15 – almost 16 – year old Summer expects to have the best summer of her life. She is waiting to get her first kiss, to fall in love with a dazzling French boy, and explore the beautiful scenery with her Nikon camera. But, the fate of her summer of dreams rests in the hands of the Accept and Decline buttons. She is standing in front of the airplane gate about to give the gate agent her ticket and boarding pass, when she gets an unknown call. In this story called Two Summers, Aimee Friedman shows us two different stories of which one, she doesn’t answer the call and finds herself in France, and in the second, she does answer and stays at home in the suburbs. But, she can’t escape the truth of the family secret that has been kept from her for all these years.
I think the strength of this story was the storyline. I love how Aimee Friedman came up with the idea to split the story in half with two different sides of Summer. At first, I thought that two different stories would be confusing, but it really wasn’t. It made the story more interesting. I think the weakness of the story was that I found the big family secret a little predictable. I could definitely tell what it is at the end of part 3. I chose to read this book every time I had free time. I finished this book in only a couple of days, which isn’t that long. I read at least 1 part every day.
I think that the author did a great job of making me feel like I was Summer. When Summer found out the major family secret that has been hidden all these years, Aimee Friedman used great language to make me feel as much sorrow and pain as she did. For example, “The ground seems to tilt beneath me, and shake, like there’s an earthquake.”
There were a couple of topics explored in this book. For one, it was forgiveness. Summer learns to forgive her family and copes with the change in her life. Another topic is expectations. She thought she would have all these huge expectations but when she doesn’t, she realizes that it’s okay not to.
I would definitely read another book from this author because I think she is a very creative person with unique story lines and I really like those in books. Readers who enjoy Jennifer Niven and Sarah Dessen will enjoy this book. This book has a lot of heart break and romance.
I think this book was absolutely 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading in general.