Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Synopsis via 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?
*Publisher approved my request via netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
My emotions are mixed on this one. The Summer I Found You had the potential to be so much more than what I got. I liked the concept of a wounded soldier (both physically and emotionally), along with a young girl struggling to accept her disease. It was the first book I've read with such premise and I was intrigued. Sadly, I didn't get the feels as I wanted to.
The main issue for me was Kate. Her character put me off a lot. I felt she was complacent after learning she had diabetes and refused to take it seriously even after a year had passed. Like how much more time do you need to understand that something could kill you if you don't start taking care of yourself? That just bothered me throughout the story and I couldn't warm up to her. At first I tried to understand her feelings, that it was hard to just stop liking the things she'd gotten so used to eating and the way she used to live carefree. It sucks. But you have to do what you have to do to survive. I also didn't like how she kept it a secret from Aidan throughout the story when they obviously had so much they could relate to and it would have helped him not feel so alone, I guess. I just thought that aspect of it should have been brought up to him way sooner.
As for Aidan, I liked him. What he was going through and his emotions were real. I could understand him better than Kate and warmed up to his character more. He was a nice guy with a lot of issues and it's very truthful to what real soldiers go through. I liked how in the end he finally found the courage to speak to his friend's wife. That was great and not a lot of people can find the strength to do that.
Relationship wise, it was interesting seeing how these two individuals with so much going on found something real between each other when they were only looking to distract their minds from their reality. In a way, them being together helped them face what they were dealing with. So the romance was great, and so was the alternate POV and pace of the story. Like I said, my main issue was with Kate and her fussiness and how the story could have been much stronger. Another thing that I noticed (though it didn't influence my rating), was that the story doesn't take place in summer nor is it as bright and sweet as the cover depicts. There's a disconnect there in my opinion, but who am I to judge when my own covers don't add up all the way :)
Overall, good read. I recommend this book if you're looking for a young adult contemporary with realistic elements.