Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon to review. It’s actually the second of her books that I’ve read and the second that I’ve had to review. The first was Baby Be Mine which I read last summer. I said in that review that I’d like to read more of her books and having now done so I would definitely say that was the right decision.
Here’s the synopsis:
‘Do you still love him?’ Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…Alice is18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?
I read this in an entire day. Sitting outside until the light was practically gone and then regretfully going inside to read the last ten or so pages. I took it with me to the first day of the Oxford regatta this year. I didn’t get out on the water that day due to conditions but reading this made up for it. I had to take a different book on day two and I don’t think that even made it out of my bag. In fact I’m not sure I can remember what it was! I did get on the water that day and got thoroughly soaked (seriously after the second time I sailed they started hoisting me back into my chair and water literally dripped off of the sling.). I came third of four at my level this year.
Anyway, back to the book. The beginning section of this really feels like YA. Good YA which is perfect for this as at that point Alice and Joe are teenagers and thats the perfect feel for that part. On the whole this book is chicklit but not the fluffiest chicklit I’ve ever read. it also had some really gritty moments well handled and adding a dimension that brought the book and characters even more to life. Fluffy chicklit with substance would probably be a good description for this book.
I loved the characters apart from the one or two you obviously (in my opinion) weren’t supposed to like. And even those that dislike came on slowly as they showed their “true colours”. They were realistic people not parodied villains with no redeeming features.
The relationships between Alice and her friends was something else I really liked about this book. At times I wished I had a friend like Jessie and at others I wanted to shout at them to notice that Alice needed them and reach out and hug her. Good stuff.
There was one tiny bit I thought maybe wasn’t very realistic but I didn’t realise that until I was writing this review. It works really well in the concept of the book, isn’t glaring and I’m not sure how the book would have ended if not for that. And it had the perfect ending. Tying up just enough of the lose ends but at the same time leaving you wondering just what came next and wanting more.
I think this is a good book for a summer day and having read it I still want to read more by Paige Toon.