Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
Aidan planned on being a 'lifer' in the army and went to Iraq straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life.
When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?
About the Author
Jolene Perry is an Alaska native and a prolific writer of young adult and new adult fiction, with several independently published novels to her credit including Knee Deep and My Heart for Yours. This is her first hardcover release. She lives in Wasilla, Alaska. www.jolenebperry.com
Read an Excerpt
"I just don't really see us going anywhere, Kate." Shelton leans sideways against the locker. He shouldn't be leaning, not when he's so obviously breaking up with me — even if his eyes are apologetic. My heart pounds, pushing a lump up my throat, which is going to be a problem when I have to talk.
Shelton's black hair is cut short. Perfect for a young African American guy heading off to college for great things. I think he took a picture of Obama into Super Cuts and said, "One day I want to be that guy. Make me look like him." He continues, "We're going to different colleges. We're about to graduate ... you know."
Now I need to play cool. Save face. I mean, it's not like I thought we'd get married or anything. Well, my brain might have known we wouldn't, but my heart doesn't know the difference. This stings, burns, and takes my breath away. But I'm determined not to show it.
I swallow a few times, trying to get rid of enough of the stupid ball in my throat to answer. "Well, yeah. I mean, we're in high school, heading to college ... I get it." I hate that I basically repeated what he said, and I still feel like I'm getting kicked in the chest.
"We probably shouldn't have gotten so involved in the first place." He exhales. "You know, with how temporary everything is at this time in our lives." He sounds like he's saying something rehearsed.
Now the ache in my chest is being replaced with something else, something that tenses my shoulders, my sides. I start to get kind of pissed, but I'm going to stay cool. What else can I do while standing in the senior hall while Shelton Ingram breaks up with me? I run a hand through my hair, mostly for something to do. For thinking time.
Wait. "What about prom?" It's in like six weeks. I spent half my savings for a dress. One I knew he'd like.
"It would be awkward. Don't you think?" His eyes catch something behind me.
I whip my head around to see Tamara smiling at him. A junior, long, blond hair. With the little bit I know of her, she seems ditzy and so beneath someone like him. As soon as she sees me turn toward her, she walks into the nearest classroom.
"Nice." I cross my arms as my eyes meet Shelton's again, but I'm determined not to make too much of a scene, not to let him see how much he's hurting me.
"What?" He raises his brows, which is a dead giveaway that he's trying to look innocent.
"If you liked someone else, you could have just said it." Why do boys feel it necessary to play stupid games? And it doesn't seem like Shelton, anyway.
He leans back. "That's pretty mean right? And ..."
"And lying isn't?" I uncross my arms and have to stop myself from shoving him.
"We're not getting anywhere." He shakes his head and walks off. That's it. Walks off. We've been dating for over a year and I thought everything was fine.
I hate that I don't have it in me to scream and yell. Instead I take a few deep breaths to keep from crying, which only sort of works. I blot a few tears away.
Must keep busy.
I know I have work in subjects other than AP English (like AP Biology or AP Chem), but I know it's the only class I'll be able to do any homework in tonight. I grab my overworn copy of As I Lay Dying, and stuff it in my bag. The lump in my throat and my pounding chest have left me weak. Defenseless. This sucks.
* * *
"How aren't you more surprised?" I wipe my eyes over and over as Jen drives us home. She's my best friend. She should be outraged — like I should have been when Shelton and I were in the middle of breaking up.
"How's your blood sugar?" she asks, tossing her long, blond ponytail behind her. Jen has these blue eyes that actually glow, and they make mine feel like muddy brown. Just like her bright blond hair makes my pale brown even plainer. Jen's also always dressed, while I seem to live in variations of jeans and T-shirts. But we balance each other out, and we've been friends forever. And we're going to college together at USC in the fall. All those things are worth a lot.
Wait. Blood sugar?
"Really? That's what you're worried about?" I hate it when Jen's meticulous nature makes her sound like my mother.
