Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book #Review: "Summer by Summer" by Heather Burch .@heatherburch .@blinkyabooks

Book Title: Summer by Summer
Author:  Heather Burch |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Blink
Genre: Young Adult
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: paperback
Cost: $12.99
Pages: 288
How I got it: Unsolicited from the Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
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When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy. Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him. Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.
This has been one of the best Christian romances I have read in a while.  This book really did a wonderful job of sharing the faith of the character without knocking you out with a sermon that would make you feel guilty. I loved how the character growth took place, because let's be real this could have gone oh so wrong for her.  I loved the lessons shared without them being loud, brash or in your face and I think this would be a wonderful addition to any teen of faith's library.  It's a good clean romance, that shared that what is important isn't the trappings and the words; but the actions of the person who claims to love you.

At the end of the book Heather wrote a note sharing how she named certain places for God and it really enhanced the story in my opinion and made it so much more especially when you realized how much this affected their growth and facilitated the story progress. I would have loved a cut away from the characters showing how their parents were handling the search and what was going on, but since this was told through the two characters point of view, we only knew what they knew and learnt what they learnt as the story progressed. This didn't take away from the story, but I was curious to their families reactions to them being missing.

I loved that at the beginning the two characters were at crossroads from each other, Summer having her own issues and needing the vacation as a way to heal and progress before she went off to college.  We learnt only when Bray did, why she needed this job and it was heartbreaking to learn, but I loved Bray's reaction to the news & how Summer learned to progress in her growth and healing.  This story kept me glued because I wanted to see how they would progress, I laughed at both of them because boy; they certainly had their moments of being silly, and yet they were so realistic it felt like this story was one of them sharing in a conversation of what happened to them.

The story really relied on both Summer and Bray to move  and even though there were a few times where things  could have gone wrong, if it weren't' for the fact that both of them were down to earth and good campers, they wouldn't have survived the first day.  Reading the story as it progressed I felt sucked in, I wanted to know what was going to happen next, I felt their despair, their fear, their anger at each other and at fate, the desperation when it seemed like nothing was going to go right and then oh my gosh as things slowly started going in their way I loved it.

Summer grew so much in this story, learning to look beyond the surface, and truly see the human being that is revealed is her biggest lesson, not just about Bray but about herself as well. I loved that when tested she felt comfortable falling back into helpful habits and made no apologies for it. I loved how she embraced herself and her faith and how she quietly shared that with Bray without being preachy or superior.  This endeared her to me and I loved reading those moments when she took the time to talk to God.

Bray had a bit of growing up to do, as a college freshman with the world as his play ground he wasn't at all enchanted to discover his parents had hired a nanny, one who dressed like she was 90 when she was only 18 and one who acted as if he were a plague in his own family.  Summer wasn't fazed or fascinated by him and when she called him out about his behavior, he wasn't at all thankful for her presence.  However, she was a enigma and he loved finding ways to annoy her and as they lived and fought to survive the island, he came to realize there was more to Summer than meets the eye.

I loved watching how they worked well together, and how they kept each other motivated and sane; as it seemed like hope dwindled each day of a early rescue.  I loved the discussion of Summer keeping the promise she made years ago and how Bray decided he wanted to be the kind of man worthy of her.  I totally loved their conversations and how they got to know each other and felt like the progression of the love and the story were done extremely well.

I enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to more books by the author.
It's a wonderful clean love story for those looking for that, and it carries a great message.
Happy Reading

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