April 21, 2016

Review: Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman
pub 4/26/16 by Point
YA Contemporary
Received at ALAMW
For Summer Everett, one split-second decision changes the entire course of her summer and we get to see how each choice plays out. In one scenario, she’s off to France to spend time getting to know her father, visit museums and hopefully meet a cute boy. In the other, she stays home in upstate New York with her mom and best friend but everyone in her life seems to be changing and she can’t help feeling left behind. What these two parallel lives have in common is that Summer’s summer (I couldn’t resist!) is one of self-discovery and I really enjoyed the life lessons she learned along the way.

I’ll admit, I didn’t fall in love with Summer (as a character) but I very much understood a lot of what she was going through. Particularly in the world where she stays home for the summer and she experiences very real growing pains with her best friend. I also very much related to her defense mechanism of hiding her feelings to the point of ridiculousness because I too was like that at one point. (Who knows, maybe I still am.) There were just a lot times when I found myself super frustrated with her and then it hit me — she’s a teenager. And the truth is, the author does a great job of portraying ta 15-turning-16 year old girl accurately. She’s emotional, sensitive and simultaneously wants to grow up and stay the same. She’s someone I think a lot of younger readers will relate to.

But a lot happens in both worlds and it’s funny how even miles and miles (and decisions) away, some truths will always find its way out into the open. While somewhat predictable, I did enjoy watching how each summer played out and learning about the people in her lives. Of course, there’s also a cute boy in each life and I’m pretty sure everyone will have the same favorite.

(Some) recommendations
I felt like the book was off to a rocky start (I think being the protagonist was a little younger than I expected) and I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing at first. But then I eventually got sucked into Summer’s lives and wanting to know how it would all play out.

Do I recommend?
If you like parallel lives and/or universes, I would check this out!


Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

Did you and your childhood best friend ever wear BFF jewelry?
Definitely! With various childhood best friends, we'd have BFF necklaces or I remember making bracelets for us too. But my favorite was a BFF keychain I had with one of my best friends (I'm going to be her Maid of Honor!). It was a heart split in half and we had it engraved with our names and the year we met (2nd grade, so 1990 I think). I kept using it until it broke sometime in college. I really do love BFF paraphernalia.

2 comments:

  1. I definitely agree with your reservations about the start! I wasn't feeling it initially. But then I started to get really invested in Summer's summers, and I'm glad I pushed through and finished the book!

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  2. I really enjoyed this one. It was kind of fun to read a book with a teen who really does sound young (and not precocious or older than her years) and is learning a lot of things for the first time. I'm a total home-body so I enjoyed Summers staycation plot a bit more but I thought this was such a fun read and had a blast seeing how Summer's choice led to diverging (or sometimes similar!) stories. Aimee really does a great job of writing stories that are evocative of summer--have you read Sea Change? I enjoyed that one a lot too. (It's actually the reason I was anticipating Two Summers so highly!)

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