Yes, Summer Land is the author’s real name. And like anyone who was raised by a mother who seems to think that a name which would work well either as a bad soap opera or a coconut candy is also a good idea for a little girl, she has her fair share of wacky adventures.
When you first realise that Summer Land is writing her personal memoirs at the tender age of 26, one could be forgiven for wondering what she could possibly have to say about life. The answer is Nothing, if you’re looking for a a deep and spiritual journey into the soul, and Quite a Bit, if you’re after an interesting, over-the-top and at times cringe inducing collection of personal stories. Personal being the word. Whether it is tearing her anus by cliff diving in Western Australia – an “enema from hell” as she describes it – or ripping out a soaked tampon in a bar and flinging it behind a cigarette machine, the entire book smacks of squirmy TMI moments that nevertheless keep you reading, albeit at times from behind a palm to the face.
Today’s over-sharing social media culture is no doubt to blame for the sudden plethora of tell-all, warts-and-all attitudes of the twenty-somethings popping out of the blogsphere seeking to immortalise and legitimise their comparatively unispired pursuits between the pages of a printed book. Given the success of such efforts, the “pretty young girl with a dirty mouth” syndrome doesn’t appear to be going anywhere for a while. And with silly but entertaining novels like Summerlandish resulting from it, that’s not a bad thing. Those with weak stomachs: avoid. Those with moderate stomachs: proceed with caution. Summer’s oversharing, while fun and well written, is not for the faint-hearted.