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I have always been a reader. All my life. The girl at the library. The girl asking the librarians for new books. But lately? I’ve been in a rut. Everything sounds the same. And then comes along this book. THIS BOOK. Life. Changing.
Parker Reeves is just down on his luck. It’s just not his year. His mom has shipped him off to live his dad in a really small town. No friends. Nothing to do. Just a Summer with a father he barely knows. Every day is a struggle. He vows to make the next day count, but he can’t seem to be inspired to so do. Until he meets the girl next door, Summer. Sounds cliché right? This story is anything but. Summer is not your normal teenager. She is hiding something, but has decided to make the best of what life has thrown at her. And Parker is along for the ride.
“…and anything Summer touched seemed to radiate with light, love, and happiness.”
The connection between Parker and Summer was palpable. Their friendship was genuine and the development of their relationship was absolutely breathtaking. I refuse to place any spoilers in my review, but this is a definite must read. You LIVE through this book. Every encounter. Every lesson learned. And ultimately the fall. To fall in love with your best friend is a gift. Neither one took for granted.
“You’re going to do so much good, Parker Reeves. I can feel it in my bones.” “You make me want to be one of the good ones.”
The writing. The writing. THE. WRITING. Seamless. Flawless. Intoxicating. Where has this author been hiding? I never wanted to put this book down. It flowed effortlessly. There was never a lull. I felt engaged from the very first page. I knew I was going to love this book by Chapter One. And by Chapter Two? I had already fallen in love with Parker and Summer. The execution was brilliant. The storyline unique and truly inspiring. The characters. They are everything that everyone should strive to be.
“You love me?” “Without a doubt.”
Dear Summer was seriously one of the most exhilarating reads of my life. There are lessons in this story. Poignant and life changing, the magic of this book is deeply rooted in the magnificence of Parker and Summer. To live life without abandon. To love recklessly and whole heartedly. This book spoke to my soul in ways I can never portray in words. I cried. Oh boy did I cry. Because the intensity of them and their lives are so relevant to today. Overwhelmed with just the impact these characters have made on me. This book reminds me of why I love YA. It’s a story told in such honesty you feel it in your bones. If there is one book you read this year, make it this one.
I'm not one for contemperary romance novels, but I've been trying to broaden my horizon this year, so I decided to try some of the contemporary romance novels on my kindle, and by a random selection, I chose Dear Summer, a story about seventeen-year-old Parker Reeves, who's had a rough year at school and had to stand by and watch as his mother chose her new hubby over him. Now stuck for the summer with his estranged father, Luke, he can't think of anything worse than staying in Concord with nothing to do but stare at the walls. That's until he peers out the window one day and spots his next door neighbour, Summer Raines, but Summer doesn't want to get too close to Parker in fear he will literally break her heart.
Generally speaking, this was a decent read. Two teenagers falling in love over the summer, both completely different in character, dealing with completely different dilemmas in their lives, yet somehow managing to balance each other out. It was fun seeing how they each tried to make alterations in their lives to make room for the other. Characterisation was great. I could picture these characters, which I find difficult to do most of the time, but here it wasn't difficult. They were well-drawn characters. Summer, who I favoured among the others, was like a child experiencing everything for the first time (riding a bike, playing in the rain...). She's a character that will make you want to pay attention to the things we ignore because we think we have enough time to deal with them later, when in reality, life really is too short to plan too far ahead. She lives life in the moment, a complete opposite outlook to Parker, who feels so abandoned and neglected by his parents, he's too hurt to acknowledge that the only person suffering from his guarded and stubborn nature is himself. As much as Summer lived life to the fullest, she also puts her guard up when it comes to expressing her feelings for Parker, believing it would be a waste of time due to her current condition.
The story deals with a lot of real life issues that readers will be able to relate to. It was very much grounded in reality, which I think made it so easy to engage with the characters and their stories. It was predictable from start to finish, but for once, I didn't mind the fact that I knew what was around the corner, because this story wasn't about solving a mystery and inciting suspense to create excitement. This story is about how the simpliest things in life, like human interaction and communication can have a huge impact in the outcome of people's lives. Just being present and available can alter the course of someone's life and open up a world of wonder they never imagined. That's what Parker and Summer did for each other. One needed hope, the other needed inspiration.
The only real issue I had with this book was that it dagged on for too long. There were moments where literally nothing was happening in the way of progressing the story forward. I could cut out a lot of things and not change the story or affect it in any way, so I didn't feel it needed to drag on for so long. Apart from that, I throughly enjoyed the book.
This is a fantastic read. I laughed and cried. My emotions were all over the place. There was friendship, complicated family situations, love, and plenty of romance in this coming of age story. It is portrayeded in a way that enough was left to the imagination that you knew they made love not just had sex.
This book was absolutely amazing. You can FEEL the love & emotions between the characters. It will leave you feeling joyful, tearful and also grateful....this book changes your look on life & shows you what REAL love looks like. I could not put the book down. I loved it. This author is truly gifted.
Dear Summer is an incredible coming of age story that celebrates strength, courage, friendship, and love. Though the budding romance between the MCs will make your heart soar, it's the emotionally charged that captures the human spirit that will make you truly fall in love. Santana Blair is tremendously talented and this is one of my favorite books of the year!
Wow..This has to be one of the best books I've read...it had me laughing, screaming and crying. ... I had seen someone's review said this is a book you will finish and hold to your chest. As I sobbed, I did just that. Even though I knew what was going to happen, it didn't stop it from breaking my heart...you need to read this book.
It took me a while to be able to sit down and write this review. This book has reached me deeply. And I find it hard to put into words the feelings it evoked. The story of Summer and Parker is beyond a love story. It’s an adventure. A journey. Along with the characters, I embarked on a search of meaning, purpose, goodness. Also, I got to fall in love with the characters as they fell in love with each other. My heart swelled with love, laughter and grief. As I watched their adventure of finding themselves I found I piece of myself too. And isn’t this the best kind of story? The one that pulls at the heart strings, that captures our attention, enthralls our soul and takes us to a journey of self discovery. Santana wrote a beautiful book of self-discovery, of redemption, of grabbing life with both fists and seizing every small moment. This book helped me find a piece of myself that had been lost on the fabric of my soul. I won’t go on to give a summary of it. No. Read it. Savor it. Glean the jewels your very soul is searching for.
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2019
After almost failing 11th grade, Parker’s mother is at a loss over what to do with him. She decides to send him to live with his father for the summer in the small town of Concord. Parker is mad at her for ditching him, at his dad for not being there while he was growing up, and is mad at his life in general. Nothing seems to be going his way until he meets Summer – the beautiful girl next door.
Though only 16 years old, Summer has spent most of her life having multiple operations, due to her bad heart. Now that she’s on the mend, she’s created a bucket list of things she’s always wanted to do. Parker volunteers to help, feeling as if it will help his summer to be less boring. Their friendship grows, until it changes over to love. Parker can’t believe he’s finally met someone who understands him, and who motivates him to do better. As the summer progresses, both of their lives will change in ways they could never have imagined.
I really enjoyed this book. As soon as I finished it, I turned around and reread it. Most people who follow my blog know I don’t like to read self-published books because of the grammatical errors, and incorrect sentence structures. Yes this book had a lot of those issues, along with far too many instances of Parker calling Summer “sweetheart.” (I have yet to meet a teen boy who calls his girlfriend “sweetheart.”) However, despite these negatives, Parker and Summer’s Great Adventure drew me into the story.