Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

The Summer I Found YouThe Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Page Count: 240
Published by: Albert Whitman & Company
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

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This was the first book I read that had this type of premise, so I was very intrigued and expecting an emotional story. I was really excited when I first started reading, but along the way this book fell short for me. And that was mainly due to the protagonist, Kate.

Kate was really off putting to me because she was so self-centered and immature. She was completely irresponsible and incapable of taking care of her diabetes. Her parents gave her multiple opportunities to back off and give her control of her own life, but she repeatedly failed at taking charge. She was more worried about what others would think if they saw or knew that she had diabetes, like it was something to be embarrassed about. When Kate sees how Aidan is treated due to his quite obvious missing arm, Kate decides she was right to hide what she believes is her own disability. They are in no way on the same level, so she caused a lot of unnecessary drama because she hid it. I seriously couldn't get behind her reasons for lying about it, and it made her look very petty.

Aidan/Aiden (?) was a wonderful character and the true bright spot in this book. I loved him so much, and my heart really went out to him and his situation. I could really sympathize with him because of his past and his ongoing daily struggles. He was a confused young man just trying to cope with his PTSD and starting a new life out of the service and without his arm. I wanted so badly for him to be able to move past this terrible time, learn how to adapt, and figure out what to do with the rest of his life.

The fact that Aidan was missing an arm did not bother Kate at all, but she was insensitive about it a few times and I wanted to smack her for being so callous. I liked that she was written as so open and accepting of Aidan, BUT, at the same time, I absolutely hated that she the thought her diabetes was more important or more difficult than Aidan losing an arm. That was SO not cool.

This story is told in dual POV, and I have to admit that I enjoyed Aidan's POV the best because he was more genuine. The romance was okay, but I didn't think Kate and Aidan were very well matched, and their relationship seemed forced. The ending came about quickly and was a bit of a mess. I really didn't get the kind of resolution that I was hoping for.

Overall, The Summer I Found You was a promising realistic contemporary that just didn't do it for me. It's sad that one character brought the whole book down for me, but I couldn't get past how terrible Kate truly was. I wish the focus of the book had been on just Aidan and his recovery because that would have been amazing and made more of an emotional impact on me.

My rating: 2.5 Stars
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