"Only 'cause the senior picnic is in a few days, and your mom gets all crazy with the curfews and letting you go places when you come home and your blood sugar is all out of whack. I want to make sure you can come."
"Fine. I'm fine." I hate dealing with shots and carb counting, and everything that comes with being Type I Diabetic. Hate. Everything. And I've only been dealing with it for a year, but unless there's some miracle cure, I'll be dealing with it for the rest of my life. Mostly I'd rather think about how inconvenient it is right now. A future with it is too overwhelming.
"Okay, so he mentioned it to Toby last night, who mentioned it to me this morning, so I knew it was coming." She cringes in the driver's seat as if I'd hit her or something.
"And you couldn't warn me?"
She grimaces. "My phone ... remember? And I tried to find you between classes but you were totally MIA."
Right. She got caught texting me in class yesterday, so her parents took her phone after the teacher called ... Oops.
"I gotta make a stop at my house for Honor Society stuff."
"Fine." I slump lower in the seat. "But I'm staying in the car."
"Because you're grouchy. I know." Jen smirks before stopping in the driveway.
I want to smile at her expression, but I'm determined to wallow in my sucky day for at least a little longer.
"Be right back!" She leaps out of the car and runs to her front door.
I slump in my seat and stare at her enormous, grey house. We're parked under the separated garage, and someone peers out from the apartment above. Our eyes catch — his blue eyes are pale, and I suck in a breath. The curtain drops and his face disappears. I didn't know anyone was living in there. We use it for late movie nights and sleepovers. It's awesome 'cause it's not attached to the house, and we have privacy.
How many late nights did Shelton and I have in that apartment? The thought sends another hard stab through my chest.
"Okay. I have that Honor Society Meeting at Shelton's house." Jen frowns as she jumps back in the car.
"Don't look like that. You're in Honor Society leadership. He's Mr. President. I get it." Maybe I should be mad, but that's ridiculous. They work together. Them and like five other people. I know this.
She blows her hair off her face. "I really need my phone. Writing down all my calendar schedule stuff in a paper planner is really getting old."
I roll my eyes. Only Jen would miss her phone for the calendar.
"Ready for home?" She pulls back into the roadway, so I guess it's good that I am ready for home.
"Who's in the apartment?"
Jen shifts in her seat, but doesn't make eye contact, which isn't like her. "My cousin's with us for a little while."
"Which cousin?" Since she's reluctant to share, I want info.
I think I met him once, but I'm not sure. He's a year or two older if I remember right. I'm about to ask more, but we stop in front of my house (which looks like a brown one-story toy after being parked in front of Jen's). I want to be mad about my day, but really it all still hurts too much.
I stand up out of the car and the world spins. Crap. My blood sugar probably is off. I'll need to take care of that before Mom thinks to ask. I had an almost pass out two weeks ago, and she suddenly feels the need to check ALL the time. Since I was in her car and ran into the light post at the mall parking lot, it turned into this big deal. Mom's telling me that I'm not doing a good job of managing my own blood sugar, which means I'm not allowed to drive until I do. Today probably isn't going to help any.
"Come on in, Kate!" Mom opens the door. "Let's get you checked so we know what you can eat!" I hate her artificially bright voice.
So much for avoiding the blood sugar test.
* * *
"I'm not sure what to do about the car situation," Mom says as she runs a hand through her short hair. "But you and I both know your level was extremely high when you came home today."
I take another bite of chicken thinking extremely is a drastic overstatement. Dad will chime in any moment. He's a doctor and knows about this stuff, though I swear Mom knows more about diabetes after all the research she's done since I was diagnosed.
"Kate." Dad breathes out. This is his exasperated one. Breathing out is what my dad does.
"Yes, Dad?" I'm still not sure if it's good or really sucky that he's a doctor. Mostly, for me, it's sucky. Especially now.
He adjusts his wire-rimmed glasses. "This is serious, honey. You take shots. You give yourself shots. You prick your finger. I'd think all of these things would help you realize the seriousness of your situation." He tries to make his deep voice serious and authoritative, but Dad's too much of a softie for me to be actually afraid of him.
