The Summer Before Forever

The Summer Before Forever

by Melissa Chambers

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Overview

The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers

Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again…

Each book in the A Before Forever series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 The Summer Before Forever
Book #2 Falling for Forever

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633757271
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 08/22/2016
Series: Before Forever , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 150
Sales rank: 717,320
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She’s a member of SCBWI and RWA including several local and online chapters thereof.

Read an Excerpt

The Summer Before Forever

A Before Forever Novel


By Melissa Chambers, Heather Howland

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Melissa Chambers
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-727-1


CHAPTER 1

Chloe

It's not like I didn't know better. How many times has it been drilled into my brain — into the brain of every child over the age of three. Don't get into a car with a stranger. But can the guy you've been melting for since the start of sophomore year really be considered a stranger ... even if you never officially met him before?

I accidentally gun the gas as I squirm a little. Eight hours in a driver's seat is hell on any behind.

It's done. It's over. In fact, I'm lucky. I got out of the nightmare with all my firsts still intact ... well, most of them. Not quite the first kiss I have been waiting for these past sixteen years. But how juvenile is it anyway that a girl on the brink of seventeen would go un-kissed? Sweet sixteen and never been kissed — endearing. Seventeen and never been kissed — circus freak. At least that's out of the way.

Jenna rouses in the passenger seat, yawning. "Oh my God. There's the ocean."

So it is, Captain Obvious. My Honda Civic starts its ascent up a fairly frightening looking bridge over an inlet.

"How long have I been asleep?"

"Couple of hours."

She grabs her phone and squints at the screen. "Service. Thank God."

I can't help but smile. "What would Jenna Quigley do without social media for a day?"

"I have my fans to consider," she says.

I give her a look.

"Kidding."

Oh, but if only she was kidding. It's amazing what placing eighth in a karaoke contest can do for one's ego. Okay, so it was the most popular singing competition on any major network, but same difference.

She flips through her phone. "Oooh. I almost forgot. You're going to love this one."

Jenna and I are two of the most unlikely best friends in the history of friendships, but one thing that does bring us together is our shared love of music.

Unfortunately, our tastes couldn't possibly be further apart on the spectrum.

"You've said that about the last five songs you played for me," I say.

She holds up her free hand, the thumb on the other still scrolling. "I swear this is one of your people, not mine."

She sets her phone down and stares at me with those huge green eyes as the synthpop sounds of St. Lucia fill my car.

I eye her. I wouldn't call St. Lucia one of my people, but he definitely doesn't suck. And as far as artists go that break the barrier between her pop roots and my alt rock ones, this is one I can live with. Besides, this song is highly danceable. My upper body moves to the beat without my permission.

She points at me. "See! I told you you'd love it."

I let a smile through. "I don't hate it. How did you get into him?"

"Mason," she says.

And with that name, my shoulders still. Not that there's anything wrong with Mason. He's not the one who tried to force himself on me. No, that particular honor goes to his best friend, Trevor. I haven't told Jenna yet. She'll be crushed when she finds out — and then murderous. With the summer in front of us, I need to keep her living in blissful ignorance. If I don't, she'll blow up to Mason about it, and then it will become this huge deal around school.

As far as she's concerned, Trevor and I kissed, and there was no spark.

"So this kid who's going to be your stepbrother — what's his name?" Jenna asks.

Here we go. I suppose I've put this off long enough. "I probably should mention ... He's not really a kid."

"Great. Is he some pervy preteen who's going to be peeping through the crack of my bedroom door?"

"Not exactly." I don't know if he's pervy or not, but I do know he's not a preteen. He's only a year older than us. It's stupid, but I'm not ready for Jenna to find out yet. If I'd told her when I found out, she'd have found him on social media and wrapped him around her pinky before we even arrived. I just want a chance to get to know him at the same time rather than the two of them being old buds and best friends before we even arrive ... or worse, dating.

