Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

ISBN: 9780807583692
Source: eARC (Netgalley)
Series: No, stand alone
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Goodreads  |  Amazon

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?


Can I just say that again? WOW. So, basically, I was putting off reading this book for weeks and weeks because I thought I would hate it. For the life of me, I couldn't remember why I even bothered to request it on Netgalley. The reviews on Goodreads made the book seem like it was horribly written, stupid, etc. Well, FYI - I wholeheartedly disagree. I adored it, and I was really not expecting to at all.

I really enjoyed Kate despite the fact that she was a stubborn teenager with a tendency to say things she shouldn't say (why is that such a thing in YA lately?). Maybe I even liked her because of that. I really identified with her as she struggled with her illness, for some reason. Possibly because for the first part of the book, she definitely played the part of the victim, and I mean, don't we all play the victim sometimes? But Kate was also funny and sincere and it's hard not to like a girl like that.

And Aidan.. oh, Aidan. First of all, in my mind, he's Hot. Second, he's another brooding main character for whom I was totally able to excuse his cliche broodiness (all YA male MCs happen to be brooding, lately). He had some serious reasons to brood, though. He'd just lost his arm, his career, his friend, the life he always thought he'd have. But he was so sweet and sincere, and his awkward confusedness over girls and pretty much life in general were just too freaking adorable to bear. I loved their chemistry and OH MAN, that love scene! Okay, admittedly, it was a little much for a YA novel, but dayummm, Jolene Perry. Props to you, girlfriend!!

Both characters went through some real issues in this book and their character growth by the end was humbling to watch. There's not much to be said about a soldier losing a limb in battle.. it's a tragedy, point blank. I'm not trying to downplay it at all, but I don't see any controversy related to Aidan's tragedies. I felt for Aidan just as I felt for Kate, but Kate's issue stuck with me more.

I saw a lot of reviews (mostly the negative ones) that mentioned how they didn't understand why Kate's type 1 diabetes was such a big deal. Not gonna lie, that pissed me off quite a bit. I remember as a kid when my mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She was distraught - and she was an adult, with type 2. She'd be on pills and diets and special instructions, etc., for the rest of her life. I remember a few years later when she became pregnant with my brother and the doctors told her that the pills were too dangerous for the baby, and she'd have to inject herself with insulin for the entire pregnancy. I remember her being even more distraught. How is that something people can't understand? Add in the fact that Kate is a teenage girl with an even more dangerous type of diabetes, and I'm left wondering if I'm overreacting or if those reviewers were insensitive jerks.

Well, basically, long story short, as someone with a family history of diabetes (mom, grandmother, grandfather, etc.), being diagnosed with diabetes is one of my biggest health fears. I was able to identify with Kate wanting to ignore her disease because she hated having to live that lifestyle, that it wasn't fair. Again, yes, she was playing the victim, but to say that her diabetes was not a big deal after reading about every issue she dealt with, especially the life-threatening ones, is kind of ridiculous.

Alright, alright, sorry - rant over.

Anyways, I think the writing was great and my only wish was that it had been a bit longer. Two of the things that people complained about in this book were that the title had nothing to do with the book as it was not set in the summer, and that the author kept jumping back and forth between Aidan and Aiden. I only noticed these things more than simply in passing because of the reviews. This in no way took away from the story. Was it sloppy? Yes. Should an author, editor or publisher catch something so conspicuous? Yes. Is this just an ARC? Yes. Do I even give a crap? NO.

RATING: Excellent! (4.5 stars)

The Summer I Found You was a great story and I look forward to reading more by Jolene Perry in the future. Have any of you gotten to read this ARC? If so, what did you think? If not, do you think you'll be picking up a copy when it's officially released in a few days? Can't wait to hear what you think!


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