Friday, April 25, 2008

Someone Like Summer by M. E. Kerr

Published in 2007. 263 pages.

Several months ago, not knowing anything about either the book or the author except what I read on the jacket flaps, I picked up Someone Like Summer from the Young Adult section of my local library. My 17-year-old daughter read it and told me she thought I'd like it too. Following my read of Speak, I wanted another good YA novel, so I decided to give this one a try. Unfortunately, despite my desire to love it, I just didn't.

First sentence: The first time I saw Esteban, he was kicking a soccer ball down a field behind the Accabonac School.

Last sentence: He said, "Yes. Family."

Basic plot summary: An upper-middle-class white girl from Long Island and an immigrant worker from Colombia fall in love despite objections from both their families and their community.

Why I just didn't love this book: Among the reasons I just couldn't fall in love with this book - despite what I thought was a premise with great potential - are the following:

  • Except for several references to President Bush and the Iraq War, and also a reference to Hurricane Katrina, I felt like I was more in the 1950s (√† la West Side Story) than in 2005. What could have been a highly topical current political issue fell flat for me.

  • The storyline was mostly bland. While there were a few interesting secondary characters, I wasn't drawn into their lives, and Annabel and Esteban didn't really have the chemistry that I'd like to feel in a good "Romeo and Juliet" story. Their story wasn't particularly compelling.

  • Annabel's voice didn't seem nearly as "real" to me as, say, Melinda's in Speak. It just didn't resonate the same way.


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