So, three weeks ago - when I got the idea to provide a review of a summer read every week for you guys - it seemed very original to me. Well...after seeing all those summer reviews, giveaways, challenges whatsoever I understand that several people see themselves affected by summer and summer vacation. Anyway, Summer Reading will be a weekly feature I plan to do every Monday of June, July and August to put everyone (including myself) in a summer-y mood! Enjoy :)
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she's never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he's Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie's fantasy to be true.
As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn't sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it?
LONG STORY SHORT:
What you see is what you get? So not with this book. The cheesy cover? The I-feel-like-I've-already-read-this-book summary on the back? The title? I was so sure I'd know exactly what this book would be about and then pretty soon-ish noticed that it was nothing what I expected. The good thing about that was of course the originality the book provided with every aspect. Be it characters, storyline, storyworld, the ending. On the other hand a light funny summer read with a bit of heartbreaking and a bigger portion of cheesyness was not only what I expected but also what I wanted. And I found myself putting the book down quite often and wishing for something else, something less thoughtful to sooze my sunburned mind...
I mentioned on the blog that I bought this book because I read a guest post by Katherine Grace Bond, the author, during a blog tour on the topic of finding yourself that I really enjoyed. I found it so inspiring and helpful! After that I checked the summary for this book and thought I'd spoil myself with a sweet, but not flat summer read a la Sarah Dessen. Yeah. It didn't completely work out.
I had a love - hate relationship with this one. What I loved most about the book was its originality, the fact that you got a very deep story, a very different setting. The summary on the back turned out to be only one of the few subplots that lead through this novel. Yeah, there is a guy and a girl, but there's also the girl's family and their problems and the girl's problems with another guy and the difficulties she has with her best friend and her troubled relationship with her dad and so on and so forth. You get the point. There was a lot happening in this book. Not that it was very fast paced. It was just that different from most contemporaries this one didn't just show one aspect of the girl's life but it felt like you experienced every little emotion, fight, struggle, doubt she felt, too.
It is really difficult for me to express what I mean by originality. I think it was partly the setting but I don't want to give you guys any spoilers, so I won't go into greater detail now. Also, how Brigitta always thought about religion and spirit was something I didn't expect from a novel like this. Then there was the whole plot around Luke and the question if he really is or isn't what he pretends to be. Let's just say that there were many elements in this story that I really didn't think would be in it.
What I didn't enjoy was - the originality I didn't expect. I found the whole story background rather confusing and as I was looking for something much lighter I wasn't really in the mood to get behind things as much. It sounds totally ridiculous, I know, but there was just too much depth in the story for me. Too much detail, too many plots - and most of all - too many difficult issues to cloud my mind. This book honestly made me think too much.
Don't get me wrong, I would definitely recommend this book to everyone out there. Good writing, original plot and characters and - or but - the author really makes you think. It is not all that funny. It is romantic. But it is also serious -and sad- at times. You should keep that in mind while you're reading it.
RATING: 2 out of 3 stars