Summer by Summer {A Book Review}

8:24 AM

I have always been a fan of books where people are trapped in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but a few things to keep them alive. When I was younger I loved "Hatchet" from Gary Paulsen - his books kept me imagining what such an experience would be like, and so I was super excited to see what this book, "Summer by Summer," by Heather Burch would hold in store.

The story starts with Summer (a teenage girl with a broken spirit), getting a job as a nanny - a perfect break between High School and college in the fall. She adores Joshie (the little boy she'll be taking care of), and his family is super nice. They treat her well and everything seems to be going fairly well... that is until Joshie's brother, Bray shows up from college. 
He's everything Summer can't stand about a guy - she calls him a "jerk" and hates how all he wants is parties and girls. 
The feeling is mutual however. Bray calls her "vanilla", boring and someone who dresses like an old lady (long skirts and such). She's too serious - not his type in the least. 
On a trip gone wrong the two end up being stranded together on a deserted island with no one around anywhere. They are alone - completely. They have no way of getting help and must stick together to overcome obstacles and put aside their dislike for one another.

My thoughts...
I have to say I had high expectations for this book - it sounded exciting, and I was looking for a good Christian young adult book to spend the next few days reading. I guess my expectations were a little too high, because a lot about the book didn't meet them.
The plot was well laid out - the characters intriguing, and the author's style of writing brought everything to life. However there were some flaws that drew me away from the book. For instance, Bray and Summer seemed to have everything right there on the island. 
Food? No problem - a deserted run down resort (from a hurricane a year or so back) - the kitchen full of canned goods. 
Shelter? A run down condo to fix that.
Fire? Magnesium fire starter to the rescue. Just in case you don't know what that is  - the fire starter really works well and is quick and easy. I used it last week with my brothers and loved it - plus it can start around a hundred fires!
Also Bray and Summer feel a very strong attraction to each other, and you read about it (in some detail), since it's in first person. Bray calls her "hot" when he's telling us about her, and Summer thinks about how his "body is so perfect". It can make you feel uncomfortable reading - even more so since these two teens (falling deeply in love) are completely alone (and sometimes Summer is only in her bikini at that). Bray even mentions sleeping with her, but Summer puts her foot down. She made a promise to stay pure and will not break it. 

This leads to the good things about the story...
you learn about the goodness of waiting for marriage to "be together", and what true love is. Bray goes from wanting girls and beer, to seeing the emptiness of many relationships and only outward attraction. He sees true love and how waiting makes it all worth it. 
Summer slowly begins to see God clearer then before and that He is always there. 

Overall the book was OK. I felt at times the survival part was too easy, and the love story happening too quick for me to catch up with. The message of the story did have good meaning, but I sometimes felt it was hidden behind the physical attraction between Summer and Bray. 

So have you read the book? What did you think? Do you agree with my review?


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Ephesians 2:8