Monday, January 6, 2014

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

I want to start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. I would be tempted to give it five stars however there are just a few aspects I am not willing to overlook and therefore the book comes in as more of a 3.5 or 4 in my personal opinion.

For starters, I loved this plot. I loved it so much I wish the book was twice as long so that the author could have dug even deeper into the characters circumstances. Aiden is a nineteen year-old veteran whom lost his arm in Afghanistan and is therefore forced into a life he never thought he would have and a position he knows not what to do with. Kate is a seventeen year-old girl whom just wants her normal life back after being diagnosed with diabetes. The two characters just want an escape from their lives, a distraction of sorts. They discover this in each other however neither wants the attachment that comes along with it but their love unfolds into something unexpected. I totally ate it up!

I adore Aiden. I think he is a very strong and humble male for a nineteen year-old. I was intrigued by his thoughts and the struggles that come with losing his limb. I think this is something we take for granted every day and Perry does a good job unveiling these struggles in a raw, organic way. I was captivated by his internal struggles with Kate and the implications that come with moving forward with this relationship. I liked Kate enough. I liked that she blurted out whatever she was thinking but I thought she was being very immature about her diabetes. That being said, I’m sure that very well comes with the territory of being a seventeen year-old who has to change every thought surrounding food for the rest of her life and that this would be hard to comes to terms with. Aiden and Kate’s family’s didn’t add much to the story but were great supporting characters. Again, I would have loved a longer book so that we could have seen Aiden’s guidance counselor and trainer reveal more as you could see a foundation for some great relationships to unfold.

I have seen some debate about the title and cover of this book. Yes, the cover is pretty. No, it has nothing to do with the book. Yes, the title insinuates summer. No, Perry does not come right out and talk about it being summer. That being said I would like to defend the title choice of this book. The story starts with the high school main character Kate being close to finishing her senior year and in that in-between stage before college. This would insinuate Spring/Summer. SPOILER ALERT {I find beauty in this title as the ending is open to a fresh start, a do over, a rediscovery of the two main characters. I like to think that it is similar to an open ended question; it is in the discovery of each other after the last page is turned. This IS the summer they found each other.}

Lastly, Albert Whitman Teen is the publishing company and I am a bit confused to whether they are classifying this book as a Young Adult Contemporary or New Adult Fiction. Either way the book reads the same but I would say this is kind of mature for a YA Contemporary and has the aspects of a New Adult fiction which tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and education/career choices. If I picked up this book expecting it to be a New Adult and not looking for another YA then I can see why some people would be left wanting something more substantial.  It is a good book but it rides the fence on both genres. If you like both YA Contemporaries and New Adult fictions then you will enjoy this book. 

I really liked it. 

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