Sunday 30 August 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Summer by Santana Blair

Dear Summer
Author: Santana Blair
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance / Coming of Age
Publication Date: 12th November 2017

Book Description:
Parker Reeves has had a really bad year.

Trouble at home, trouble at school… pretty much trouble in general.

On top of everything else wrong in his life, he’s sent away to the small town of Concord where he knows no one and is set to have a nonexistent social life.

Just when he thought his life couldn’t get any worse, he met her.

The girl next door is about to teach Parker that sometimes a summer can change your life..

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I'm not one for contemporary romance novels, but I've been trying to broaden my horizon this year, so I decided to try some of the contemporary romance novels on my kindle, and by a random selection, I chose Dear Summer, a story about seventeen-year-old Parker Reeves, who's had a rough year at school and had to stand by and watch as his mother chose her new hubby over him. Now stuck for the summer with his estranged father, Luke, he can't think of anything worse than staying in Concord with nothing to do but stare at the walls. That's until he peers out the window one day and spots his next door neighbour, Summer Raines, but Summer doesn't want to get too close to Parker in fear he will literally break her heart.

Generally speaking, this was a decent read. Two teenagers falling in love over the summer, both completely different in character, dealing with completely different dilemmas in their lives, yet somehow managing to balance each other out. It was fun seeing how they each tried to make alterations in their lives to make room for the other. Characterisation was great. I could picture these characters, which I find difficult to do most of the time, but here it wasn't difficult. They were well-drawn characters. Summer, who I favoured among the others, was like a child experiencing everything for the first time (riding a bike, playing in the rain...). She's a character that will make you want to pay attention to the things we ignore because we think we have enough time to deal with them later, when in reality, life really is too short to plan too far ahead. She lives life in the moment, a complete opposite outlook to Parker, who feels so abandoned and neglected by his parents, he's too hurt to acknowledge that the only person suffering from his guarded and stubborn nature is himself. As much as Summer lived life to the fullest, she also puts her guard up when it comes to expressing her feelings for Parker, believing it would be a waste of time due to her current condition.

The story deals with a lot of real life issues that readers will be able to relate to. It was very much grounded in reality, which I think made it so easy to engage with the characters and their stories. It was predictable from start to finish, but for once, I didn't mind the fact that I knew what was around the corner, because this story wasn't about solving a mystery and inciting suspense to create excitement. This story is about how the simplest things in life, like human interaction and communication can have a huge impact in the outcome of people's lives. Just being present and available can alter the course of someone's life and open up a world of wonder they never imagined. That's what Parker and Summer did for each other. One needed hope, the other needed inspiration.

The only real issue I had with this book was that it dragged on for too long. There were moments where literally nothing was happening in the way of progressing the story forward. I could cut out a lot of things and not change the story or affect it in any way, so I didn't feel it needed to drag on for so long. Apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.



Award: Gold
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Source: Own copy

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