Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.
Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?
Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.
Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.
When Summer Ends is exactly what it sounds like–a bittersweet summer romance that will hook you from the first page! Olivia and Aiden’s slow fall into a summer relationship is perfect for YA romance fans.
This book follows Olivia and Aiden over the course of one life-changing summer and the premise is super interesting. Set in Michigan in the summer before senior year, Olivia has just had her heart broken after she’s dumped by her longtime boyfriend. Aiden is getting over a different sort of heartbreak after a change in his vision causes him to have to stop playing baseball. Each of them is facing a future that is very different from the one they had always imagined. Olivia and Aiden meet during one of the most tumultuous times in their lives and that connects them.
This book includes a teen experiencing vision loss and how he must prepare to change his future. I love that Jessica writes about how hard it was for Aiden to give up baseball but she also makes it clear that his life isn’t over. He knows he will have a different future without baseball but a new plan can be just as good as his old one. He sees his new diagnosis as a chance to start fresh and find new dreams. Olivia is also able to find a fresh start and make her own new plans after her boyfriend breaks up with her and her mother comes back into her life.
My favorite element of the story was that Olivia is a writer who loves writing “kissing stories.” This is one of the first novels I can remember where a teen character admits to liking to read and write romance and love stories. I love that Olivia is bold in her writing.
This book was a fun read that will brighten up a spring break trip. It’s written in alternating perspectives and the chapters flow smoothly. Both Olivia and Aiden’s chapters were interesting and well-written. Olivia’s decision to let fate decide her plans for the summer added a light-hearted element to the story. It was fun to see her choose different ways, like rolling dice and consulting a magic 8 ball, to make her Friday night plans. This book is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen. YA contemporary readers will find a fun story here!
About the Author
Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.Website | Instagram| Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Spotify
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