The Summer I wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi
Man, I actually really enjoyed this, I breezed through it in two days, but that isn’t to say that it is easy reading, some of the events in this book are actually really rather horrific.
Lexi has a secret…
Ever since her mom found out she was in love with a girl, seventeen-year-old Lexi’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.
You are on the road to truth. Help is on the way.
The road signs leading to New Horizons summer camp promise a new life for Lexi—she swears she can change. She can learn to like boys. But denying her feelings is harder than she thinks. And when she falls heads over heels for one of her fellow campers, Lexi will have to risk her mother’s approval for the one person who might love her no matter what.
Ya’ll know how I feel about LGBT fiction by now so I won’t bore you with it again. I’ve read a lot of reviews that slate this, but honestly, I feel like this could be the younger sister of The Miseducation of Cameron Post. It’s a short read, but it packs quite a punch, as a warning, I’ll go through some of the triggering things that you’ll find within these pages, there is child abuse, sexual assault, rampant homophobia and some bodily harm. These things are all dealt with very simply which might not be for everyone, I quite liked that it didn’t go into too much detail because those things were all pretty horrific and I honestly didn’t want to know anything else.
I have a lot of feelings about the gay-straight camps that exist. Basically, I think they’re crap and an excuse to degrade human beings. Which is why I’m so gosh darn in love with the irony of our heroine getting it on with a girl in such a setting. Carolyn and Lexi’s romance side of it was slow burning and richly satisfying although, some of the darker aspects started to get thrown aside once Lexi had Carolyn to focus on which did let this down a little.
The one thing that I absolutely adored about this was the fact that Lexi and Carolyn’s relationship was mostly conducted through a copy of the Great Gatsby, I am loving this recent surge in Gatsby references in YA. Seriously, loving it. They spend a lot of their time passing a copy of the novel to each other, writing notes in the margins, giggling about how Nick totally has the hots for Gatsby (I have said this all along and no one believes me!) and underlining their favourite sections. I really want to cleverly flirt with someone through a novel. Like, seriously. The relationship between these two girls, along with some stand out characters like Matthew really made this book for me.
Basically, if you’re looking for a lovely, fluffy summer read, this probably isn’t for you, but if you do want something gritty and dark with some great social commentary then you should definitely give this a go.