Friday, July 29, 2016

Me on Two Summers

Title: Two Summers
Author: Aimee Friedman
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Point (Scholastic imprint)

When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she's dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems. In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. In the end, it may just be the truth she needs the most.

Two Summers is full of possibilities and what ifs, the chance to explore and to learn. But it doesn't matter where you are, at the end you still have to face reality.

Summer is a teenage girl caught up in possibility. Standing in front of the boarding gate, staring at her ringing phone, she wonders how things would be different depending on whether or not she answers her phone. Wonders what her summer would entail. The reader is given that chance, shown both possible summers, both possible settings and the things Summer learns along the way. She's smart but shy, creative but afraid to show it. Like most when they come to a crossroads, she would rather things not chance. She's happy with how her life is going, happy she has her friend Ruby and her mom at her side. But things can't always stay the same. People grow, learn, change, and Summer has to decide if she wants to as well.

The chance that Summer gets through the magic of fiction is one I imagine most people would like. The chance to know both sides of a decision, of a what if or either/or question. I like that Summer doesn't know that both summers are happening. It's more like they occur at the same time and the reader gets to see how each would've happened. They see the different things Summer learns, the different ways she hears about Ruby's new friends and the secrets both her mom and her dad are hiding.

This book reminds me so much of the movie Sliding Doors, when the main character lives out two different versions of her life based off of two different results of one action. The difference here is that Summer sort of learns the same things along the way. That friends change, that people change, and that's okay. That sometimes you have to actually talk to people instead of hiding behind a stoic mask. That you have to take risks, even though you might get hurt. That secrets kept by those close to you can hurt the most, even when they're keeping them with good intentions. And as for which summer Summer actually has? You'll have to read it to find out. I would recommend this to contemporary YA fans.

(I borrowed a copy of this title from the library.)

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