The Summer I Found You
by Jolene Perry
Albert Whitman Teen
Pub Date: March 1, 2014
I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Summer I Found You is told in alternating points of view between Kate, a girl who's dealing with her recent diagnosis of diabetes, and Aidan, a boy who is home from the army after losing an arm. The two are thrown together on a whim by Kate's best friend who is also Aidan's cousin. Romance ensues.
I'll start by saying that I absolutely adored this book. I wasn't sure how I felt about Kate at first, because at the beginning of the story she gets dumped, and then she spends a lot of time whining about it and thinking she can get the guy back. I didn't want to read about that, but I can admit that it did feel like a realistic reaction from a teenage girl. And Aidan starts off a bit whiney too, but understandably so, since he just lost his arm. Once the two meet, though, I was totally sucked into the story.
Kate is drawn to spending time with Aidan because he is the one person who doesn't know about her diabetes, and therefore isn't monitoring what she eats and worrying about her all the time. And Aidan likes being around Kate because she doesn't act weird about his arm. She just blurts out whatever she's thinking, even if other people would find it inappropriate. I really liked how, with the multiple POV's, we got to understand each person's motivation for wanting to be with the other. These two characters didn't fall into the trap of insta-love. They had very believable reasons for wanting to continue seeing each other. Eventually, of course, their feelings developed until they really cared about each other.
Of course, what drew them to each other also becomes the sources of their problems. They're both, in a way, hiding things from each other and aren't able to be completely open. Then things seem to fall apart in the climactic seen (which I could see coming from page one), but the pair finds a way to work things out. What I really love about their relationship is how they each help the other overcome their problems.
Overall, I thought both the story and the writing were great. I'd definitely be interested in checking out Jolene Perry's next book.