I stare past the road out into the sparkling ocean spread in front of us. Secretly, I'm hoping he's more like me than he is like her. I've never had a brother. God, I need that right now. A guy I can trust, who's got my back. I have these ridiculous fantasies of this guy who immediately takes me under his protective wing as he kickboxes Trevor in the balls for what he tried to make me do ... for what he swears we will do someday.

"So? What's his name?" Jenna repeats.

"I don't remember," I lie.

She glares at me. "Well, what has your dad told you about him?"

I hit the blinker, and we turn toward our home for the next two months. "You think my dad and I have actual conversations?"

Jenna sits up and gasps, staring out the window. "No. Freaking. Way."

A massive stone archway with sleek, aqua letters reading Sea Glass Cove welcomes us into a resort covered in pastel beach bungalows, a crazy big golf course, and a pool that looks like it was hijacked from Atlantis.

"Why didn't you tell me your dad was loaded?" Jenna asks.

"He's not," I say. "This is his fiancée's house."

She snickers. "Score, Mr. Stone. Your dad must be hotter than I remember."

I make a face. "Gross, Jenna."

"Does he have a huge penis?" She pokes me in the side.

I swerve. "You're going to get us killed, nasty."

Jenna stabs a finger across my face. "265, there it is."

I turn into the driveway of a two-story baby blue house. A black Jeep sits next to a shiny red Porsche SUV in front of my Honda. All this belongs to my future stepmother. Geez. Does my dad have a huge penis?

I open the door, and the salty sea air hits my face like the smell of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. Florida, even the humidity that's so thick I think I might need an asthma inhaler, is my temporary escape for the summer.

I know I have to go back home to Cliff Ridge eventually, but when I do, the evil Trevor will be gone for college. As much as the next two months are going to win the award for most awkward daughter/dad summer ever, it's better than the alternative of spending it back home looking over my shoulder.

I open the trunk and start gathering our bags.

"Cute," Jenna says.

I glance at the house next door. "Yeah, you won't find lavender houses in Cliff Ridge."

"Not the house," Jenna says out of the corner of her mouth.

"Let me get that."

I look up to put a face with the unfamiliar male voice. Holy Zac Efron. Who in the ... Oh no. I bet this is —

"Hey." He grins at Jenna. "Which one of you is my new little sister?"

Jenna's eyes go wide and she elbows me in the side. "Thank God not me."

Great. Just ... great.

He gives her a mischievous lift of an eyebrow, and then shifts his gaze to me. "Chloe?"

This guy has got the bluest eyes I've ever seen and short, shaggy, dark hair that falls all around his face in that totally messy and totally doesn't care kind of way. Standing at least six feet tall, he towers over me, but I'm used to that. A light sprinkling of freckles decorates his tanned face, whereas I look like I've been hiding under a UV protected rock my whole life.

I scratch my eyebrow. "Yeah. Landon, right?"

"I thought you couldn't remember his name," Jenna mutters.

I cut my eyes at her in warning. He offers me his hand, and I take it.

"So you're the new sister. You're my first." He gives the slightest hint of a smile and lets go of my hand. We watch as he wrangles our big roller bags out of the trunk and carries them both by the handles into the house.

Jenna rests an elbow on my shoulder. "Who needs to use the rollers when you've got muscles like that?"

She looks at me for a reaction, but I turn to the trunk to avoid her.

"So, some kid brother you got there," she says. "What the hell, Chlo?"

I tug the rest of the bags out of the trunk and load us both down with them. "I said he wasn't a kid ... exactly."

Jenna points to his backside as he climbs the front porch steps. "Not a kid, exactly? That is a full-fledged man. His boy parts grew up years ago."

I anchor a canvas bag to her right shoulder. "Don't be gross."

I shut the trunk, and we make our way toward the house.

