My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA contemporary
Publisher: Tor Teen / Macmillan
Published: April 9th, 2019
Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen? Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor. Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies. – synopsis from Goodreads
“I’ll let fate decide – one coin flip at a time”
I was so delighted to be able to get an arc of When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. I am not a full fledged YA contemporary person, I’m sorry it’s true, I sometimes find it hard to relate to the characters and story. BUUUTTTTT Jessica is an exception. I read Love Songs & Other Lies last summer and absolutely fell in love with it and with Jessica’s writing.
Aiden has always played baseball but when his eyesight starts to lessen it becomes clear to him that the future he thought all written out must change. Olivia had it all figured out but when her aunt and guardian tells her they will be moving to the other side of the country and her boyfriend decides to call it quits, everything she planned out goes to pieces. For the first time in her life Olivia lets chance decide one coin flip at a time. Though Aiden and Olivia know each other from school, they actually know nothing about one another. That is until both start to work at River Depot for the summer and are paired together. As they get to know one another, they both start to see how wrong their opinion of the other was. Olivia and Aiden are just the cutest thing, I swear this relationship had me squealing like a school girl LOL. Aiden is the guy that you assume is a jock through-and-through but as we get to know him you definitely start to see that sports and joshing around with the guys isn’t really what he’s about. Olivia is the typical quirky girl but the way that her character is written still seemed fresh and relevant to me. Right from the start you can see that these two are just perfect for each other even if they don’t know it yet.
Like in Jessica’s previous book, When Summer Ends alternates between both Aiden and Olivia’s point of view. I do quite enjoy this balance in YA contemporary as it gives you a deeper perspective in the relationship. It made me sometimes scream at one of them to go talk to the other or give them advice on what to do next, it’s clear to say that I was way too invested in this relationship. One thing that I love about Jessica’ writing is she always puts a grand gesture somewhere in her book which reminds me of 80’s & 90’s teen movies and the one in When Summer Ends is just the cutest. I won’t tell you what happens but I’m hoping that she continues to do this since I find it very unique and now identify it with her style.
Before When Summer Ends I don’t think I ever thought about going to Michigan. After reading it only thing I can think of is visiting that state, hopping in a canoe and having a bonfire on a secluded beach somewhere. If you are looking for a good summer book to bring on vacation or the beach, I really recommend that you pick this one up.
Jessica Pennington is definitely on my auto buy author list. If you are a fan of authors like Kasie West, Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins you should check out Jessica’s books. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to Jessica Pennington and Tor Teen for an arc, in exchange for my honest review.