Author: Jolene Perry
Category: Young Adult
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Release Date: 3-1-14
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? – Goodreads
There’s an old saying that, paraphrased, says that everyone you meet may be struggling with something and that not all struggles are visible. The Summer I Found You takes that idea and introduces you to two teens who both struggle, but in very different ways. Aidan’s challenge is his war injury that he must live with every day. His whole way of life has been turned on its head and wherever he goes, there is no way he can pretend otherwise. On the other hand, Kate’s struggle with type 1 diabetes can be hidden, and she is very happy hiding it from everyone. Her constant battles with her parents really drive home the idea that she is not ready to fully accept her new reality. Kate and Aidan’s romance is sweet and lovely, but the inner workings of two people who aren’t totally showing their true selves provides the story with some real conflict. As they develop more feelings for each other, it uncovers the raw places in their lives that can’t be ignored. It really worked as a romance and as an issue oriented contemporary story.
This book is so timely as we welcome back a population of men and women who bear the visible and invisible scars of war. I found Aidan’s character to be so heartbreaking and very real. His confusion and anger about his new normal was very well written and really made him come to life on the page. Kate’s development as a character was interesting, too. Her diagnosis was something she tried to ignore as much as possible, so in that way, both Aidan and Kate were trying to hide. Even though she and Aidan were very close in age, their wildly different experiences in life gave Kate some food for thought and perspective. Even so, she really struggled with her limitations and what it might mean as the years go by, and I really felt for her as she tried to come to terms with those changes. Overall, The Summer I Found You was engaging, emotional, and very real. I loved the way the characters connected and how the story was able to pull me into Kate and Aidan’s struggles and triumphs.
I received this galley in exchange for my honest review.