Landon holds the door open for us, and we scoot past him into the foyer. It's weird stepping into this house that I guess will be my home in a way. My dad lives here after all, but it's not really his ... at least not yet. I glance around at all the white and aqua stuff, including a pristine white couch. God, I hope I don't spill anything on that.

"This is a beautiful house," I say.

"My mom's a real estate agent. She's into decorating houses and stuff."

I glance around. "Is my dad here?"

"They just texted. They'll be here in just a little while. They're getting dinner stuff." He smiles. "I think they're going all out for your first night."

I suppose that warms my heart a tad. Doesn't really make up for my dad's virtual complete absence from my life for the past five months, but who's keeping score.

"Where will we be sleeping?" Jenna asks with innuendo.

"Upstairs. Follow me."

As he leads us up the stairs Jenna points at his behind again and gives a thumb's up. I give my throat a slice in warning, and it just eggs her on.

He hauls our suitcases into a pale yellow room. Jenna tosses her bags on one of the twin beds, and I sit down on the other.

"I'll let you settle in. Nice to meet you, Jenna ... Chloe."

"Likewise," Jenna says as he shuts the door to our room behind him.

I glare at her.

She flops onto the bed she claimed. "What'd I do?"

"We're going to be here two months," I say pointedly.

"So?"

"So if you hook up with him now and things go sour next week, it's going to be a long two months."

She sighs and sits up. "Point taken. Besides that, he's just the first one we've seen. I bet there are a whole slew of them down at the beach. Let's go." She rips into her suitcase and comes up with a hot pink bikini.

"I want to wait for my dad to get home. You go."

"That's cool. I'll wait with you." She pulls her phone out of her pocket and flips through one of her seven or eight social media apps, I assume.

"Ah, look at my sweetie."

"Who?" I ask. It could be anyone.

She glowers at me. "Mason."

I nod. Of course. They hooked up the same night I had my fiasco with Trevor. Jenna never clarifies what she means by hooked up. I'm guessing it's somewhere between a peck on the cheek and full-on sex.

I hang clothes in one of the two closets, and then pull out the bag with my shower stuff. As I go to set my shampoo down on the corner of the tub, I notice a bottle of men's body wash. I realize that the door I assumed was to a linen closet is actually too big to be a closet door. I creep toward it and give it a little shove. It leads to another bedroom. A guy's bedroom.

Gray, t-shirt material sheets pool on the unmade bed. A football poster decorates one wall, while another poster of Kate Upton in a bikini hangs on another. At least sixty or seventy hardbacks line the shelves of a bookcase. I check the door, and then take a few steps closer to read the titles — biographies, many of world leaders or prominent figures in history. I spot one sitting on his desk with a bookmark peeping out of it. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

He's redeemed for the Kate Upton poster.

A classic tennis racket in a wooden case sits on a shelf above his bed. A toddler-sized jersey hangs in a frame on one wall next to a shelf housing a single trophy. I come closer and read the plaque. The Mean Green Gorillas, Team Participant. I can't help but giggle.

"I don't come in your room and laugh at your stuff."

I jump a mile and spin around.

Landon lounges against the doorframe.

CHAPTER 2

Landon

The cute girl who's going to be my stepsister covers her chest with her hand. "I didn't hear you coming."

"I gathered that."

She smooths back her wavy auburn hair, but it springs right back in place around her face. Her cheeks fill with color, and she's even cuter than she was a minute ago when I first met her. A cluster of brown and black leather bracelets hang from her right wrist, but her left remains bare. A piece of twine around her neck holds a small, silver bird of some sort. I want to take a closer look, to touch it, but I can only imagine what she'd say if I blurted that out. She seems about as comfortable in this house as a kitten in a dog pound.

"I'm sorry. I'm really not a nosey person," she says.

"Uh huh. Mind if I go through your suitcase?"

Her eyes widen and her mouth drops open.

I give her what I hope is a comforting smile. "Kidding."

Her expression softens, and she lets out a deep breath. "Okay. I'll, um ... I'll just get out of your way" She waves awkwardly. "See ya."