"Thanks, Dad." Seems like a neutral and nice enough thing to say.
"I know you're just agreeing with me. And I also know that Dr. Masen's going to ask you about online groups, or if you've gotten in contact with anyone dealing with the same thing you are."
Right. No way. Now I'm the one holding in my exasperated breath. "How's Deena?" My sister is newly pregnant, throwing up everything, and her husband not only works full-time, but is also a grad student. Hopefully Deena's life will take some of the focus off me.
"Oh!" Mom's smile is immediate. "I spoke with her this morning. She goes in on Friday to hear the baby's heartbeat! And she may come stay with us for a couple of weeks while Lane's doing midterms!" Perfect. A puking sister for two weeks. I should probably be excited to help.
"Kate." Dad again. Of course. He won't be distracted by baby talk. "Maybe taking away the car isn't enough of a deterrent. Serious things can happen to your body without the right amount of insulin."
"I'm aware of the list, Dad." Words like blindness, diabetic coma, kidney damage, nerve issues ... None of it feels real. It's like this problem belongs to someone else.
Their eyes are on me. I feel them. Searching my face for more answers or explanations or something. I don't want to think about any of this right now.
What I really want is a night like the night Shelton and I had when my parents left town. I mean, it wasn't that big of a deal, but it was huge to me. He came and slept with me all night. All night I rested in his warm arms and felt his lips on my forehead, and I suddenly understood why people get married. Who wouldn't want to sleep like that every night?
"Kate?" Mom leans forward over the table. "Are you crying?" "Just tired." I push to standing and start for my room, and neither Mom or Dad stops me.
I pull open my bedroom door and the familiar pale blue of my room calms me. But now I'm on the bed and it was the bed that Shelton and I laid on. I hate this, and have no idea how I'm going to handle school tomorrow with Shelton there.
I flip open my phone, but don't actually get a chance to answer.
"How the hell are ya?" The loud, male voice sounds far away.
"Who is this? And do you know it's like three a.m.?" I roll onto my stomach, stretching the sheets around me. Gotta be one of the guys. Gotta be. At least I'm in the apartment over the garage instead of in my uncle's house where my phone would have woken everyone up.
"Hell, Connelly, you forget me already? Lost your brain with your arm?"
Fabulous. Arm jokes are starting already. Only Roberts knows me well enough to do that. I feel like an ass for not knowing who it was right away. "Hey, Rob. What's up?"
"What do you mean what's up? We're freezing our asses off one minute, hot as hell the next, and ducking when we're told to duck. You know Afghanistan. It wasn't that long ago you were one of us."
One of them. Was. It was like yesterday, but also a lifetime ago.
One rehab clinic.
The apartment over my uncle's garage.
"Yeah. So, where are you now?"
"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill ya." He laughs. Loud. He almost sounds drunk, but I know better.
"You guys still near Bagram Airfield?" I wonder if they're still close to where I was a few months ago.
"In the middle of fucking nowhere."
"No one," I correct.
"You can't fuck nowhere."
"See? I knew you were smart. Fucking no one." He laughs more. "You heading to school? Everyone wants to know what you're up to, man."
"I'm ..." up to nothing. I don't know what to be up to right now. I know what I should be up to. I should be getting ready for college, looking for a job. But I don't know how to do shit with one arm.
"Being a lazy ass?" he teases.
"You got it." Might as well play back, there's nothing else to do at this point.
He laughs again. I can picture him now, shaved head, pinched little weasel face always in a smile. And when he wasn't smiling, it meant he was about to pull something big. Like stealing all the steaks from the freezer before going on a weeklong "walk". Our first dinner and breakfast out of camp were awesome. Roberts is the best kind of guy to be friends with, and we've been friends since basic training. Since we learned we'd be in the same post. Same infantry unit.
"How much time you guys got left in country?"
"Four more weeks, Con! Can you believe it?" He sounds excited. After a whole year, four weeks feels like nothing.
"Maybe I'll come to the great state of Oregon and find ya."
