Book Review: Summer’s End by Sally Henson

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Summer’s End by Sally Henson

YA Realistic Fiction, Romance, High-School

My Rating: 🌟🌟

***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

Goodreads Synopsis:

Falling in love was never part of the plan!

Sixteen-year-old Regan Stone wants nothing more than to escape her gossipy hometown and study marine science. Every choice she makes is deliberate, from her dual credit classes to the out-of-state university she’s selected. She has a plan.

When Lane, her best-friend-since-forever, admits his feelings for her, Regan’s careful plans begin to unravel. Lane’s admission unleashes her own hidden feelings. Now that they’ve surfaced, she’s not sure she can ever let him go. Lane may just be everything she never knew she wanted. But how can Regan choose between following her dreams and taking a chance at love?

The author contacted me almost a year ago via instagram, offering to send me a copy of her book which I was excited to finally pick up this summer as it seemed like the perfect pool-side read.

Overall, this was an okay story, but I wasn’t a fan of the writing style and most of the characters.

I’m over the whole “we’re best friends and nothing more” theme. But I am into the whole small-town/old-school kind of community where asking the father of the girl you’re sweet on for permission to date his daughter is respected and admired.

I wasn’t particularly impressed with Regan, the leading lady. She’s unpleasantly pretentious with regards to her “dreams” and while I respect her desire to make something of herself, she makes everyone who doesn’t have similar goals feel inferior. Every time her friends have a little secret or do something even just a little dumb, she looks at them with “disgust.” She thinks that she’s so smart – not dating til she’s getting married, sticking to her ‘rules’ about dating friends, putting her ‘career’ first. But she’s actually the most naive character in the entire book – totally clueless. I also feel like she tried to lecture me on “gossiping.” I know what it is. I don’t need you to explain it over and over and tell me how much you hate it OVER AND OVER. One girl gets pregnant and can’t afford to go to college and suddenly any relationship can ruin Regan’s life forever…I’m so glad Regan is an optimist. I like strong-willed female characters, but not when their over confidence is actually a front for their naivete and selfishness.

Regan’s dad is on my hit list. What kind of dad doesn’t believe his own daughter when she tells him that a boy has ill intentions toward her and then proceeds to invite said boy to dinner anyway? Why did he not believe her until Lane told him the same thing AND gave the other boy a black eye? (even if the other boy is a total jackass and deserved it).

I didn’t like the writing. I don’t mind first person POV, but it was kind of messy and choppy at times. Regan would go from talking to the reader, to talking to herself, to talking to God which didn’t blend well. I also felt like the conversations between the characters weren’t realistic at all. Near the beginning, Regan frowned with ‘disgust’ at her friend’s ‘insolence’ (something like that) and I was just like “...what kind of teenager talks like that?” And when she thinks about Lane dating while he’s in college, she refers to any potential girlfriends as “bimbos.” Jeez Louise, girl!

I am Christian and didn’t mind the strong undercurrent of Christianity in this book. But Regan’s faith didn’t translate well to me – there was no real depth. She kept thinking about her actions as things a good Christian would either do or not do. I felt like the characters’ Christianity was just a set of rules to follow and not a way of life.

I’d read the next book to find out what happens. But honestly, Lane deserves better. He’s not on my top book boyfriends list, but I wouldn’t say no to a dinner with him.

Verdict: This is a pretty typical YA summery romance. Girl has big goals, realizes she’s in love with her best friend, and despite her set of rules for herself, she decides to take a chance on a potential relationship. But the writing and execution hindered me from really enjoying it and I’m glad I didn’t buy this one for myself. *yikes*

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