Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry
Release Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

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?

I have to admit that when I first started reading this story, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.  I thought it was going to be one of those cutesy high school stories filled with silly drama.  After all, it jumps immediately into a breakup between Kate, the main character, and her shallow boyfriend... who uses some of the most cliche reasons for the breakup.  Kate herself responds to the breakup in a a too-teen way... I really thought I'd be struggling through the book.  It didn't take long, however, for the book to prove me wrong and capture my attention.

The introduction of Aiden, and the revelation of Kate's diabetes changes all that.  Here are two characters who have something about them that makes them different.  Aiden is disabled and hates the pity and egg-shell walking that's going on around him.  It causes his disability to weigh even more heavily upon him.  Then you have Kate with a recent diabetes diagnosis that she doesn't take care of.  It's not that she's too immature or flighty to do so, but because she's so scared of what it means to her life for the long haul that she subconsciously feels that if she ignores it, it will go away.

What they each find in each is a lightness of spirit and comfort that both desperately needed.  I loved watching the development of this romance, and the positive ways in which each influences the other in such a subtle but profound way.

The author's writing was sensitive to these two subjects, but the book was in no way depressing.  It had moments of laughter, romance, and seriousness that were an excellent blend.  I really enjoyed it.

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