Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stuffed Animal Saturday: Perennials: A Novel - Many Berman

Stuffed Animal Saturday is a meme that we post here at We Live and Breathe Books to showcase the book we're currently reading with one of our favorite stuffed animals and discuss our stuffed animal's opinion (well, it's really our opinion, but that's besides the point). We hope you enjoy our quirky feature as much as we enjoy writing it!

This Saturday, the CPK and I are reading Perennials: A Novel by Mandy Berman .

Blurb from Goodreads: 

The quintessential summer read: a sharp, poignant coming-of-age novel about the magic of camp and the enduring power of female friendship, for readers of Stephanie Danler, Anton DiSclafani, Jennifer Close, and Curtis Sittenfeld

At what point does childhood end and adulthood begin? Mandy Berman s evocative debut novel captures, through the lens of summer camp, a place that only appears to be untouched by the passing of time, both the thrills and pain of growing up.

Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Rebellious Rachel, a street-smart city kid raised by a single mother, has been losing patience with her best friend s insecurities; Fiona, the middle child of a not-so-perfect suburban family, envies Rachel s popularity with their campers and fellow counselors. For the first time, the two friends start keeping secrets from each other. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, campers, and families, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts and the adults they re becoming.

A seductive blast of nostalgia, a striking portrait of adolescent longing, and a tribute to both the complicated nature and the enduring power of female friendship, Perennials will speak to everyone who still remembers that bittersweet moment when innocence is lost forever.

A post shared by Sam Kozbial (@kozbisa) on

So far:

This book sort of has the feel of The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, which I loved. It is an interesting character study, which focuses on Rachel and Fiona, two people from very different circumstances, who wouldn't be friends had they not attended camp together. The early part of the book gives us a look into their last summer as campers. Then, the story jumps ahead six years, when the girls are back at Camp Marigold as counselors. I am already starting to see how their relationship has changed, and how both Rachel and Fiona have taken divergent paths. Berman is also spending quite a bit of time of some peripheral characters. I am not sure why she is, at this time, but I am interested enough to keep reading.

Are you and your stuffed animal 
reading anything interesting? 
Let us know in your own Stuffed Animal Saturday!


  1. Aww, what a cute CPK! My 3 dogs and my cat have helped me read Goodbye Days today. I don't have any stuffed animals but I have more than my share of real ones to help me out.

    1. I would love to have a cat keeping my lap warm. I cried many tears during Goodbye Days. I hope you enjoy it too.

  2. Character studies are almost always a hit with me, so I'm interested to hear your take -
    I mean, your CPK's take - on this one when you've finished, Sam. Very fun feature!

    1. This was not bad, but I felt like it lost its focus. There were auxiliary characters, who had whole chapters dedicated to them. The chapters were interesting, and I learned what brought that character to Camp Marigold, but I didn't see how it fit into Rachel's and Fiona's story. I also felt like some of the chapters were too adult for this to be a YA book. Women talking about being mistresses, husbands no longer physical with their wives, stuff like that. But, like I said, these vignettes were interesting to me nonetheless.