No, no, no. If I can't have the Army anymore, I don't want to be faced with it. "Where you stationed next?" I ask.
"I'll be back at Ft. Lewis, Washington. So I'm only a few hours north."
"Great," I lie.
Silence fills the line for a few moments.
"Have you seen Melinda?" All the tease is gone from his voice now. "You know ..."
"I know who Melinda is," I snap. Melinda's the wife of the guy who died next to me. Two feet to my right. My body jumps at the black of the memory — the blast hits my ears making my stomach turn. "No."
"What about the, uh, funeral?"
"I didn't go. I was still in the hospital." It's mostly the truth. I was in the rehabilitation clinic.
"So, how's life with one arm?"
"Peachy." I need off the phone. I can't believe he just asked me that dumbass question. Rolling over all the crap I spend every second of every minute of every day trying to not think about is not what I want to do this time of night.
Though, I also don't want to be fighting away nightmares. No guy wants to admit to that. Well, no guy wants to admit a lot of the shit that's in my head right now.
"Look, tell the guys I said hi. I need my beauty sleep."
He laughs, again. "I knew it, I knew it! You're already going soft. Got a girl in bed with you?"
"Three. Night Rob."
I hang up the phone, reach around with my left hand, and feel the thick stub where my arm used to be. It still hurts like hell when I move wrong. My hand aches sometimes too, but it's not there anymore, and shouldn't be aching. Barely nineteen, no idea what I want to do with my life outside of the military, and now, because of the military, I have to live my life outside of it. Why the hell did he have to wake me up?
* * *
Aunt Beth and Uncle Foster are at the breakfast table looking at me like they always do — like they want to say something, but have no idea how to start. Aunt Beth is the slightly older version of my mom, and it still throws me. We all have the family blue eyes and blond hair, but Beth's hair is even cut in the same shoulder length hair as Mom's, making them look almost like twins. I step into the massive kitchen and pull a bowl from the cupboard. Everything for me now requires multiple steps. Open cupboard door wide enough that it stays open. Let go of door. Pull out bowl. Set bowl down. Reach back up to cupboard door to close it. Pull open silverware drawer. Let go of drawer. Pick out spoon. Set spoon down. Close silverware drawer.
One damn thing at a time. Three months without my arm, and there isn't a second of the day I don't think about it. The thing is, no one in this house has yet to comment on it. Not my cousin Jen. Not my cousin Will. Not my aunt. Not my uncle. There's no way they're not curious. No way they're not at least a little curious.
Not that I really want to talk about it, but I definitely don't forget. It's not like someone asking me what it's like will make me suddenly remember I'm missing my arm.
"What are your plans today, Aidan?" Foster asks as he adjusts his tie.
Excerpted from "The Summer I Found You"
Copyright © 2014 Jolene Perry.
Excerpted by permission of Albert Whitman & Company.
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.
Table of Contents
Contents1. Kate Walker,
2. Aidan Connelly,
3. Kate Walker,
4. Aidan Connelly,
5. Kate Walker,
6. Aidan Connelly,
7. Kate Walker,
8. Aidan Connelly,
9. Kate Walker,
10. Aidan Connelly,
11. Kate Walker,
12. Aidan Connelly,
13. Kate Walker,
14. Aidan Connelly,
15. Kate Walker,
16. Aidan Connelly,
17. Kate Walker,
18. Aidan Connelly,
19. Kate Walker,
20. Aidan Connelly,
21. Kate Walker,
22. Aidan Connelly,
23. Kate Walker,
24. Aidan Connelly,
25. Kate Walker,
26. Aidan Connelly,
27. Kate Walker,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The third and final book I read for this post was The Summer I Found You, by Jolene Perry. This book follows a male (Aidan) and female (Kate) character, switching back and forth between the first person narrative of each. Kate is a high school senior who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, and Aiden is fresh out of the Army after losing an arm. It is an unlikely love story in the eyes of our main characters, but they have more in common than they realize. This book was sweetly romantic story with the plot twists driven mostly by the discomfort Kate and Aiden feel about their own circumstances, and the lack of communication related to those feelings. I enjoyed reading this book and I thought Perry did a good job of portraying the emotional side of the respective characters’ ordeals.
