Friday, January 17, 2020

The Goodbye Summer, by Sarah Van Name

Caroline has a secret she can’t tell anyone:  she and her boyfriend Jake are going to run away at the end of the summer.  Sure, she’s going to just turn 17 in August, but Jake is already 18 and has figured the whole thing out!  They are young, but they are in love and that will be enough to get them through. Jake is her entire world now. Ever since she and Jake started dating, her friends have pretty much all drifted away.

But then Caroline meets Georgia.  Georgia has issues of her own (mostly dealing with her over-controlling parents) but the two girls find something in the other that they need.  As Caroline confides in Georgia the plans that she and Jake have, Georgia begs her to reconsider the plan.  Caroline pushes back, but even she realizes the craziness of her plans.  Always a pleaser, Caroline is faced with the dilemma of who she can afford to disappoint.

A well written but cringe worthy story.  I was disappointed that Van Name didn’t make more of an effort to depict Jake more appealing.  He really didn’t seem worth all the fuss.  Still, I sincerely believed Caroline’s struggles with making the right decision.  And it all just reminded me of how much it sucks to be young and immature.  I’d love to say that I don’t know anyone who was like this when they were her age, but the story is intimately familiar.  Faithful and authentic and heartbreaking.

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