ARC Review: The Summer of Everything // Beautiful and heartfelt

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Summer of Everything
Author: Julian Winters
Genre/s and tags: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+, BIPOC cast
Publisher: Duet Books
Publication date: September 8, 2020
Content warnings: Mild descriptions of anxiety/panic attacks, minor character death
Goodreads synopsis: 

Comic book geek Wesley Hudson excels at two things: slacking off at his job and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ‘90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local used bookstore, is threatened when a coffeeshop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his annoying brother needs wedding planning advice. When all three problems converge, Wes comes face-to-face with the one thing he’s been avoiding—adulthood.

Now, confronted with reality, can Wes balance saving the bookstore and his strained sibling relationship? Can he win the heart of his crush, too?

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I received an e-arc via NetGalley in exhange for an honest review. Thank you Duet Books!

My first impression towards this book? Funny, light, a lot of romcom feels. And this book was that, don’t get me wrong! But oh, I did not expect to be bawling my eyes out as I read the last few chapters.

The Summer of Everything is a beautiful and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and adulthood, meant to make you smile and cry all throughout the book.

My thoughts on The Summer of Everything

I was so wrong about this book and I love that. At first, I thought The Summer of Everything would be cute and funny all the way. And in a way, yes, it was in fact cute and funny (I was laughing out loud 5% into the book!), but after reading it, I can say that the story is so much more.

First, the writing was so good. It was so good in a way that I could relate to Wes effortlessly, I could feel his emotions, I could see his thoughts so clearly. I also loved how the tone can shift from every scene perfectly. The book was comedic, yes, but the more serious scenes are also heartfelt and powerful.

Second, the characters were great. Seeing a diverse group of people bond and forge a friendship like no other (and come together to save their workplace/bookstore) was amazing! I have to say though, I didn’t immediately like some of the characters when I first met them, but they did grow on me as the story progressed. I loved that they all had their own stories and personalities, and their character developments completed the story.

The plot was simple, and for a while, the pacing was slow and it took some time for something big to happen. That said, it doesn’t mean that nothing interesting happened in the story. We see Wes and his friends try to grapple with their newfound problem. We see Wes try to figure out his relationship with his brother. We see him meet new people and make new friends. We see him try to confess to Nico and more. It was such a journey from start to finish, and I loved being on that journey with Wes!

And another, this book gave me various LGBTQ+ representations to root for. There’s an aroace character, a trans, non-binary character, awesome moms, gay and bisexual characters, and more.

Above all, this story did not exactly give me the “happy ending” I expected. Instead, it gave me something more realistic, something more honest and raw. A different kind of happy ending, if I do say so myself. Through Wes’s journey, it showed me that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, and that’s completely okay! We accept things that are beyond our control, and from there, we learn and we grow.

Overall, The Summer of Everything is a beautiful and heartfelt story that will captivate you as you read. It’s releasing next month, so give it a try!


Buy The Summer of Everything

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop 

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