I have to admit that when I first started reading this story, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought it was going to be one of those cutesy high school stories filled with silly drama. After all, it jumps immediately into a breakup between Kate, the main character, and her shallow boyfriend... who uses some of the most cliche reasons for the breakup. Kate herself responds to the breakup in a a too-teen way... I really thought I'd be struggling through the book. It didn't take long, however, for the book to prove me wrong and capture my attention. The introduction of Aiden, and the revelation of Kate's diabetes changes all that. Here are two characters who have something about them that makes them different. Aiden is disabled and hates the pity and egg-shell walking that's going on around him. It causes his disability to weigh even more heavily upon him. Then you have Kate with a recent diabetes diagnosis that she doesn't take care of. It's not that she's too immature or flighty to do so, but because she's so scared of what it means to her life for the long haul that she subconsciously feels that if she ignores it, it will go away. What they each find in each is a lightness of spirit and comfort that both desperately needed. I loved watching the development of this romance, and the positive ways in which each influences the other in such a subtle but profound way. The author's writing was sensitive to these two subjects, but the book was in no way depressing. It had moments of laughter, romance, and seriousness that were an excellent blend. I really enjoyed it.
I loved this book. In fact, this is one of my favorites by this author. It's such an emotional story about two people just looking for a distraction and in the end they wind up finding love with one another and to me, that's just beautiful. Aidan, he's battling so many things; adjusting to life outside of the military, adjusting to life minus a limb, all while trying to get a grip on reality. He's looking for himself. Trying to figure out what he's going to do next. He thought that he was going to be able to make a career out of the military and one explosion later and he's back to square one. Minus an arm. Then there's Kate. Living with type one diabetes is no cake walk. There's a strict regime she has to follow and for a seventeen year old who just wants to be able to live life to the fullest, well, it's difficult to handle at times. These two come together at the most trying times of their lives and somehow manage to make their relationship work and that's what really stood out to me. It's difficult enough trying to balance school, life, illnesses and ailments, let alone adding a relationship in on top of all of those things. This book hit a nerve for me. It made me laugh. It made cry. And at the end it was wonderful to see Kate and Aidan prevail through good times and bad. Check this out if you get a chance! It's a definite must read!
"Wow. I just had sex with Aidan Connelly. Talk about best distraction ever." (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and Netgalley.) 17-year-old Kate is not impressed when her boyfriend breaks up with her. Okay she wasn’t expecting them to get married, but he could have waited ‘til after prom! 19-year-old Aidan had his arm blown off whilst in the army, and is now living with his auntie and uncle until he can manage on his own. Aidan’s cousin sets him up with Kate, but he’s not ready for a relationship yet. Is he? Are Kate and Aidan just what each other needs? And can both come to terms with their health issues? This was a really sweet contemporary romance, with a couple of heart-poundingly good steamy moments! I liked Kate, although I thought she was pretty irresponsible with regards to her diabetes. She just didn’t seem to take into consideration how dangerous it was letting her blood sugar go really high or really low, and made some really stupid decisions, like writing the wrong numbers down in her log of her blood sugars. I also thought she was really irresponsible to not tell people that she had diabetes, as it made it really difficult for people to help her when she couldn’t help herself. I liked Aidan and thought that he actually coped quite well with the loss of his arm. I was really happy for him that he found Kate though, as it seemed like he really needed someone like her in his life to support him emotionally. The storyline in this was pretty good. I liked how both Kate and Aidan had their problems, but coped with them in quite different ways, and I liked how they both struggled to know what to do with their lives. This book was full of romance though, and Aidan and Kate were so sweet together! We got a massively steamy scene in there that was just heart-poundingly good, and I really couldn’t get enough of this pair! This book kept me up so late, because I really couldn’t wait to find out what happened next! The ending to this was good, and I liked where it left us. I really loved Kate and Aidan though so it was sad to see the end of this book. Overall; really good NA contemporary romance. 8 out of 10.
