March 2, 2016

Review: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson

Song of Summer
by Laura Lee Anderson
pub 7/7/15 by Bloomsbury Spark
YA - Contemporary
Song of Summer initially appealed to me because it featured a deaf character. Not only is that a rare perspective in YA but I’m also a huge fan of Switched at Birth. And this book? I’m pretty sure it was written for SaB fans because these characters just screamed Bay and Emmett. But that’s not to say I spent the whole time making comparisons. Ultimately it was a different book and one I enjoyed a lot.

Robin expects this summer to be like any other, despite having broken up with a boyfriend recently. She’s happiest immersing herself in music and performing at church, working at the diner and hanging out with her best friend. Still, she's a teenage girl and can’t help wanting a little bit of romance in her life. That’s when gorgeous Carter Paulson walks into her diner. In what I can only call insta-lust (on both sides), it isn’t until he’s about to leave that she realizes he’s deaf. Carter is only visiting the town for the summer. He comes from a diverse family and is used to being surrounded by the deaf people like himself. He doesn’t expect to be interested in Robin because of the language barrier but she surprises him trying to pick up some ASL (American Sign Language). And she continues to surprise him at every turn. Which is why he decides to ask her out on a date (on his motorcycle!) and they find themselves having a summer romance.

Having the alternating point-of-views worked so perfectly here. It was important to see Robin’s side as she tried to pick up sign language and understandably wished Carter could hear her sing or play the guitar. And for Carter, it was eye-opening to learn about his culture and what he deals with on a regular basis. It was that quiet yet powerful conflict as they tried to fit into each other’s lives that brought this story to another level.

Some reservations
As I said, the romance comes together quickly and intensely. And for two teenagers who know they might only have a summer together, I can understand why things would move so fast. Still, I think it could’ve been slowed down a tiny bit. I definitely wanted more time with them. Then there were two other minor things that kind of bugged me. One, the author constantly mentions how ridiculously, model-hot Carter is (we got the point!). Second, the end was dissatisfying for me. It ends ambiguously which normally wouldn’t be an issue but things came to a close rather abruptly.

Do I recommend?
I do! I was in reading slump and this helped to pull me out of it! I liked the story and the characters a lot and it was easy to immerse myself in it.

2 comments:

  1. Great review, I bought the book straight after reading it!

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  2. The cover of this novel is so bright and colorful! And it sounds like it was a pretty good read, in spite of the reservations you've mentioned :)

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