Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review: The Sting of Summer by Katherine Over

Summer has arrived. For seventeen-year-old Becca, it marks the start of the wedding season. Her family operates an event venue in the form of a renovated barn, and nearly every weekend a wedding takes place in their backyard. Becca lends a helping hand for the accelerated schedule, but work is not the only task on her mind. Seth, her longtime crush, has nabbed a photography internship that requires wedding coverage, putting the two of them in close proximity. Becca intends to make Seth something more than a far-reaching fantasy, but it's hard to build a dream when a growing tension in her family life cannot be avoided.
Will Becca succeed in her quest for love?
Or will summer collide with her plans and leave nothing but a sting in her heart?

My Rating


My Review

There's something almost magical about summer. The seemingly endless days that all rush by, the warm nights and the bright mornings, the way that everything seems possible... The Sting of Summer is a perfect summer read because it manages to capture the real feeling of this season. It's a lighter read with issues that go much deeper, and will keep the attention of readers through it's fine example of realism. I absolutely love contemporary works, and this is the kind of novel that helps me remember why.

Many novels with a romantic plot don't really focus on family. Sure, the parents might be around and one may even find the appearance of a sibling or two, but it's never really that big of a deal. The Sting of Summer almost has equal parts of Becca dealing with her love life and her family life - which I loved, because it is a lot more realistic. The tension built between family members - especially between Becca and her mother - expertly led to real dysfunction that happens to plenty of families. It was really interesting to read about the family business. Not only is it unique to have the protagonist's family be in charge of a major event venue, but the barn creates a beautiful setting for the story to take place at. The strong description really allowed me to envision the area, and brought a new sort of life to the story.

Becca is one of the most realistic fictional teenagers I have ever come across, and it springs from a very simple reason - she fantasizes. She fantasizes about how life will turn out, and it never seems to go the way she plans. Sometimes, it results in some pretty immense disappointment. Sometimes, the changes are better than something she could have imagined. Regardless, not only does this little detail make for an excellent theme, but it allows readers to more easily relate to Becca. To some, this may seem insignificant. She's a bit of a dreamer - so what? Well, I can tell you - as a seventeen year old girl during the summer going into senior year - if someone in this age group says they don't indulge their fantasies through detailed envisions, they're lying. The fact that a character actually did this was incredible. Sure, Becca is funny, clever and has a great voice. Plenty of other characters do too. However, not too many are this familiar with life throwing away dreamlike expectations.

Another character that seems like they arrived straight from a reader's wish list is Nolan. I can hardly explain how much I loved that boy. Unique situation, wonderful back story, winning personality - and not your average male character. I most definitely can dig it, and I'm pretty sure you will too.

Whether you want unforgettable characters, a range of emotions, strong themes or a fun time, The Sting of Summer is a great read to get your hands on. I really enjoyed my entire time reading, and fell in love with just how real the story felt.

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