Sunday 28 September 2014

Review ~ This Summer by Katlyn Duncan.

Title: This Summer.
Author: Katlyn Duncan.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: YA/NA Contemporary Romance.
Publication Date: July 9, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas - ex-boyfriends who don't seem to know what 'ex' means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn't anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt - for leaving, for coming back... Now he's just passing through to tie up loose ends but it's clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it's built on two years of lies...

This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change - again?

The cover of This Summer really appealed to me – it gives off a sweet, romantic vibe and I do love those kind of young adult summer romance stories – ones which are typically just cute and even though you can probably guess where they’re going before they’ve started, you don’t mind because it just makes you smile. I loved the summer camp setting here – it was a setting I’ve not really read too many times before and it made this book feel like something refreshingly new (to me, at least). I thought the portrayal of summer camp was built really well with all the different groups and roles and I could really picture and buy into the location in this book.

With the plot, I was a little confused at the beginning. We learn that Hadley has split up with her boyfriend Carter and I liked that that had happened before the book begins because from the plot we know Will is the main love interest, so this way I assumed no time is wasted with the long break-up and then the countless attempts to get back together. But then as soon as Hadley arrives at summer camp, and discovers Carter will no longer be working with her there, she seemed to completely dramatically blame Carter for ruining everything. I didn’t really understand that considering I would have thought it was fairly reasonable for Carter to not want to spend all summer camp with his ex when she doesn’t want him back. So the beginning of this novel was a little slow and it took me a while to warm to Hadley’s character. I did find her a lot more bearable as the book went on although it was Will’s character that I enjoyed the most.

This Summer is told in alternative chapters between Hadley and Will. I liked that this gave us a better understanding of Will, especially considering there was a lot Hadley had to find out and if I hadn’t have found out anything from Will’s perspective beforehand, it would have been hard to really connect with him. His story was really interesting and I was fascinated with seeing things unveil and learning the impact it all would have. I would love to have seen it developed further because it was all done at a very fast pace. The supporting characters in the novel could also have been built upon further – I enjoyed reading Hadley’s relationships with her best friend Lily and her brother Ethan and would have liked to have seen more. The novel was short but not that short so I felt like the author had room for a little more character development.

The plot was made up of all the components I love reading in teen books – secrets, drama, romance and friendship. It felt like a believable portrayal of that stage in a young person’s life – full of mistakes and parties and a journey to finding yourself and finding happiness. I could really buy into this. My only problem with the plot was how quick it all was. In particular, there was one twist which I didn’t see coming but I also had no real understanding of the reason behind it and it felt like it was over too quickly for it to ever make much sense to me. Parts of it did just feel a little too rushed but as This Summer approached the end, I grew to like it a lot more. The ending was perfectly fitting and satisfying and I loved the style in which this book finished.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

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