The Season of You and Me – Robin Constantine – Balzer+Bray – Published 10 May 2016
Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee.
Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job.
Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.
Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.
Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.
If the publishers had left the summary at that first paragraph I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book. A girl getting over a heartbreaking breakup…that alone is not enough to make me want to read a book. But a character coming to terms with a tough, life-changing situation such as, say, never walking again, is much more my thing.
Unfortunately, the focus of the book was much more on Cassidy’s story of heartbreak and her inability to let go of her ex. I enjoyed Bryan’s chapters, liked him as a character and wished the book was more focused on his journey, but I just could not relate to Cassidy. Poor, whinny, heartbroken, devastated, I-just-can’t-say-no-to-him Cassidy. If you are looking for a strong, resilient heroine look elsewhere.
I needed something to set Bryan and Cassidy’s story apart, something to make me want to listen to their tale, something to make me care about them. Unfortunately, I never found that something. Cass was predictably full of angsty, trivial teen girl drama, while Bryan is a much more interesting character, part horny teen boy, part serious guy dealing with hard changes, both to his physical body and his social life. Yet, he is quite accepting of his situation, and uses the summer to challenge himself to start reaching out to his friends again. Their romance is hindered only by Cass’s dilemmas.
This is a simple summer read, with plenty of complicated but light, roll-your-eyes drama. Friendship, family and romance, it had the makings of a great beach read but fell a little flat for me.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Disability. Breakups. Romance. Dating and relationships. Family. Beach. Summer. Day camps.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Coarse language, f***, s***, dou***, bit**. Sexual references.
Published: 10 May 2016 by Balzer+Bray
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 352 pages.