Blog Tour & Giveaway: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

Crushed on by kelly, on April 3, 2019, in Blog Tour, Giveaways / 6 Comments

Blog Tour & Giveaway: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington releases next Tuesday, April 9th, and we are thrilled to be a part of the blog tour! Thank you to Tor Teen and The Heart of a Book Blogger for having us, and in celebration, today Christy and I are sharing a story from our summer after high school.


Christy & Kelly Share a Story from the Summer After High School


It’s funny, the summer of 2002 was nothing like I could have imagined and yet it feels like a blip in my adult life. See, I turned 18 at midnight following my graduation, newly emancipated and…homeless. Ending my time in foster care and waiting the 4 months for college to start meant needing to figure out my living arrangements. I stayed with my friends, my dad, and other people, basically couch surfing.

But I also took my personhood into my own hands for the first time in my life. In foster care (and in the household I grew up in), everything is controlled. I had no choice over how I wore my hair, what I wore, or where I went. So I cut my hair. I wore nothing but sleeveless shirts, crop tops, and sandals (wasn’t allowed to wear any before). I pierced my belly button. I hung out with friends and boys. I went to my first concert (Ozzfest).

It was a summer of firsts. Not an ending but a beginning!


Ah that special time where you feel free from the binds of high school, but have serious anxiety over … YOUR FUTURE. Whether you are going off to college or getting a job or contemplating what to do next, this last summer has that strange magical feeling of being something special.

I did a lot of the same. I went to a crap ton of concerts. I worked 2 jobs, hung out with friends, and prepared for college. But one story stands out, the one where me and 5 friends decided to hike the Pennsylvania section of the Appalachian Trail.

None of us were experienced outdoor types. I was the one with most of the gear and that’s because my father was a hunter, and as a family we took a lot of camping trips. So my knowledge was limited to what I knew being with my family and going to State & National Park systems.

Yeah, so hiking in the woods is not the same as camping. No toilets. No trash cans. No stoves. No tents. Cell phones didn’t really exist. We literally threw our sleeping bags on the ground with some tarps and passed out from sheer exhaustion from hiking all day.

It was an adventure. Life skills, staying on trail, going up and down mountains. Until it started to rain, hail, and become dangerous. We hiked until we could come down off the mountain to a state park, not the one we were to exit, but the sleeping outside thing was dangerous.

We find our way to the campground and it was empty. We ending up going into the cabin like bathrooms which was unlocked, and rode out the storm there. Which meant we also had a shower & toilets. Woot.

The next day we walked around the state park trying to figure what was going on cause …empty. Here it was evacuated due to the storm. We ended up having to hitchhike to town to call for backup. Who then picked us up, drove us to our car and we ended up camping there again for the next two nights with the tent that was in the car where we started.

You just never know what life will throw at you and I have an experience I will never forget.


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About Jessica Pennington

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.

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6 responses to “Blog Tour & Giveaway: When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington

  1. Thanks for being on the blog tour!

    Christy, I hadn’t known you were in foster care—thanks for sharing with us, I’m glad you were able to take so many firsts after graduating.

    Kelly, that’s such a crazy adventure you experienced and story you have now!