By: Aimee Friedman
Published Year: 2016
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .
ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .
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 might just be the truth she needs the most.
I had been craving a light summer YA, so I went searching and stumbled upon this one. The cover is a bit cheesy and very young. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up off the shelves if I wasn’t specifically looking for something like this, but obviously it did catch my eye enough to read the summary. One of my favorite theories is alternate realities based on choices that you make, so as soon as I read the summary I added it to my TBR.
What I thought
Summer is scheduled to go to France to spend about a month of her summer with her dad. While she is about to board the airplane her phone, which is about to die, starts to ring. In one scenario, she boards the plane without answering her phone and heads to France, in another she answers the phone and her vacation plans are cancelled.
I almost gave up on this book after the first chapter. There were a lot if irritating aspects to how this story was set up to come about. First of all, there is a massive rain and lightening storm that in no way impacts her flight leaving on time, then she apparently thinks she can’t answer the phone while she is walking to the airplane, and finally, when her phone dies, she just looks at it and goes “well, guess I’ll check that voicemail in August.” I understand that the author was trying to create a scenario in which she could create the alternate realities, but there are so many more ways that could have been done. One that immediately pops into my mind is leaving her phone in the car or at home in one scenario and in the other, she doesn’t. I just can’t believe that she would go to France for a month with a phone that’s dead, no charger, and no expectation to use it on WiFi. At that point, she might as well have not travelled with it at all.
Once I finally got past my irritations, the book was decent. I liked seeing her explore France and I liked seeing her life play out as she stayed back home. However, they are such two different stories that I didn’t feel like I every really got the full story I was looking for. It was like reading a glimpse into a summer YA book and getting just the taste but not the satisfaction.
When I picked up this book, I don’t know if I realized that Summer was 15 going on 16 and maybe that was part of my problem. She is very young and it got on my nerves. A lot of the problems she dealt with were irritating and like she thought she was better than other people. Again, this is likely due to the fact that I am a lot older than 15, so I didn’t connect with that.