Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Summer by SummerSummer by Summer by Heather Burch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“But sometimes I think God doesn’t rush in so quickly because maybe there’s something we need to take away from the experience.”

The cover design suggests a light, “beachy,” summery read, and the book blurb doesn’t exactly quash that suggestion, so I was surprised to find that most of Summer by Summer is an adventure novel with rather dark subject matter, several of its aspects reminding me of the movie Cast Away. There’s also some suspense tied into Summer and Bray’s story as, no matter how wrong of a foot they got off on, they have to help each other survive the dangers of the remote island where they’ve been stranded.

Certain nuggets of the writing pretty early in the novel struck me as brilliant, and it’s interesting how the author brings the reader into some of the most precarious of the characters’ situations without a lot of pomp or fuss, adding a “suddenness” to their perils that pulled me in. Yes, I gasped aloud a time or two.

On another note, I think it’s safe to say that some Christian Fiction fans, despite the novel’s message on abstinence, will be bothered by the degree of sexual tension and physical contact described in the book; even with its being a YA novel, I wouldn’t recommend it to younger teens, though I’m quite aware that even young adults are sexual beings. My personal qualm with the theme had more to do with the large amount of it, to the point where all the touching and such became too predictable, and I wanted the story to move on. ChristFic readers may also not be too keen on the fact that there isn’t a level of shared faith to match the level of romance between the characters.

Still, the novel addresses grief, guilt, trust in God, and restoration with care, and though it wasn’t the read I was expecting, I’m glad I read it.


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