The Summer I Wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi

17586458The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi
Published: April 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire

Source: library

Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good. Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path…

I have a love hate relationship with this book. There was so much good about this book, bringing diversity to the genre but then again it fell into so many cliches. There are times where a cliche or two would work but I found myself reading different ones page after page. Way too often I found myself not surprised where the story went. I think it is great to get LGBTQ characters and stories out into the world but cliches in any story get old really fast. Lexi too quickly fell for the only other female in her camp group. I don’t have a problem for her falling for Carolyn, I just would have liked to have more female relationships present to show that Lexi doesn’t fall for every female she meets or befriends. All of Lexi’s interactions with other campers were almost exclusively with males or older females. Lexi would have had not only more depth as a character but also more creditably if she was shown having a friendship with a female. Her first crush/broken heart came from her best friend at home and the second came from her only female friend at camp. This led me to believe that Lexi gets a crush on every girl she befriends and I know for most people that is not the case.

One of the great things about this book was how the Great Gatsby helped bring Lexi and Carolyn together. I love a romance that is built over mutual love of a book. Lexi was sharing one of her favorite stories with Carolyn and it ended up aiding in the narration of not only their relationship but how they both view the world. The Summer I Wasn’t Me changed my how I viewed some of The Great Gatsby because of how it was discussed by Lexi and Carolyn.

I believe LGBTQ stories are incredibly important. They help create diversity in the genre. Readers are introduced to characters that are struggling with problems that are very real in the LGBTQ community. One character has the potential to lose his home and end up on the street because he is gay. He talked about how there are shelters dedicated to LGBTQ youth for this very reason. I loved how well the real struggles of being a LGBTQ teen could be seen in the characters. This story is worth reading because of the voice is gives to the minority.

Overall I give the story credit because I want to see more LGBTQ stories in YA. I believe this book is worth reading but I don’t see myself ever having the urge to revisit the story. Do you have a LGBTQ story you recommend?


3 thoughts on “The Summer I Wasn’t Me – Jessica Verdi

  1. Kate @ The Book Bee says:

    That sucks that it fell into cliches. At that point it’s almost like it’s doing more harm than good.

    I agree with you that it’s dumb she fell in love with the only female “options,” her best friend and the girl from camp. It definitely paints LGBT youth in a bad light, like don’t be their only friend or they’ll fall in love with you.

    As far as a new book goes, I liked Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

  2. Jillyn says:

    I actually really liked this one! It left me hanging til the end. That being said, it did of course of flaws, some of which we definitely agree on. As for other LGBT books (having absolutely no idea what you’ve previously read) I’ll make a quick list! Made of Stars, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Frenemy of the People, Swans & Klons, Saugatuck Summer (an adult/dirtier read), Rainbow Boys, Orange is the New Black (also not YA), Mosh Pit, Ask the Passengers, The Last Time I Wore a Dress (adult nonfiction). Sorry for the monster reply!

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