The Summer I Found You – Jolene Perry

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The Summer I Found You follows Kate, a teenage girl who has learnt she has diabetes and is struggling to cope with the pressures it brings to her life. She can’t fathom that her disease will be with her forever. Kate is also struggling following her break-up with her boyfriend.

Aiden is a 19 year old who has returned from an army tour abroad, during which he was involved in a tragic explosion, which leaves his sergeant dead and Aiden with an arm amputated. Aiden is struggling to come to terms with his injury and how it is going to change his life forever. Losing his arm has also meant losing his job, life plan and ability to drive his beloved car.

Kate and Aiden are introduced by Kate’s best friend, who is also Aiden’s cousin. The pair soon grow to be friends though their relationship is anything but plain sailing…

I enjoyed this book, it had the feeling of a light heated summer read yet with darker undertones – Kate’s diabetes and Aiden’s traumatic army experiences. I found it hard to put the book down as I desperately wanted to know what would happen to the characters. Some of the characters seemed almost stereotypical which I always find annoying in books – I think this stems from older authors writing about teenagers.

This book was not the best written book ever, with some awkward almost cliche descriptions, however I was so absorbed in the story, I found it easy to ignore. This also made the book easy to read, which reinforced the idea of a relaxing read.

All in all, I would recommend this book to those wishing to prolong summer (especially in the current winter weather) and relax with a light hearted read.

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Stirring Up Trouble – Juli Alexander

The books follows Zoe, a fifteen year old witch, who is talented with potions. However her witchcraft has to be a secret, and whenever she uses a potion for her own personal gain, she suffers some body transfiguration. This means she has to carefully balance school, a social life and her potion experiments.

I really enjoyed this book, I downloaded it on a whim and it surprised me how much I enjoyed it.

Zoe was a very likeable character throughout and by the end of the book you empathise with her. Zoe’s best friend, Anya, however was the complete opposite, throughout I struggled to find a single redeeming quality for her, which made her friendship with Zoe somewhat unimaginable. Jason, Anya’s ex, is Zoe’s love interest; He is lovely and it is obvious why Zoe likes him so much.
Zoe’s parents are also great characters, especially her mother. Zoe is very close to her mother, due to their shared witch genes, which is beautifully portrayed in the book – this close relationship is the opposite to many teenage books. However, Zoe’s dad is quite the opposite, he recently sought a divorce, which leaves his relationship with Zoe awkward, however this does change throughout the book. The only problem with this was the almost yo-yo feeling of the relationship – it changed so often.

The plot was almost nonexistent at times, for long stretches of time nothing important seemed to happen, but this gave it the feel of a simple “summer” read. I think this is ultimately why I enjoyed the book so much, it was easy to read which made the reading more enjoyable.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book, especially with those who want a light hearted read to bring back the feeling of summer.