Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?
Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.
Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.
*I WAS PROVIDED AN e-ARC IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION*
Now, I know y’all know just how much I adore Jess’s debut Love Songs and Other Lies. Jess has a writing style that traps you once you start reading with it—it’s light, airy while still keeping some things serious, and fun.
This book had me on the edge of my seat. After every page I turned, I was eager to see what came next.
When Summer Ends, while not being directly related to LSAOL, is centered in the same town. It has that summer vibe (obv.), and it’s absolutely perfect for people who are—like me—currently despising winter.
Our female main character—Olivia—has a too safe life. What I mean by that, is that she is living every day by the book. She stays within boundaries, and she doesn’t actively voice what she thinks; this is especially true around her boyfriend Zander. Their dates are the normal “let’s go to the movies” ordeal, but she doesn’t even get to choose what she wants to see. And when Zander goes fishing, he never asks or offers her to come.
Now, faced with the threat of moving halfway across the country with her aunt, Olivia is left single and hurt. However, this changes when her friend tells her to live her summer through chance—a simple coin-flip to decide on whether or not to do something.
Olivia has an almost sarcastic side to her that I love and relate to. Especially in this quote, I love how petty she got. She’s got the personality of a real-life teenager, and I appreciate that a lot.
Aiden, our male main character, is giving up. He’s giving up baseball, and he’s giving in to working at his family’s business—the Riverton Depot. This all is due to his suffering vision; though, he is technically not blind. From what we know about him, he’s never had a serious girlfriend, and he’s very into art.
This novel was fast-paced, alluring, and romantic all in one. However, I did have a few minor problems with it. I was left with a few unanswered questions that I felt were necessary to be answered during the book. It almost felt like—though we had two main characters—the story was more centered around Olivia.
For one, I want to know whatever happened with what Aiden was to do with his art? It was made apparent more than once in the book that he was serious about his new hobby, yet it was never actually fulfilled or talked about much after the falling action.
Other than that, I absolutely loved this book. The characters developed better than expected, the plot was a little crooked at the end, but ultimately straightened out, and the story itself was enjoyable. For that, I rate it 4 stars.
If you were iffy about this book before, I’d still highly suggest you give it a try. Jessica Pennington has the whole contemporary romance genre on a leash, and I look forward to what she’s bringing out next.
Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her novel, with her husband Josh and their son, Rory. She is the author of Love Songs & Other Lies, and When Summer Ends (April 2019). Find Jessica on Twitter at @jessnpennington and IG @jessicapennington
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