*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: The Summer of Us
Author: Cicelia Vinesse
Publisher: Poppy (imprint of Little, Brown & Company)
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
American expat Aubrey has only two weeks left in Europe before she leaves for college, and she’s nowhere near ready. Good thing she and her best friend, Rae, have planned one last group trip across the continent. From Paris to Prague, they’re going to explore famous museums, sip champagne in fancy restaurants, and eat as many croissants as possible with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe. But when old secrets come to light, Aubrey and Rae’s trip goes from a carefree adventure to a complete disaster. For starters, there’s Aubrey and Gabe’s unresolved history, complicated by the fact that Aubrey is dating Jonah, Gabe’s best friend. And then there’s Rae’s hopeless crush on the effortlessly cool Clara. How is Rae supposed to admit her feelings to someone so perfect when they’re moving to different sides of the world in just a few weeks?
If you’re looking for a light and fluffy summer read, this is the book for you! The Summer of Us has everything you’re looking for if you like cute, whirlwind romance novels with the perfect mix of friendship, love, and beautiful cities thrown together. This book delivers exactly what it promises, a summer of crushes and romance, and many a gorgeous European city. The characters have known each other for their high school years, forming the kind of friendships that one can only form in those important formative years. They are facing an end of an era with college fast approaching in the fall. Their weeks together in the summer are wrought with fear of the unknown and uncertainty in the face of change, with an intense desire to hold on to what they’ve got in one another.
I do enjoy a good fluffy read. This one was light and breezy and didn’t ask too much of the reader. It’s here to make you smile and warm your heart. I did struggle with one of the protagonists, Aubrey, as so many of her problems could be solved if she was just open and honest about her feelings. Conflict that arises when there is a break down in communication can drive me a bit nuts sometimes. However, I’m willing to forgive Aubrey a bit because she’s at a tumultuous point in her life where so much upheaval is occurring and as a teen, she’s just on the cusp of learning who she is.
I enjoyed how much of this book is focused on friendships, in tandem with the focus on relationships. Not only are the characters falling in love and learning what it means to be in love, they are also navigating their friendships as they experience incredible change. They navigate their transforming relationships with uncertainty.
I actually think this novel would have been a lot better if it had focused on Rae and Clara’s developing relationship. Rae has been out as a lesbian for a while and she’s developed a huge crush on Clara, but she’s not sure if Clara is attracted to girls. They’ve been friends for such a long time and Rae doesn’t want to risk ruining things before she moves to the opposite side of the globe for school. All she wants is for a fresh start. Her story becomes all the more complicated when things get sticky in her friendship with Aubrey. This story is so much more interesting and complicated. We could have done away with the Aubrey story line and really delved into Rae’s world. Cecilia, can you write a Rae only story please?
This book is fun, but not life changing. It was light and easy reading. It’ll be perfect for the beach side if you get a chance to get out this summer.