Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Pages: 352 (Paperback)
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.
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
Wow. What a fucking ride this book is!
Upon starting, I thought I was getting just a bunch of insta-love and maybe some “Okay. I okay with myself yay!” kind of stuff. But what I got is something different. A lot different. Okay, so I did get the insta-love (mutual by the way. Ugh) and the romance did take over some times but all in all, it’s great. I loved how Verdi teaches the lesson between right and wrong. Like how some people believe that being gay is wrong and is a sin but know that abuse of any sort is certainly wrong for everyone.
The worst part of this novel has to be the romance. It’s just so infuriating. I didn’t want to read about how much Lexi wanted to kiss Carolyn when she’s supposed to be focusing on herself and what she really wants. From the very first day, there’s romance and it really takes away from the story. I also felt that the characters for the most part were choppy. This is evident because the only time anything is told about the characters is at the very beginning and that’s it. There’s not much of a back story except then. The activities that the characters do are all right, but are quite confusing because they’re either too simple or too silly.
The Summer I Wasn’t Me is still a fairly beautiful story about acceptance. Lexi is a strong character, especially by the end of the story and I loved the way she accepted herself and her friends. Beautiful! The best thing about the camp is the cult-like feel it has, the exorcism that goes on is really well described and intense. I was shocked and enraged by it. It’s pretty awesome in a very sadistic way.
I was really skeptical when I first read this simply because many authors have tried this (not in YA) and have failed miserably. However, Verdi does a good job and had me at the edge of my seat more than once. Lexi’s story is pretty typical and so is the romance, but the execution is lovely and I felt connected to her. I recommend this to anyone who’s curious to see what it might look like inside of a “de-gaying” Christian camp.