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Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!

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The Summer I Found You (Review)

The Summer I Found You - Jolene Perry

I’ve been in a chick-lit kind of mood recently, and this book was exactly what I needed. The writing wasn’t perfect, but I felt like the characters were believable and fairly likable, and I fell in love with Aidan and Kate’s story. (Plus, though the title makes no sense since this book doesn’t take place in the summer, look at that cover! That is a beautiful cover!) I swallowed this book in one day, and I really enjoyed every moment of it–a perfect one-day, fairly light-hearted read, and definitely the perfect book to read in the summertime!

 

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

What I Liked: Spoilers!

  • While this was a cute book, the main reason I loved it was because of the way it presented a particular problem. Kate has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and she’s still learning how to live the rest of her life with this new disease. She doesn’t like thinking about it, doesn’t like doing things differently, doesn’t like taking care of it. She throws it on the back burner and acts like if she ignores it, it might go away. Diabetes,      of course, can be incredibly serious if not properly taken care of, but when you’re with a guy whose arm was blown off by a bomb in Afghanistan, it…well, seems to significantly pale in comparison. Aiden’s problem, at first glance, seems much “worse” than being diagnosed with diabetes. But this book is told from both Aidan’s and Kate’s points of view, and although Kate puts off telling Aidan about her diabetes for as long as possible, nowhere does anyone suggest that what Kate is dealing with is “easier” than what Aidan goes through. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but…I loved how it didn’t compare their problems. It didn’t make Kate seem like she had it better than Aidan, because she’s still learning how to fix her life, and to Kate and her family, it is a big deal. It didn’t belittle what she’s dealing with because it “could be worse”. I think that’s a really important message for people, teenagers especially, to hear. There’s a lot of bad in the world nowadays, and it’s easy to feel guilty about facing hard things because “it could be worse”. But that doesn’t change the fact that what you’re dealing with isn’t hard, too–I just loved that about this book. It made it okay to still be scared and upset by something “smaller” than losing an arm. Nobody made Kate feel guilty for being scared by her diabetes, just because Aidan didn’t have an arm. Problems are problems; they all need to be dealt with, and they all suck when we’re right in the middle of them.

 

  • I loved Kate and Aidan’s story. I love how they tried to understand each other, and how neither of them was afraid to admit that they both did crappy things and both of them thought to use the other one to forget about life. They were both imperfect, and that made them more believable. It made it easier to want them to be together. This was a well-crafted story, and the plot itself was executed very well. I think Perry did a really good job planning this all out and making it happen, because it’s a lovely book when you get down to it.

 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • My only complaint about this book is that it wasn’t very well-written. Again, I don’t like present tense, but the narration itself, on both ends, felt very stilted and kind of awkward sometimes. It didn’t flow the way I wanted it to, and I feel like I lost some of the emotion because of that. There were awkward scene changes, and it was a little disorienting to feel like you were still in a certain scene with certain characters, and then suddenly be thrown into a new one. The writing could use some work–definitely not perfect or done in a way I would have liked more.

 

Overall: This is a cute little summer read, and while it presents some good messages, it isn’t “heavy”. It was easy to read in one day, and sometimes you need books like that–ones that won’t completely drain you, emotionally, and just provide a little escape for awhile. I look forward to reading more from Perry in the future, and I would definitely put this one on your summer reading lists!

 

(http://thaliasbooks.tumblr.com/post/65167443699/the-summer-i-found-you-review)