Friday, July 1, 2016

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman Book Review

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. 

*A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy.*

Two Summers, not the sweet, contemporary I thought it would be--but nonetheless charming and entertaining.

Summer has two possibilities for summer: Fly off to Paris to be with her artist father, or stay home with her outspoken, "Here's to the summer of love," bestie Ruby. Two possibilities, similar endings.

What I liked: The two alternate realities--the one where she goes to Paris, and the one where she stays home. I really liked the idea of being able to see both sides of the coin. Especially in a scenario like this one, where we would wonder what would happen if she decided to stay, or go, and were only left with one side of the story.

Paris: I don't know what it is because I don't have an explanation but a few years back I became obsessed with all things Paris. My entire bedroom because a shrine of sorts to Paris (and London, which I also fell in love with at the same time.) It's just something about the idea of the place that sets my heart a flutter, so having that as the story's backdrop--was a dream come true of sorts.

Hugh: I love the shy, blushing guy, in YA. I think it's adorable and pleasantly different--when the guy is the one that's unsure of himself in love. It's adorable to me. I would have liked to have gotten to know Hugh more, but just knowing the direction his character is going in will have to be satisfactory enough. I have high hopes for him.

The realistic family dynamic: Summer's parents are divorced. The Mom is in NY and the dad is pretty much all over the world, but mostly in Paris, France. I liked that they didn't make them hate each other but there was a realistic resistance coming from Mama bear. That made the story that much more real for me. 

What I Didn't Like: I just didn't feel invested in the characters, sure I felt for them, and was pleased by the story--but I wasn't connected. It's funny how that usually doesn't work for me, but here it kind of didn't matter.

All in all it was an interesting, and entertaining story--one great for summer reading. I won't be standing on the tops of any mountains shouting about it but I do recommend it. It's a nice albeit not as light as I imagined, YA contemporary.


  1. I have this one to read because I got it on sale. It sounds like there were still a lot of things to like even if it wasn't something to be blown away by. I also love Paris a setting so I am all about that. Great review!

  2. Glad you still liked this even if you couldn't connect like you wanted to. It doesn't sound like a bad story, maybe just not a great one.

  3. Great review! I've wanted to read this since it came out and just purchased it so I'm glad this had some good points -- the two realities sound awesome. Great summer read!

  4. I think I'd either love or hate it because of the alternate realities. However, I have a feeling I won't at least love it because of the lack of characterization. So, I don't think it's for me. Brilly review.

  5. I like shy boys in YA too!! This does sound perfect for summer. I don't know what it is about Paris and summer for me. Every time Paris is a setting for a book, I think--that would be great for summer reading!! Great review and I'm going to put this book on my list for this summer!

  6. Okay, my first thought was "ugh, that cover." Yeah, yeah, shouldn't be judging the book by its cover but whatever. So glad to see the inside is better than the outside. I like the idea of the parallel summers - definitely the one spent in France. And hells yeah for a realistic family dynamic and parents that aren't invisible/missing. Hugh sounds positively dreamy. That alone is making me want to pick this one up. :)

  7. Ooo I was actually expecting a really light YA so thanks for giving me a heads up! Also this reminds me so much of Parallel by Lauren Miller. Are there two romantic interests in this then? Or is it just Hugh?

    Thanks for the review Jazmen! I'll probably be reading this at some point since I have it.

  8. I've just finished reading this one and I actually enjoyed it a little more than I thought I would! I liked the whole 'What If?' concept of Summer choosing whether or not to pick up the phone. It was a cute enough summer read. :)

  9. I don't think this one is for me, but I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Even though you didn't really connect to the characters. Fantastic review!

  10. I like the sound of this one! Reminds me a bit of Pivot Point by Kasie West (still have to read the sequel tho!). I want to read!

  11. I don’t think I’ve heard of this one before! I like the sound of it reminds me of JUST LIKE FATE :D Great review–sad you couldn’t get invested in the characters, but I’m glad you liked the concept!

  12. I have this one sitting on my nightstand right now, I'm just not sure when I'll start it. I've read a few mixed reviews for this, and I've had bad reading experiences with American teens in Paris lately. I hope this one is good.

  13. I don't blame you, I absolutely adore Paris as well! What's not to love?? I might pass on this one, but I'm glad you found it enjoyable :)