An emotional and riveting story about teens going through very different things, finding comfort in one another. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't really put it down. I loved the story, how Kate had a life with real problems. A lot of the young adult books I read, seem like the same story, and the teens in the book really have no problems. Just trying to figure out if the boy next door likes them or not. Well, if you're hoping for a sweet, simple read, this isn't one. This book keeps readers enthralled throughout both Kate's journey and Aidan's journey. Kate was a strong female lead in the story and I can't say I blame her for not telling Aidan in the beginning of the story. I've known people in my life with type one diabetes, however, I've never seen them go through the process with the needle. Beside that, I know how difficult it can be from conversations with people who suffer from this disease. All I can say, is everyone going through this disease are very strong and I don't think I'd be able to go through this. I don't like needles, and couldn't imagine going through what some of the people go through. Aidan was in the army and during battle, his arm was blown off. He didn't act like someone who hated the world because of it, and I think this is because he watched one of his friends die during the time his arm was blown off. Again, i could never imagine going through this. Eventually, you start to get used to it, but I don't think a person every really gets over something like this. Aidan was another strong lead and I wanted to cry for some of the stuff he must have been going through. I was slightly disappointed with the grammar in the book. There where missing periods, quotations, and sometimes the paragraph was not in the way it should be. Also, in some places, there was no spaces between paragraphs when the author started a new subject. The author became inconsistent in some places of the book, and there was many spelling errors. Overall, this book was very touching and it was enjoyable to read it. This one's not soon to leave you. I received an advanced copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. Rating: 7.7/10 Parental Rating: 14+
I was stuck on this book after the first couple pages. This was an amazing book with such diverse issues. Kate Walker is a normal crazy female teen that has her own little quirks like most teens. After her passing out in school and being taken away in an ambulance things got real. She woke up in the hospital to found out she has diabetes. That in its self changes life for her period. Aidan Connelly is the 19yr old cousin of Kate's best friend Jen. Aidan is an Army Veteran that was hurt in Afghanistan that left him losing his right arm. Aidan was going to be a lifer in the Army but things are now changed forever. He is now living with his cousins, aunt and uncle until he can get back on his feet. After Kate's boyfriend Shelton breaks up with her, Jen tries everything to cheer her up but it seems nothing will work. There's a party coming up so, Jen invited Aidan to come out with her, her boyfriend and Kate. I really loved this book. Kate is your normal teenager and the way she handles the sudden news of her having diabetes is so normal and reminds me of myself. When anyone finds this out you either deny it or try to fix it but at that age oh my gosh that has got to be rough. I enjoyed reading how Aidan is so conflicted and everything is far from his mind except the incident that caused him to lose his arm. This story is of love, loss, angst, teen hormones and life changing events. I encourage anyone 16yrs old or older to read this due to the language. It was such a great book and five stars have been granted :)
Rating: 3.5/5 First thanks to Albert Whitman Teen for providing me with a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. What I enjoyed the most about the story is how the main characters deal with their disabilities. We get to see how it affects them as a person and the repercussions it have on their relationship with their family and friends. The author did a great job at describing the frustration the characters live through while they learn to cope with their disabilities. At the end of the book I think it makes their characters feel more real and honest than if she had tried to write it like it was not a big deal. Kate was a great character but I didn’t connect with her as much as I would have liked to. When the book start she's been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for over a year and still have a hard time adjusting to all the changes in her life. I got frustrated with her a lot because she doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions and don’t seem to realize for a long time how dangerous it could be for her health. However, I’m pretty sure there’s teenagers acting exactly that was and since I’m working as a nurse I can confirm that there’s a whole bunch of adults acting exactly like that…and they don’t have the excuse of still being kids! Aidan the other main protagonist lost his right arm when he was in the army and now at 19 he has to completely rethink was he was planning to do with his life and get used to life with only one arm. He’s also going through the PTS of the accident where he not only lost his arm but also a close friend. It was a very interesting journey going into his head through the book and seeing the change he went through. Unfortunately the secondary characters are one-dimensional and could have used more depth. My only complaints are that Aiden’s name interchanges from Aiden to Aidan throughout the story and the fact that despite the title the story doesn’t happen during the summer. Still, the cover is beautiful and it was the first thing that attracted me to the book! If you’re looking for fast-paced YA book you should definitely add it to your list! This is a perfect summer read!
