The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse

While this book talks about young people and their futures, I can’t help but to call them “kids.” I don’t think it has anything to do with them, but the fact that I’m old and anyone under 30 is a kid to me now.

Here’s more about the book

35833029Aubrey and Rae have been planning their trip around Europe practically from the moment they became BFFs in primary school. And, now, it ought to be the perfect way to spend their last summer together before university.

But things are more complicated at eighteen than they were at ten. There’s Jonah, Aubrey’s seemingly perfect boyfriend, and his best friend Gabe, the boy Aubrey may have accidentally kissed. And there’s Clara, the friend Rae is crushing on, hard, even though there’s no hope because Clara is definitely into guys, not girls.

Five friends. Ten days. Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Florence, Barcelona. And a messy, complicated, can-this-really-be happening love story, or two … because how could there not be?

You know when you’re a kid, there’s this transition you need to make from being dependent on your parents to being dependent on yourself. In The Summer of Us, Cecilia Vinesse explores this transitional period through five teens traveling through Europe together.

Ok, when I was a kid I did get a chance to travel with some fellow youngsters through a different part of the world. I was only 15 when it happened and I feel like it dramatically changed the person I was into the person I am today. I feel like that’s exactly what happened here for Aubrey, Rae, Clara, Gabe, and Jonah.

This book was cute and if you’re looking for something that will ease your mind from the stresses of adult life, then this might be the book for you. It’s extremely light with the most conflict being that someone made out with someone else in front of their significant other.

There’s a lot of themes around friendship and how dynamic it can be and change throughout our lives. The biggest change can happen in that first year of college. Those friendships you had when you were growing up may not last through college, which is exactly what happened to me.

For the five kids in this book, everyone is going to a different college in a different part of the world. I thought that was strange since they were so close to each other in high school. I’m just surprised that they didn’t go to the same school or even go to schools in the same city together. But dreams are dreams and some of those dreams need to be fulfilled elsewhere.

I also loved that this book was written in the third person than in the first. Usually with YA, if the book is in the first person, then you get a lot of slang and youthful talk that comes off immature and unsophisticated. However, choosing to do the third person allows the author to speak in a language they’re most comfortable in without going overboard on a younger person’s speech.

I think it was a little strange that the young people weren’t on their phones as much. Perhaps it’s because it’s a European group of kids that they’re not as attached to their phones, but there were instances where I felt like the natural inclination of a young person would be to look it up on their phone. For example, Rae leaves her camera at the hostel while they go sightseeing. She tried to remember the things she saw so that she can draw it later in her sketchbook. Why didn’t she think to just take out her phone to take photos and reference later?

It’s a nuanced issue, but something that can separate the author from the book a little especially when they’re writing about people much younger than them.

Overall, cute novel! I wouldn’t expect this book to get super heavy on you and honestly you will probably read it in a day. However, it’ll get you in a good mood and perhaps you’ll get bitten with the travel bug.

I received a copy of this book from The Novl for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

Simone and Her Books is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way affects my opinion of the above book.

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