Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ARC Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

256 pages
Published: March 1st, 2014 
Published by: Albert Whitman Teen
All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction. 
Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?
I hate to admit it but I had a really hard time with this one. It left me feeling confused and underwhelmed. While it had a lot of potential, The Summer I Found You has too many flaws to be an enjoyable read. 

One of the aspects that bothered me the most about this novel is the title. That sounds crazy, right? But if you are going to use the word “summer” in the title, you might want to make sure the story is actually set in the summer! As far as I could tell, The Summer I Found You takes place during the school year. I’m not sure where the title came from or why it wasn’t changed prior to publication. It is very misleading and kind of strange. Also, while I think the cover is pretty, I think it doesn't represent the novel very well.

While I’m aware that I received a galley of this title so I should be very lenient on grammar/spelling, I felt like I was reading the first draft of a novel instead of one close to publication. Most sentences weren’t structured very well and that alone made my reading experience less than stellar. I also had an issue with the way the male character’s name was spelled throughout the novel. It kept changing from Aiden to Aidan and back again. As a reader, it confused me. As a reviewer, it made me kind of angry. I feel like something this huge shouldn’t be a problem by the time ARCs are being distributed to reviewers.

As far as the relationship goes, I felt like Aidan (or Aiden...who knows?) and Kate were two hormonal teenagers and their initial connection was based on that alone. Their chemistry didn't develop the way I wanted to it and everything felt rushed. I understand that they were each other's "escape" but I couldn't get over the fact that they were both too immature to care deeply about someone else.

It wasn't all bad, though. I love that the characters were struggling with issues we don't usually read about in YA/NA. I’m glad that Jolene Perry chose to write about a young girl with diabetes and a nineteen year disabled old veteran. I think it could've been better, perhaps more emotionally appealing, but I appreciate the effort to bring awareness to these issues.  

Would I recommend this novel? Honestly, I’m not sure. While it is being marketed as a New Adult novel (which I didn’t know until recently), I feel like it won’t find a lot of success that way. The characters are not mature enough and the story is not unique enough to appeal to fans of NA. My final verdict is that The Summer I Found You isn't good enough to shine among all of the new titles being released this year and, unless you are interested in a quick and average read, you should skip this one.

Rating: 2.5/5

Note: An eARC of this title was provided to me through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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