"Wait." I take a few steps toward her, but she freezes like a kid playing Red Light Green Light, her eyes panicked. I'd only wanted to see the bird necklace, but I play it safe and reach around her to pick up the book from the desk instead. "I hear you're thinking about art school next year."

"Yeah." She fidgets, looking totally uncomfortable.

"In Nashville?" I ask.

She nods. "I'm from a town about an hour and a half from there."

I sit on my bed. "You live close to Chattanooga, right?"

"Yeah. Small town. Pretty lame."

I furrow my brow at her. "Not to me. You're not far from Atlanta, are you?"

She shrugs. "A couple of hours. Why? What's in Atlanta?"

I pick up my football from the floor. "Georgia Tech."

"Are you going there?" she asks.

I shake my head, trying to act like I don't care that I'm not going to the school I'd kill to attend. She doesn't know my story — probably doesn't even know what dyscalculia is — and I'm not ready to share it. I point to the pennant that hangs above my bookshelf.

She looks at it and then back to me. "You're going to North Florida State?"

A familiar pit of disappointment yawns open in my stomach. "Yeah, I'm wrestling there. Didn't your dad tell you that?"

"No, but don't feel bad," she says. "He and I don't really talk."

I noticed her dad doesn't talk about her very much, but I just assumed that was because he's a dude. He doesn't really talk that much about or to anyone — not even my mom, and they're getting married in two months. But I don't want her to feel even worse about what's an already awkward situation, so I say, "He told me about you."

She frowns. "What did he say?"

I shrug and try to remember anything he has ever said about her. I don't come up with a lot. "That you like to draw ... and that you like to watch football."

She harrumphs, and I can't figure out which thing irritated her, so I go for the one I suspect. "Do you like to watch football?"

"I used to watch football with him ... when he still lived with us."

Great. Now I feel like the asshole who stole her father from her since he's been living here with my mom and me for months.

"So, Georgia Tech, huh?" she asks, thankfully changing the subject.

"Yeah. I was born in Atlanta. My dad took me to a game when I was a little kid. After watching Megatron make a few catches, I knew I wanted to be a wide receiver."

"Megatron?"

"Calvin Johnson?" I ask, but she shakes her head.

She must not be as into football as her dad thinks. I toss the ball up and catch it.

"So why are you going to North Florida State? Why not Georgia Tech?" she asks.

Because I can't keep numbers straight to save my life, and that shit won't fly in Division 1 football. "They gave me a wrestling scholarship. I'm going in as a history major. Probably law school after that." There. That sounds stable enough.

She nods, but glances at the poster of Odell Beckham Jr. on my wall. "If you're going to be wrestling in college, shouldn't this be a poster of Stone Cold Steve Austin or something?"

I lower my chin. "Competitive wrestling is not the same as pro wrestling."

"You mean you don't do body slams and elbow guys in the eye?" She smiles at me for the first time and it's like the floor falls out from beneath my feet.

"Not on the mat," I manage.

