A summer read set on the east coast... Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno (Review) #yabooks #yalit #newbooks

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Sometime in Summer
By Katrina Leno
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 416 Pages
June 28, 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Poppy


From critically acclaimed author Katrina Leno comes a tender love letter to books and summertime, with a touch of magic.

Anna Lucia Bell believes in luck: bad luck. Bad luck made her best friend stop talking to her. Bad luck caused her parents’ divorce. Bad luck is forcing her mother, Miriam, to sell the family’s beloved bookstore. And it is definitely bad luck that Anna seems to be the only person in the world Miriam is unable to recommend a life-changing book.

When Anna finds out that she and her mom are spending two months in a New England seaside town called Rockport, she expects a summer plagued with bad luck too. But Rockport has surprises in store for Anna, including a comet making its first appearance in over twenty years and two new—but familiar—friends.

In what will prove to be the most important summer of her life so far, Anna learns about love, herself, and the magic that an ordinary summer can bring.

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My Review

SOMETIME IN SUMMER is about a girl who has her whole world shift as she hits puberty, her parents separate, the bookstore her family has run her whole life is near closing, and then travels to the opposite side of the country for two months during the summer. Readers will enjoy the coastal town and setting, particularly as a beach read. Those who have struggled with questioning if some things are worth experiencing if they don't last (like love) might find a few pieces of wisdom in the heroine's story.

I think what I liked most about this story was the family dynamic of two parents who desperately love their daughter and make their separation as amicable as possible, and the involvement of books. There are several books and lines from books weaved throughout the story as Anna practically grew up in her parents' bookstore, her mom loves books and Anna progresses slowly through her summer reading. I also thought the whole concept and twist in the story was interesting. The author did a good job in making that plausible in a way and tying everything together. I also enjoyed the coastal town with a slower pace and how Anna isn't stuck to her phone, but instead makes friends and spends time with her parents. Makes me wish for some beach time with my family.

I think I felt like this book could have been much shorter. I literally had to force myself to keep reading and it would have possibly been a book I didn't finish if not that it was for review. I didn't love the main character, although I also thought a lot of readers would relate to her. It's a younger young adult read with not much really going on the first half of the book. The second half was more exciting with an interesting twist, but still not completely engaging. Plus it's kind of sad. Then there was quite a bit of leading where the reader is told what they should get from the story as the main character does her own self evaluation. I really don't like it when books tell me what to think. I could see what the author was trying to do, but the best writers can share wisdom without literally writing it out. I think also because I felt the book dragged and I didn't completely relate to the character, this aspect didn't work for me, but it may for others.

In the end, was it what I wished for? An overall sweet read with an interesting twist as a girl finds herself over the summer.

Content: Some swearing and expletives.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through TBR and Beyond Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of six critically acclaimed novels: Horrid, You Must Not Miss, Summer of Salt, Everything All at Once, The Lost & Found, and The Half Life of Molly Pierce. Her seventh novel, Sometime in Summer, arrives June 28 2022. She thinks you are just lovely.

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Have you read any books set during the summer or on/near the beach recently? What do you think about this one?

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