Author: Heather Burch
Review by Grace Olson
Taken from Book Look Bloggers’ website description of Summer By Summer:
When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy.
Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him.
Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.
Summer by Summer is the first book I’ve read from Heather Burch, and I fell in love with this author’s writing style, the characters, and the setting. This novel is a YA adventure/romance. Heather did a magnificent job of pulling off both adventure and romance, keeping my attention throughout the entire book. I read it in two days, folks. Two. Days. It would have been shorter, but you know, work and stuff. Here’s why I loved it:
The style. There was never a lull in Summer By Summer, never a dull moment. There wasn’t one time where I yawned and set the book aside. I was engaged and pulled in by Summer and Bray’s uniquely written perspectives, which leads me to…
The characters. Bray and Summer were both flawed, in big ways. Yet at the same time, they had good things about them that made me cheer for them. This book is in the first person point of view, which I really enjoyed, since it included Bray’s perspective. I identified with Summer in several ways, which made the book all the better. Being on the island is a time for each of finding out who they truly are and who they want to be. This is a story about working through your pain and knowing you’re not alone, almost a coming-of-age. Summer also works through her anger toward God and finding that she really does need him. Bray…well his relationship with God wasn’t really explored, which I would have liked. He seemed more along for the ride on that one.
The setting. It’s super cool, guys. I mean, c’mon, Belize? Then the fact that they’re shipwrecked intrigued me. I’ve read shipwreck stories in Historical Fiction, but not in Contemporary, so that was fascinating.
The extras. The mystery in this book that made things even worse on the island was well done, I enjoyed that.
Summer by Summer is a well-written novel, and a good read for an older teen. The ages of the characters and what they’re struggling with will be a great fit for a teen or just-into-college reader. Or if you’re just looking for a great, relaxing story, then you might just want to get yourself a copy of Summer by Summer.
About the Author
Biography from Book Look Bloggers’ website: Heather Burch, the author of the popular Halflings series, spent the last seven years in Southern Florida but recently returned to her hometown in the Ozark Mountains. Her books have garnered praise from USA Today, Romantic Times, and Booklist magazine. When not working on her latest novel, she can be found hiking in the hills or planning a trip to the beach with her husband, John, who is her hero in every way.
I was given a review copy of Summer By Summer from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.