She glances at the poster. "Guess there aren't a lot of popular competitive wrestling heroes out there." She turns to me. "Why did you choose wrestling over football?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2016 Melissa Chambers. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Summer Before Forever 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
landon and chloe are perfect for each other. except the whole future step-sibling thing is weird. and chloe''s got hang-ups. so does landon. but it's summer, the summer before forever. and their parents aren't married yet. and maybe it's time they just enjoyed things without worrying so much about the consequences. this young adult romance is so sweet. not overly so, as it's dealing with some real issues. chloe was nearly raped by her long time crush last semester and her strained relationship with her father isn't helped by his inability to communicate. then there's landon who is dealing with a severe learning disability, dyscalculia, which is an inability to process numbers or number patterns. he's trying to pass a remedial math course to finalize his high school graduation. a test he needs to pass in order to assure his scholarship to college, even though he's going on a wrestling program that he actually isn't interested in. his first love is football, but he thinks the accommodations they make for him in his small private school won't fly when he's at a division I program. the kicker being that he is actually good enough to go to a division I school. landon makes chloe feel safe and respected. he makes her feel good about herself. and since so many of her issues stem from lack of confidence, being with him emboldens her in a way that allows her to grow as a person. with landon chloe is her best self. and landon is so dreamy. he is struggling with his future, because he is afraid to go after what he really wants. and he also really wants to make chloe's dreams come true. so much so that when he puts her ahead of everything, they need to take a moment to breathe. it hurts him that it comes at a time when he wants to be there for her. she's dealing with the fall out from her assault and she's pulled away from him for valid reasons. but as they figure things out, and figure out whether or not what they have is strong enough to last beyond summer. and beyond her dad marrying his mom, because it's a little bit weird and awkward. and also special and sweet and real. and maybe the combination of everything sounds crazy, but it's also what works for them. **the summer before forever published on august 22, 2016. i received a digital copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (entangled teen) in exchange for my honest review.
trosado More than 1 year ago
3 Stars Soon-to-be step-siblings fall in love when spending their summer vacation together at their respective parents home in Florida. Both main characters have difficulties to overcome. After a near sexual assault, Chloe is rightly traumatized and skittish around the opposite gender, while Landon has a somewhat debilitating learning disorder that he rarely shares with others. While falling for each other, they help each other overcome stigmas and fear. After previously choosing not to read this title, I was bolstered by some positive reviews when I had a second opportunity. Unfortunately, while not being a terrible book, there were some things I didn't care for. 1.) While I really liked Landon, I felt that Chloe needed some more development or "oomph" to her character. To me, she lacked personality that would have drawn me to her. 2.) Not usually an issue with me, but I didn't care for the dual first-person POV's. I liked having the two perspectives, but first person didn't work well here. 3.) I'm not always bothered by insta-love if it makes sense to the story and with teens, insta-love is sometimes a given. In The Summer Before Forever, within a matter of a few weeks, Landon and Chloe fell in love and slept together (non-explicit.) While I don't particularly care for sex in YA books, I really didn't like how fast everything progressed in this one. It didn't really feel right for the story or characters. In spite of the three issues, there were also some redeeming qualities to the story. I liked how the sexual assault issue and Landon's discalculia was handled - sensitive and empowering. If Landon and Chloe's relationship had progressed more moderately rather than the speed it had, I would have cared for their romance more. While not a completely unenjoyable book, at times it felt too unrealistic. (I voluntarily read a review copy of The Summer Before Forever. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.)
onemused More than 1 year ago
