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Two Summers

Review

Two Summers

TWO SUMMERS, a young adult novel by Aimee Friedman, explores Summer Everett’s summer break in a dual narrative, as Summer learns about first love and the damage that secrets can wreak upon a family. Summer’s father abruptly moved to France when she was a child, she has rarely seen him, instead becoming extremely close with her mom, a philosophy professor at the nearby Hudson College. Even with Summer’s special connection to her mom, she can hardly wait to board a plane to France for a summer-long trip to visit her father to get to know him better. However, at the last second before boarding the plane, Summer receives a phone call.

"TWO SUMMERS is a must read....[E]specially perfect for anyone looking for a fun summer read on the beach or by the pool."

Examining the significance of a single moment’s decision, Friedman explores two different worlds: in one, Summer takes the phone call, and in the other, she chooses to ignore it and boards her plane anyway. Friedman’s novel explores these distinct possibilities: in one world, Summer travels to France to spend the summer with her distant artist father, while in the other, Summer’s father cancels the trip last minute, and she instead spends her summer at home taking a photography class at the local college. In both narratives, Summer has similar experiences, such as Summer’s evolving relationship with her best friend, Ruby. By detailing multiple possibilities of Summer’s summer, Friedman poses the question of what truly influences a person more: life experiences or personal character.

TWO SUMMERS is a unique novel, utilizing dual narrative in a concept that flows clearly between the two contrasting storylines. Even though Summer herself can feel unoriginal and whiny at times, both storylines have cute moments. The themes of the novel are relatable to many young people, as Summer struggles to adjust to the idea of her best friend wanting to be popular and have a boyfriend. Although Friedman can try too hard to relate to her young readers with constant mentions of Instagram, the similar conclusion between both of Summer’s summers is interesting, and causes the reader to think about the influence fate can have upon life.

For readers of Aimee Friedman’s other novels, such as THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY and SOUTH BEACH, her new novel TWO SUMMERS is a must read. TWO SUMMERS is especially perfect for anyone looking for a fun summer read on the beach or by the pool. Summer’s exciting life and intriguing love interests will keep readers on their toes, and excited for the future works of Friedman.

Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member on May 2, 2016

Two Summers
by Aimee Friedman