Author: Jolene Perry
Published: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Albert Whitman Teen
Source: eARC was requested from Netgalley
Category: Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: Not applicable.
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All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?
Kate is suffering from diabetes that she has to check every now and then how high her sugar is and even shot herself insulin. She has to go through it her entire life and as a teenager, she couldn't help but rebel a little. Her parents are too strict about it and even her best friend reminds her all the time to check herself. When she met Aidan, an ex-military who lost his arm and who happens to be her best friend's cousin, she felt attracted immediately. They were set-up and she enjoyed his company. Only she couldn't tell him about her situation. She doesn't want to be treated differently. But little did she know, keeping the truth to herself would eventually backfire.
I guess I would first start with the things that didn't really make enough impact on me. Like how fast everything happened. After finishing the book, I was still trying to find the depth of the story. Because everything transpired almost as fast as a snap of a finger, I feel like the contemporary-ness of it is lacking something. My hunger for the character back ground and plot development weren't fully met that the focus was merely on the romance. I expected a little more explanation, you know, the hows and whys. Unfortunately, I didn't get much.
I like fast-paced stories. The Summer I Found You however is just a little too fast for me. With that being said, I believe it missed a lot of vital parts when it comes to story-telling. I would have wanted to know more about Aidan and not just his depression; what is Deena's point and her importance in the story; why are they fussing about a 2-year age gap or even why Kate is so grossed out with Aidan's battle scars. Little things that I hope wouldn't left me hanging but did. I would have wanted to know how Aidan joined the military or how Kate's diabetes started. The most important part I would really really have wanted to know is: why Kate's turning point is just because Aidan learned about her diabetes. Her parents have been telling her that for a year yet all it took for her to be serious with it was Aidan's disappointment in her. It would have been better if the realization was given some time to fully sink in to her because I don't think it would only take minutes to put it all to pieces. Again, in real life, it wouldn't be THAT fast.
There are reasons why I enjoyed this book and why I gave it 3 stars instead of 1. First is Aidan. He's young and a little immature at times but his character shows not only heroism by serving in the military but also, what they are going through. It isn't every day that we encounter stories like this but I believe we have to start showcasing how brave they are and how we all should thank them often for what they do. Aidan lost an arm and a dear friend in Afghanistan and his depression is very understandable. It isn't easy to be in that situation and I could say he handles it well. Perry wrote a story that pinched a part of my heart because she was able to make a character that has passion in serving his country. Second thing is Aidan's disability. When I read Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, it was my first book with a male protagonist with disability and it was so special I never thought it would be this sexy. Not that am a bad person and don't mind special people but I treat them normally as far as I can. Ridge isn't far from Aidan. Aidan tries hard to cope with his new life and being depressed as I've said is a part of it but his character is also trying to let people know what it feels like to be like him. It made me appreciate little things more not just because he's missing an arm but I always take thing for granted. His character brings gratitude and lesson we don't normally see in a normal way. And I liked that. It reminded me to be grounded and helpful. Last thing is Aidan's take on honesty. One of my many pet peeves is dishonesty. I liked how much he values the truth and how much he's willing to trust to honest people. Not all men are like this. It almost made it restore my faith in humanity.
The Summer I Found You really is a quick and fun read. It embodies bravery, perseverance and honestly that makes it more fun! I may have found some aspects that I didn't fully like, but overall, I would still recommend this to readers who love semi-serious but quirky stories!
Thank you so much Albert Whitman Teen for the advance reading copy!
"All night I rested in his warm arms and felt his lips on my forehead and I suddenly understood why people get married. Who wouldn't want to sleep like that every night?"
"The way she watched him. Who would give someone power over them like that?"
"The stupid painkiller is enough drugs for me. It's just not enough to dull the ache in my chest."
"But do I want there to be?"
"I know there's a chance we could make it, but I realized it doesn't matter either way because I love him right now."
"Sometimes trying to focus and think on something makes it even more elusive."