Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Book description:

When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy.
Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him.
Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.

My description:

I have mixed opinions about this book.  On one hand, the premise and a couple of twists made for an interesting book.  On the other hand, the execution of the plot and characters were flawed in some ways, in my opinion.

First the positive:  I was really intrigued by the potential conflict of two people that didn’t like one another that were forced to cooperate to survive.  I enjoyed a couple of surprises throughout the book that I wasn’t expecting at all, such as some dangerous situations they encountered on the island.  I thought some of the ways that Bray and Summer encountered provisions were cleverly written.

However, I didn’t particularly enjoy the shifting perspectives.  It isn’t my favorite type of writing, in general, but some books successfully weave different perspectives together into one seamless story.  This one fell a little short.  In my opinion, this book wasted a little bit of time by sharing the same experience from two different viewpoints when more detail could have been given if the story was from one character only.  Because of the title and the ending of the book, in particular, it would have been more effective to hear the story from Summer’s perspective exclusively.

I also would have enjoyed the journey of the book if more time had been given to the conflict between Bray and Summer initially, a more gradual thawing of their relationship on the island, and which could then develop into a romantic relationship.  It all just happened too quickly.  Teenage emotions do change quickly, I realize, but it was a little bit too much of a stretch the speed of which their feelings toward one another change.

One final negative aspect of the book was the extent of description given to physical experiences on the island.  It was all kept PG-13, but I would have rather read more detail about the conflict and the change of their relationship, instead of details of them touching one another.

Overall, I am torn about this book.  It could have been an amazing book, if only some selective editing had been done.  The bones of a great story are present, it just wasn’t fleshed out in a super-satisfying way, in my opinion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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