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ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .
When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she’s dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems.
In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can’t hide from anywhere. In the end, it may just be the truth she needs the most.
From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.
Two Summers is such a fun book! I’ve read a lot of awesome, original contemporaries that are perfect for summer, but this book really takes the cake – it definitely is on my list of favorite summertime reads.
Two Summer has such an interesting concept – a teenage girl, who while at the airport, has to make a split second decision of whether or not to board the plane to go visit her father in France or stay at home and spend the summer with her mother and best friend. Due to some crazy lightning storm and a strange phone call, her reality is split in two – and in one reality she boards the plane to visit her father, and in the other reality she doesn’t get on the plane, leaving her to face a summer with her best friend, Ruby.
“There’s this magical sense of possibility that stretches like a bridge between June and August. A sense that anything can happen.”
Did I also mention our main character’s name is Summer?
So Summer’s summer gets split into two summers. While, yes, the prospect might sound a tad bit confusing at first, it’s really easy to get into. The book is broken up into sections – one section about Summer’s summer in France, and then another section about Summer’s summer in her hometown. Each section spans a few days, and then the next section will start those few days over again in the other place. It’s actually really cool, and the concept was executed amazingly well. The whole concept just works.
Summer’s summer in France isn’t exactly all she had expected – for one, her dad isn’t even there – he’s in Berlin on business. Second, there’s a strange woman and her daughter staying in her father’s house…and the woman’s daughter has hated Summer from the moment she met her. However, Summer does meet a super cute guy that really seems to like her. But she feels disconnected from her life back home, and she’s missing her best friend, Ruby.
Summer’s summer in her hometown is good and disappointing – she’s happy to be home to spend the summer with Ruby, but at the same time, it seems as if Ruby is replacing her with her crush and the popular girl who has always had it out for them. Summer feels alone, and to top it off, when she starts taking her aunt’s photography class, she ends up paired with the guy she has had a crush on for years – and who doesn’t seem to even care that she exists. Plus Summer is feeling really down about her father having canceled on her.
During both of Summer’s summers, she manages to discover some things about herself as well as those she thought she was closest to.
I did find myself enjoying the summer that Summer was spending in her home town as opposed to the one where she was in France. I’m not sure why, but I just found that summer to be a lot more enjoyable.
In both summers, Summer learns a secret about her father that her mother and aunt had known for years. I kind of figured out what it was in the beginning of the book, to be honest, but still, it was one of those plot twist secrets that will send you for a spin.
Two Summers is such a light and original read. It is definitely worth checking out if you like contemporaries. The whole two summers/alternate reality thing isn’t confusing even in the slightest once you start reading the book, so if you were a little bit overwhelmed by that prospect at all, it isn’t a big issue.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can find Two Summers here.
Guest review contributed by Here’s to Happy Endings. Kelly focuses on young adult book reviews, with author interviews, giveaways, and memes such as Waiting on Wednesdays, as well as participating in blog tours. She enjoys working with authors to promote books!