I wanted to read The Summer I Found you for several reasons. First, I am drawn to anything about teenage illness and the diabetes caught my attention. Second, I respect vets and those who serve or have served in the military and I love to read about them, so this romance with broken but amazing sounding Aidan sounded like something that I would enjoy his journey to healing and moving on from a life that he never thought would be over so soon. Third, I have read a few of Jolene Perry's other books and enjoyed so given the perfect storm above, it was a no brainer. I really connected with Kate. I think she was described as just this side of weird and that sounds just like me. She ends up blurting out blunt things, sarcastic, awkward things and I do the same. She handles it with more grace than I do, and she found an admirer in Aidan because most people act like the missing arm is a non-issue, and Kate, first time meeting brought it up, asked him questions and even made harmless jokes. And that made him feel more like a person than he has in a long time. But he has other battles--he has nightmares that plague him and he has no idea what he wants for his future moving on. Kate and Aidan had some pretty obvious and immediate chemistry, but there were some concerns with him being so over high school and she is hiding her diabetes because ironically she enjoys that someone doesn't know and doesn't make a big deal out of it. Her parents smother her as she's trying to learn to deal with the disease and she is not the most responsible with it, but I think its because she isn't accepting that this is something that will forever shape her life and interfere even if in minor things. But as Kate and Aidan become friends, they both realize things about themselves and their illness/disability. And they also find a safe outlet, an ease of opening up and the freedom found in comfortable silences, just being with someone. The issues of PTSD are so important to me, because my mom suffers so I really appreciated seeing it dealt with in ya lit. Aidan's struggles are real and hard and she writes that very well. So--as far as title and cover, while lovely, I think that they are somewhat misleading. Because this isn't really the light romance that you would think on first impression. Don't get me wrong, the synopsis does let you know, and I loved what I found inside, just a disclaimer/worth mentioning thing. In the end, Kate's hiding def caught up with her, and I am glad everything she learned through it and that her and Aidan figured it out. Bottom Line: Sweet romance with characters I felt for.
The Summer I Found You is an endearing story about two young people on the verge of adulthood that are both dealing with the mental scars that life changes to their bodies has brought crashing down around them. For Kate she rebels about all the diet and injections she now has to administer on a daily basis to keep her body's chemicals in balance. For Aidan his comes in the form of a physical change. A loss of a limb putting an end to his dream of being in the Army for the rest of his life. He is wracked with guilt over being a survivor rather than dying like his friend. Neither of them was looking for love, but an unlikely friendship and attraction started to form when Kate's BFF convinced Aidan, her cousin to come on a night out to help Kate get over being unceremoniously dumped by her ex-boyfriend. There are some rocky kinks along the way, but they begin to accept their fill in the end. I received a copy of this body from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 stars Kate and Aiden both refuse to face reality in this romantic YA novel written by Jolene Perry. Aiden has just return from active duty in Afghanistan and his career is over. Only nineteen-years old Aiden had high hopes of serving in the military but that dream was short-lived when an incident left him without one of his arms. Returning to his hometown, Aiden doesn’t know which direction to turn to as life becomes too overwhelming and too confusing to address. Living with his aunt and uncle gives him some freedom but Aiden must decide where his future is headed. Aiden is introduced to Kate who is two years his junior and they hook up as friends. There is something about Kate that Aiden senses immediately besides being gorgeous; it is her candid tongue that Aiden notices. While others ignore or don’t address Aiden’s disability, Kate openly asks and talks to Aiden about this issue. Kate has been living with diabetes but not dealing with the disease seriously. Threats and promises swing like an open door with parents, doctors, and Kate. Kate does not realize how serious this illness can be. As the relationship with Aiden strengthens it is met with many challenges but the two seems to find the spark to put things back on track every time. As Aiden opens himself up to Kate, Aiden feels a deep commitment to her, could she be the one? But what about Kate, she has not been totally