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‘Don’t wait for life.’

Beautiful, sweet, hopeful, vivid, tragic and emotional. Those are my immediate thoughts on Summer of Seventeen by Jane Harvey-Berrick upon finishing.

“I’m with you because I see your soul. You’ve got a beautiful soul, you just don’t know it.”

I devoured this story and loved the fact that it was told from Nick’s POV; our male character. His journey through the summer was told in an almost melancholy way as he had to overcome tragedy and grow up whilst falling in almost impossible love. The obstacles in this story felt real and the imagery and setting of scenes were so brilliantly written that they became incredibly vivid and mood inducing. I LOVED that!

‘Life is too short to wait for the perfect moment: take what you can get and get what you can take, and then work your ass off to make a perfect moment, because sometimes one chance is all there is.’

You know a story’s gripped you when you can relate and it makes you reminisce on your own late-teenage summers. Whether they included sand, surfing and bonfires on the beach or not; this right here was quite the powerful story in many respects. It did begin rather slow and took some time developing. I suppose in a way it lulled you into sombreness then hit you hard emotionally.

“You gotta take what you want from life, because no one is going to give it to you. The world doesn’t owe you shit. Remember that.”

Nick does NOT have it easy; being seventeen can be hard enough but what he has to deal with and the treatment which others bestow on him; well he stole my heart and at times I felt so bloody sad reading my heart hurt. Having to grow up in certain respects in such a short time is not easy but he dealt with it maturely and at times I wish I could magic myself into the story to take his back.

Summer of Seventeen is not only inspirational and an all-consuming journey of self-discovery and hope. It’s a coming of age story written with such realism it touched my heart and I felt so deeply that it brought me to tears. I highly recommend this story!

**Reviewed off an ARC copy kindly provided by the author**

Synopsis

It was supposed to be the endless summer of sand, sea, and surf.

Supposed to be.

But Nick Andrews’ life is crashing out of control. His girlfriend and his best friend have declared war, his sister’s constant interference in his life is driving him insane, and there are money problems that won’t go away.

Being seventeen isn’t supposed to be this hard.

When cool surfer Marcus arrives in town, Nick sees that there are easier ways to live. But with his life falling to pieces around him, it’s hard to know who to trust.

As the scorching heat of summer grows, events begin to unravel, reaching a shattering conclusion—and a summer he’ll never forget.

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