Title: Someone Else’s Summer
Author: Rachel Bateman
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm’s list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm’s dream summer would eventually lead to Anna’s own self-discovery?
I feel that 25 years old may be a bit early to say, “Oh, to be young and in love!” when discussing a bunch of high schoolers, yet here I am. Someone Else’s Summer is about two teenagers, Anna and Cameron, who embark on a summer road trip to fulfill Anna’s late sister’s bucket list. It’s the type of book that you bring to the beach, or that you flip through while sipping a cold drink on a lounge chair on a patio. Although it deals with the dark reality of death, the bulk of the book is a fun, light read.
It isn’t hard to see how “Someone Else’s Summer” could easily become a teenager’s favourite book, which is why I would first and foremost recommend it to high school librarians. I do have to warn that it has some mature themes throughout (it is a love story through and through), but it’s the perfect YA love story. The story goes much further than the cutesy instant love affair, however – you get to see Anna, a young teenage girl, slowly grow into a brave young woman. She discovers so much about herself that I see her as the completely relatable character. We follow her summer through the good and the ugly, her excitement and her despair, and I dare you not to love her.
I can feel some of you start to roll your eyes, so let me tell you what differentiates this book, in my opinion, from the other books tackling the “summer bucket list” trope. It starts with a funeral. Storm, Anna’s sister, is always omnipresent through the book. She is never forgotten. Anna and Cameron learn to heal, but never forget. The tone of the book is bittersweet throughout, which stops it from being a suffocating type of “cute”, which could have been its downfall. Thankfully, it wasn’t. It reads as a real story, at times, which is why I believe this will become someone’s favourite book.
I’d like to thank Running Press, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is being published May 9th (that’s next week!) so keep an eye out for it!