honest with Aiden. She is hiding her secret from him afraid of what his reaction might be. What will Aiden think once he really knows the true Kate and how will he handle the news? I loved the honesty that was portrayed about Aiden. Confused and disorientated about where his future was headed he did not want to commit to anything for fear that it would not be the right thing. He was focused and we saw that when he talked about his car and then his career (which was taken from him). As he struggled to cross things off his list, he didn’t know where to start even though others were offering him direction. The author did a great job showing the many facets of Aiden. Kate, I thought was selfish and childish and perhaps that could be because she was spoiled. I kept telling myself that as I read the book because her behavior upset me a few times, she thought only of herself and here she was… a senior?!? I thought the author did a good job showing the tension between the characters as they tried to sort out their feelings for one another. Their passion for one another was just like a rollercoaster. You pay for a ticket and just enjoy the ride: up-down-off- on- up-down-all around the place. The hospital scene was fantastic and I was cheering for Aiden. I’m still confused about the title of this book as it took place during the school year before Kate graduated. This is my first book by Jolene Perry and it will not be my last. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
The Summer I Found You is the first book of Jolene's I've read that wasn't co-written with another author, and I have to say that I loved it! The concept and storyline was new to me, before this book I'd never read a story regarding this topic, it's about a young soldier who was injured in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan, that not only killed his friend but cost him his right arm, pardoned from the army and having to learn to live with his disability, Aidan is depressed, with everyone he knows seeming to be uncomfortable around him and unsure of exactly how to carry on a conversation in case they offend him somehow, until he meets Kate, his cousins best-friend, who says whatever she's thinking and who jokes around with him about only having the one arm. But after becoming friends, and then a couple Kate is still keeping a secret from Aidan, she has Type 1 Diabetes, happy that someone doesn't know she has it and furthermore that she's not questioned about her blood sugar level every five minutes, she keeps putting off telling him, afraid that he won't want anything to do with her when she does reveal to him her disease, but once Aidan finds out that she's been keeping this from him, can their relationship survive this kind of deception this early on, or this the end of them as a couple for good? With a storyline that you don't see a whole lot of in YA contemporary novels, this was a breath of fresh air, a fantastic story with loveable characters, you can't go wrong by picking this book up.
The first thing I noticed about this book was, admittedly, the cover. It grabbed my attention immediately when I saw it on NetGalley. When I read the blurb, I loved the idea of two less-than-perfect characters, neither of which are looking for something real, finding it together. Sadly, it just wound up being "ok" for me. I think my biggest problem with this book was that the characters felt flat. Kate wasn't very likable. I did feel bad that her boyfriend had left her and that she was obviously struggling with her Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, but I just found her whiny and weak. She refused to take control of her illness and do the things that she needed to for her health. She lied and withheld information about it. It was irresponsible and immature and I had a difficult time with her because of it. I will say I enjoyed her sense of humor and general awkwardness. I can't say Aidan was unlikable, but that I just didn't connect with him that much. I liked him more than Kate. His struggle felt real and, unlike her, he was trying to do things to improve himself. As flat as the characters felt separately, the relationship between the two was a little better. They were sweet together. I didn't feel a ton of chemistry between them, but that may have been because I didn't really connect with either of them. Their relationship truly felt like more of a really good friendship to me, right up until the end of the book. Several of their interactions were quite cute and charming, but I just felt like the feels were lacking. I appreciate what the author was trying to do here with two imperfect characters. The story had a lot of potential and a younger audience might appreciate it more than I did. It wasn't that it was bad, it was just that it didn't really grab me or hold my attention. This story had the potential to be unforgettable, but I fear it will be just the opposite for me. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.