Author: Alisha Sevigny Series: Standalone Genre: Young Adult Release Date: May 1, 2018 Book Length: 264 pages Publisher: Kids Can Press Rating: 4/5
Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?
But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.
Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.
Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.
As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.
But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is a story of lost summers, hidden treasure and love written in the stars. It is also a thoughtful reflection on what it means to love — and leave — one’s childhood home.
Believe it or not, I actually won a signed advanced reader copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I was really delighted by how much I enjoyed it. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the story takes place in Canada; the author was born in British Columbia and now lives in Toronto. The imagery was so well written that I felt like I was sitting on the dock at the cottage—meanwhile it was probably close to -20 degrees Celsius and snowing outside.
I loved the main character, Julia, so much. I could actually feel in my heart how much she cared about keeping the campground safe and making sure her little brother, Caleb, was happy and healthy. Her connection with Nick was adorable to read, and even though sometimes I was unsure of his intentions, I think it worked out better that way because the ambiguity meant that a) the outcome of the book wasn’t as clear cut and b) I got to experience their relationship blossom alongside her.
The paper it came with in the mail said its target audience is 14-18; however, it can definitely be enjoyable for someone older than that. Maybe it has a lot to do with the setting, but this reminded me a lot of Morgan Matson style books, namely Second Chance Summer. If you are a fan of contemporary romance in YA novels, I think this is a book worth checking out when it is published on May 1, 2018.