“The Summer Before Forever” was not what I expected. We follow Chloe and Landon, who are meeting each other at about 17 as soon-to-be step-siblings. Chloe has had a strained relationship with her father since the divorce (he’s a bit introverted), but she is spending the summer with him, his new fiancé, his fiance’s son, and her BFF, Jenna. Jenna is a minor celebrity, having gained some fame on a singing/talent show- and she’s an absolute hoot/fun character. It’s hard to see why she and Chloe are friends, since they are so different, but she’s such an enjoyable character, she really grows on you. Chloe is still reeling from a traumatic event that happened before the book began. We learn pretty quickly that it was an attempted rape (luckily it was stopped by someone nearby), but the trauma has been hanging onto her. Chloe spends the summer healing from that event, slowly opening up to others and beginning to understand that she was not at fault/regaining her confidence. Jenna creates a list to help her, and they tick off the items on the list over the summer. I was a little worried about this list, but the items mostly happen pretty organically, so it works well. It seems to be a helpful tool for Chloe during her recovery. The great thing about this book is that it shows some resources that are available to victims (we see social support, baby steps in moving forward, as well as legal resources), and this sets a good example to teens. Landon is about to head off to college to wrestle. Even though he loves football and would love to play it at his dream school, his dyscalculia makes it impractical- the team would have to work around his disability, and he just can’t see a D1 team doing so. Besides, the school he is planning to attend is close to his childhood friend, Monica, who helps to tutor him- and also has a massive crush on him of which he seems oddly unaware (although this becomes a big theme and unignorable). Pretty quickly, he and Chloe are drawn to each other, primarily on a physical level, and this develops throughout the summer into something deeper. The best parts of this book are the inclusion of topics which may impact teens: healing/resources after attempted rape, what consent means, and coping with a learning disability. Some of the other content was less great- there were a couple references to suicide in a joking manner, which I found pretty jarring for a book which was otherwise sensitive, and also a lot of concentration on/discussion about/seeming importance of physical appearance/physical attraction (to the point of objectification). There is also the inclusion of the teenage drama around their relationship that I’ve come to expect in similar books, and it’s alright/not too overpowering. I think it is better for older teens, mainly due to the content that I mention. I do have some mixed feelings about the book. Overall, I think it has some strong content that makes it worth a read. Please note that I received a copy of the book from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
JessicaCalla More than 1 year ago
THE SUMMER BEFORE FOREVER is a perfect YA read! I loved Chloe and Landon and watching their soon-to-be step-sibling friendship turn to a romantic relationship. This book is a wonderful summer read, especially since the story takes place during the characters' summer break while they prepare for their parents' wedding in a beach town. Landon ... sigh... every girl should have a Landon in her life at some point. He's sweet but masculine, protective but not overbearing, perfect but not. Chloe seems musical and chill, especially when it comes to her best friend/reality star Jenna, but she's dealing with something no teenager should have to deal with, and she's doing the best she can. When these two meet, their mutual attraction is off the charts and as they get to know each other, remaining simply step-siblings poses a challenge that neither one will, or wants to, meet. I can't wait for Book 2, which I anticipate focuses on Jenna, an outgoing, dynamic female character (the type I love to see in YA). I'm curious who she ends up with, and look forward to being with these characters again.
734037 More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just wow. This is a book you definitely need to read. Chloe is spending the summer with her father and soon to be step-mother and step-brother. What didn't she expect? Landon, her step-brother and their attraction. Completely opposite people shouldn't work right? She's into indie music and drawing. He's into sports and beyond good looking. But they work and make each other better. Then there is Jenna, Chloe's best friend, and the list of 10 things Chloe is supposed to do by the end of the summer to help build her confidence. Landon and Chloe are both dealing with their own personal issues and as the summer progresses, they help one another. But what I also liked is the fact that they had to work through their problems separately as well. It helps to have someone, but learning to help yourself was important in this book. Readers are going to fall in love with the characters, especially Landon (readers, just wait). You won't regret reading this book! I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
MegzMaddReadz More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure I was going to like it when they first started getting into the romance part because, well, they're going to be brother and sister by the end of the book. Not blood related but still. So I found myself reading along, intrigued to see how the author was going to solve that problem. And along the way, I fell for Landon, too. He's sweet and considerate and he stands up for Chloe, protecting her not only like a brother but also like a really amazing boyfriend. The more the book went on and I expected to be weirded out, I really wasn't. And Chloe! She's this shy girl in the beginning. She's been through some rough stuff and so her best friend, Jenna (not my favorite character but a pretty loyal best friend), comes up with this bucket list of things for Chloe to do to build up her confidence. So you get to watch shy Chloe, who's never really been in love before, go through these amazing changes as she works to be a stronger person. And it was a great love story, too. Definitely a great summery read!
