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When Summer Ends


When Summer Ends

In the beginning of the book WHEN SUMMER ENDS, written by Jessica Pennington, nothing seems to be turning out the way Olivia planned and this is difficult because she is a planner through and through. She had the perfect summer job and the perfect boyfriend, but all that changes when her summer dream job collapses and her boyfriend dumps her.


In the same town, there is all-star baseball player Aiden Emerson, who --- after dedicating most of his life to baseball --- blows the last game of the season and quits the team. Little does everyone else know it has nothing to do with blowing the last game and everything to do with an eye disease that is causing him to lose his vision.


Now this summer, Aiden needs to figure out who he is without baseball and Olivia needs to figure out how to live life when everything doesn’t go exactly as planned. Between Aiden’s vision loss and Olivia’s family drama, they both are sorting out some very serious issues that are similar to what many teenagers deal with on a daily basis. These two characters are very relatable from the start and it only gets better.


After Aiden saves Olivia from a mess at their summer job at River Depot by sweeping her away in a canoe, this book becomes the perfect summer romance. The summer setting makes it a perfect beach read and Aiden is the artistic, athletic, caring and compassionate guy that straight girls dream of dating.


Butterflies will flutter in the reader’s stomach as Aiden and Olivia become close. Since Aiden cannot drive due to his vision impairment, he asks Olivia to be his driver for the summer and their first excursion is to an art show where Aiden can study in an attempt to be accepted into advanced art for his senior year. Together they experience beautiful scenes in an artistic atmosphere. It’s the perfect moment that turns the rest of the book into a quick read as you wonder what is going to happen between them next.


There is no doubt that the romantic quality of this book is high and makes it worth the read, but there were a few copyright errors and inconsistencies. These may be fixed before the final printing, but as it is now, some of the plot inconsistencies are enough to confuse, taking the reader out of the story.


The switch of perspectives between Olivia and Aiden was uneven as most of the narrating seemed to be focused on Olivia’s side. There were some loose ends in Aiden’s plot that would have been nice to see given more of a conclusion. For example, it is never said whether Aiden gets into the advanced art class he was working toward. This could be resolved in a nice scene with the art teacher praising him for all his hard work. The epilogue focuses more on Aiden’s relationship with baseball and how he dealt with not playing anymore. While it was nice to see Aiden fix his relationship with the members of the baseball team, the reader had already let go of Aiden as a baseball player and bringing it up in the end without mentioning what else his future has in store seemed pointless.


Aspects of Olivia’s life also seemed a bit off or quickly dropped, especially when it came to her relationship with her mother. After setting up how mad and betrayed Olivia felt about her mother leaving her, where Olivia even went so far as to leave her mother off her family tree in a school project, she seemed to easily accept her mother’s return to her life without much fuss. She didn’t even refuse or put up a fight when her mother criticizes her dietary habits, insisting Olivia drink tea instead of pop. It all just seemed off that Olivia surrendered to her mother without there being any kind of argument between them when it was clear Olivia had pent up emotions. Pennington did make it clear through Olivia’s body language and other actions that Olivia’s relationship with her mother would still be awkward, it was just surprising that Olivia didn’t really fight against her mother’s initial return harder.


Despite any shortcomings, romance readers will swoon over the book WHEN SUMMER ENDS by Jessica Pennington. Though parts of it may seem inconclusive or unexplained, it does include every aspect of a good romantic comedy: an attractive male lead who fights for his girl, a love triangle, intellectual conversation, personal obstacles for each character to overcome with each other’s support and the perfect summer setting for two people to fall in love. Readers will cheer, clap and maybe even cry throughout Olivia and Aiden’s story.

Reviewed by Angela Warsinske on April 10, 2019

When Summer Ends
by Jessica Pennington