line, but she's broke and will need help to do this. Nick puts his family first but can't help himself when it comes to Margaux, who likes him but finds him rather distant. The entire town, because it's so small, is super nosy, and everyone knows everything about all its inhabitants; when Nick spends the night at Margaux's for the first time, everyone is buzzing about it the next day.
However, I felt that sometimes the novel was hard to get through. The story was good, but I often found myself wishing the pace would pick up a bit, or that one of the characters would make decisions faster, if that makes sense. You could blame this on the fact that it's set in a beach town and therefore life there doesn't move fast; or you could blame it on the writing itself. My consensus is that this novel is fine for a "beach read," as it's being sold as, but don't expect it to become one of your favorite novels.
3 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this novel to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.