Dana_W More than 1 year ago
This book wowed me from the first page. The voice of the book, the situations between the characters. All of it. Some teen books get into too much fluff. You won't find that here. This author did a marvelous job of writing each character as an imperfect person trying to find themselves before love could just fly in and fix it. Kudos. I had never heard of Landon's disability before and it was interesting to read about. He is such a sweetheart I couldn't wait to read more and as the story developed I think I fell even more in love. Chloe is dealing with some tough issues too. Here too the author handled everything with a real voice and I loved watching her grow as a person.
MoriahALeisureMoment More than 1 year ago
*This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment I’ve noticed a fad in the YA market recently. This is the third book this year that I’ve read dealing with stepsiblings falling in love. In every instance, the couple (meaning the stepsiblings) meet under interesting circumstances. In Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy, they meet after their parents have been married for three months. Emily McKay’s How Willa Got Her Groove Back made Finn the bad boy on the bike that Willa jumps on to get away from her father. Chloe Stone meets her soon-to-be stepbrother after not seeing her dad for months. What’s something they all have in common, you wonder? None of these girls meet the hunky heroes until they are sixteen going on seventeen! Each makes for an interesting journey, but I think The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers is fighting something fierce for the spot as my favorite book that follows this trope. Before I even discuss the romance in this book, I want to point out how much I loved Chloe and Jenna’s friendship. Jenna is introduced as a quasi-star from the get-go, and I wasn’t sure how that time in the lime light would play on the friendship that the two had. The fact that her fame didn’t effect the friendship that they had made it all the better! Don’t get me wrong, Jenna loved the attention of her devoted fans, but she would’ve given it all up for Chloe. Their bond was tight. They were nothing alike—night and day, even—but still managed to make things work between them. Landon Jacobs…le sigh. It might be in the name (A Walk to Remember, anyone?), but he was dreamy. Football fanatic and book lover—seriously, I swooned! Even though Landon had all of these things going for him, his disability took a toll on his confidence. Chambers introduced me to a learning disability that I had never heard of through Landon, dyscalculia. It effected and influenced so many of Landon’s decisions, but I liked how he didn’t want it to define him. He didn’t want it to define his relationship with Chloe, even, so I can understand why he hid it from her. It humbled him, though there was no denying how wonderful of a guy he was, and made him a great male lead. Music played a central role in the novel, as well. I’ve been to Nashville, and while it’s not my favorite place on earth, I got that Chloe loved it. She loved the music scene—she just loved music. It solidified her relationship with Jenna and it made her different in Landon’s eyes. Chloe was the strong and silent type. She had to find her voice to overcome a travesty that had urged her to pack her bags and run to the father that she hadn’t seen in months. Her growth built this novel. Some might not like how Jenna pushes Chloe out of her comfort zone, but I devoured it. I’m one of those people who needs a push in the right direction sometimes, whether its clenching my fists and telling myself “I’m going to do this” or getting a nudge from someone who cares. Chloe had to find herself, and sometimes we need a summer, a friend, or even a boy we shouldn’t fall in love with to help us get there. The only reason I gave this book five stars is because I can’t give it more! The best part is that it’s the first in a series. I can’t wait to see where Chambers goes with these characters and what the next book will be about. The Summer Before Forever has a beachy feel, a humble hero, and a tight knit friendship! If that doesn’t convince you to get a copy as soon as possible, look at that cover!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved!! This is a fabulous YA read that had me hooked from the first page. Chloe and Landon are such great characters and their story is so heartwarming. Jenna is outrageous and I hope we will see her story. You just know there is so much more to her than her big personality lets on. The writing is great and the pace of the story is quick and easy. I was almost to the end of the book before I ever realized. Chloe and her friend Jenna are off to Florida for the summer to visit her Chloe's father and meet her soon to be stepmother and her son. The trip couldn't have come at a better time for Chloe. Getting away from her small town is exactly what she needed. When she and Jenna make a bucket list for Chloe to complete to regain her confidence they laugh about it but it turns out to be exactly what she needed to do. What she never expected was the reaction she would have to meeting her soon to be stepbrother Landon. These two hit it off immediately and the attraction between them is hard to miss. But that would be weird, right?? They just seem to get each other though. Should they continue to resist or they just what the other needs?? I highly recommend this one!!