Summer Constellations – Alisha Sevigny – Kids Can Press – Published 1 May 2018
Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?
But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.
Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.
Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.
As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.
But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
A passionate, summer romance, a last-ditch attempt to save her family’s home, a touch of mystery and adventure. While Summer Constellations has all the right elements for an epic summer read, it was merely a solid book, one that I enjoyed reading but didn’t love as much as I expected to.
Julia’s summer isn’t mapping out the way she planned. First her best friend leaves for the holidays, then her mother announces she might have to sell their family home, a gorgeous lakeside campgrounds, to pay off their medical debts. And to top it off, Julia’s crush and maybe boyfriend just turned up with his new girlfriend in tow. So, not great. Then she meets the charming and gorgeous Nick. But that too only hides more hurt, when Julia discovers he is the son of the man planning to take her beloved home from her. But she and Nick have some serious chemistry, and, together with her little brother, they make plans to prevent the sale of Julia’s home.
A summer romance, a touch of mystery, star gazing, a gorgeous setting – there was plenty to like about Summer Constellations. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t click with the writing style. All the initial major events unfold very quickly, all in just one evening, and then the romance progresses even faster. Everything felt so rushed and it all developed before I had a chance to get to know Julia or become invested in her story. There were also a few things with the writing that struck me as odd and which detracted from my enjoyment of the story. For example, if it’s dark enough to stargaze and trip over stuff I doubt you would be able to tell someone’s exact eye colour. I do acknowledge that I read an advanced copy and these things might have been changed in the final text, however, it distracted me from the story.
Summer Constellations would be ideal for anyone looking for a light, summer romance that is quick to read.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Summer, romance, campgrounds, homes, medical debts, financial troubles, family, sex, dating, music, concerts, astronomy.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Implied sex scenes and sexual references, references to losing virginity. Infrequent coarse language, f*** (1), sh** (5), as***** (1), di** (1), pi**(3).
Published: 1 May 2018 by Kids Can Press.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 264 pages.