Sunday 7 February 2016

Reviewed: The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

The Summer I Met You will be published by Headline on February 11, 2016.

Thanks to Frances at Headline for sending me a copy of this book to review.

The Summer I Met You is a digital short story prequel to Victoria Walters’ emotional debut novel, The Second Love of My Life. Honestly, I’d have downloaded the short story just for that gorgeous cover alone but the little story inside is even better. The Summer I Met You is a lovely introduction to Victoria Walters and her writing feels so fresh and bubbly as she becomes one of those authors whose books I know I’ll just have to read.

I loved the author’s storytelling, the way we’re being told of the sincere summer romance between Emma and John but at the same time, with a glimpse of their relationship we’re meeting and falling in love with Rose and Lucas too, Rose being the main character in Victoria’s debut The Second Love of My Life. It’s funny because after I finished reading this short story a couple of weeks ago, all I’ve done since is think about the supporting characters of Rose and Lucas, which puts me in good stead for reading the full-length novel that tells Rose’s story. I adored Lucas in The Summer I Met You so I’m already a bit sad about what The Second Love of My Life entails!

Emma and John’s story is a sweet one. They meet on a Devon beach in original fashion – I won’t spoil it but I loved that meet-cute! They get to know each other, fall in love and then the summer ends, and they don’t know where things will go from there. But they do know they don’t want to leave each other’s side. The story in this book takes us from past to present which, being such a short story, I found a bit awkward to adjust to at first but it made sense for storytelling purposes. I loved seeing how far Emma and John’s feelings had grown from that first moment and was interested to see how things would work out for them – although if I’m honest I had more interest in Rose and Lucas who, when I was reading this, I didn’t realise were vital to the story of Victoria’s novel The Second Love of My Life.

The summer romance aspect is really realistically written – I thought Victoria well represented all the feelings and concerns when you meet someone in those circumstances, when you feel like you’ve fallen in love but there are so many doubts for the future. Do you really know this person? Would the relationship last once the summer ends? I could really buy into Emma and John’s story and feel for them as they tried to figure it all out.

Engaging and cleverly-written, The Summer I Met You is a read-in-one-go kind of story and it will leave you eager for more from the author. It's a sweet slice of romance and I loved the introduction to Emma’s hometown of Talting - can’t wait to be back there in the next book!

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