(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Scholastic Inc. on April 26th 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult
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 may just be the truth she needs the most.
From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.
Summer Everett is at the airport ready to board her plane to spend the summer with her estranged father in France. Her phone rings. Does she answer it or does she ignore it and get on the plane. Lucky for us as the reader, we get to experience two different stories based on this one split second decision. In one timeline, she answers the phone and her father cancels on her and her whole summer changes. In the other timeline, she ignores the call, gets on the plane, only to find out her father isn’t in France when she arrives.
I kinda love parallel universe stories… I think my first dive into parallel universes was the movie Sliding Doors… if you haven’t seen this, you should go get it and watch it. (I know I’m totally dating myself here) but it’s really well done, and it kind of kicked off my fascination with the whole “what would my life look like if I had made this choice instead of this one”. Friedman does an amazing job of really showing how this one simple action could change her life in quite different ways.
In both timelines Summer experiences quite a few ups and downs and Friedman does an incredible job of keeping the jumps from life to life seamless. She also does a really great job of immersing you into each life. In France, you’ll love the art, the pastries, the swoony boy… at home, you’ll love the new friendships forged, new experiences and the swoony boy. In both lives, it was wonderful to see Summer grow and become comfortable in who she is and who she is becoming… even if that meant giving up some of the things she’s depended on for so long.
I will say that I struggled immensely with Summer’s so called best friend in this story. From the get go I felt like she was a little cagey and when we followed the timeline where she stayed home for the summer it only made my feelings towards her a bit worse. I completely understood where she was coming from, but there really are a million better ways for her to have handled it. I absolutely loved the use of the camera to tie the two stories together.
There is one twist to the whole story that Summer isn’t expecting, but I kind of saw it coming as soon as she arrived in France and at the doorstep of her father’s home. I’m not going to explain specifics, but that was a bit predictable, though it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story as a whole.
I definitely recommend this for readers who might be looking for a light summer read full of fun experiences, family and friendship and some sweet romance… definitely a great starting point for someone who is just delving into parallel universes for the first time too!