Author: Jolene Perry
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Publish Date: March 1st, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?
Kate Walker’s life is in shambles – she was recently diagnosed with diabetes, her parents watch her very move, and her boyfriend breaks up with her for another girl. Kate begins losing hope that her life will turn itself around, until she is introduced to Aidan/Aiden. Aidan/Aiden is struggling with issues in his own life, particularly after losing his right arm in Afghanistan. Tormented by recurring nightmares, Aidan/Aiden finds it challenging to adjust to life outside of the army with only one arm. Kate and Aidan/Aiden are both in need of a distraction – each other.
I would have given this book 3 stars if it were not for the numerous editorial mistakes. Yes, I did receive this book as an ARC from NetGalley, but I was taken aback by the sheer number of errors. The most prominent was the inconsistent spelling of a main character’s name, hence my use of “Aidan/Aiden” throughout the review. Even more alarming are the title and cover, which are very misleading. First and foremost, the book in its entirety takes place during the spring when all of the characters are in school, contrary to the reference to summer in the title. Additionally, none of the book takes place at the beach, which is featured on the cover. Grammatically, some sentences lacked dialogue tags, transitioning directly from a quote to a character’s train of thought. In these situations, the lack of a new paragraphing to signify the start of a new thought made the narrative very confusing. There were numerous other errors, ranging from spelling to grammar to sentence structure. Hopefully the novel will undergo some additional revisions before it is published in March. Individually, these mistakes were not horrendous, but they compounded upon one another, making this book a very frustrating read.
As for the characters, I found them to be interesting and unique with well-developed backstories. This was my first time reading about a diabetic main character, and it provided me with a new outlook on life. When Kate learns of her disease, she enters into a state of denial. Instead of embracing her illness and trying to make the most of it, she spends the entire book moping, resulting in her immature and selfish behavior. Aidan/Aiden, on the other hand, realizes that he will not magically grow another arm, making him the more rational and level-headed of the two. Instead of concentrating solely on the negative aspects of his life, Aidan/Aiden tries to move forward and build a new life for himself, one step at a time. The book is written from a dual point of view, giving readers insight into both of their lives. These characters serve as excellent foils for one another, portraying very different characteristics.
Throughout the book, there was poor communication between the characters. They evidently had the ability to read one another’s minds; characters magically knew about events and conversations that they had not witnessed. Also, the dialogue seemed strained and forced, particularly between Kate and Aidan/Aiden. The two lacked chemistry, contradicting the book’s classification as a YA Romance. Instead, their interactions were awkward and uncomfortable, even for the reader. Their interest in one another was initially promising, hinting that they may develop stronger feelings for one another throughout the book. I couldn’t have been more wrong when I made this assumption.
I wasn’t immediately drawn in by this book; it didn’t fully capture my attention until the 8th or 9th chapter. This was partially due to the complaint-ridden characters with whom I struggled to connect. I sympathized with their situations, but, Kate especially, tended to play the pity card too often for my liking. The plot was predictable, serving as the traditional cookie cutter in which girl meets boy and falls in love, they have a falling out, and then they live happily ever after. No real surprises there. It was a cute story, but lacked several key components, including characterization and plot development.
This book was received as a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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