Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.
Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?
Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.
Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
“When Summer Ends” is a sweet summer romance that’s guaranteed to make you swoon!”
I was lucky enough to beta read this book back in late 2017 as Jess was writing it, (and I’m so grateful that she sent me an ARC to review!) and it’s so cool to see how the book has changed since that first draft. Once again, Jess is back with a cute and complicated romance novel that makes me wish it was summer again. (Unfortunately, it’s still cold winter-in-the-morning, spring-in-the-afternoon weather by me, so I’ll just have to live vicariously through her books until then.)
The book is told from two points of view, Olivia and Aiden’s. Olivia already has the summer before her senior year all planned out — she’ll work at her writing internship all summer, spend Fourth of July up at her boyfriend Zander’s lake house, and then finish senior year with him and her friend Emma. But when her internship falls through and her Aunt announces that they’re moving at the end of the summer, her perfect plan falls to disarray. (Let me tell you…I really felt for Olivia when that internship fell through. That’s a huge deal.) We really get to see Olivia mature throughout the book as she steps out of her comfort zone, both in working at River Depot and in going on adventures with Aiden and the rest of her coworkers.
Aiden has a different set of struggles when he finds out that he’s slowly losing his vision, and that his vision will now be fluctuating on and off for the rest of his life. Now he has to figure out what to do with his summer, which has normally been filled with baseball camps and practices. We get to see him work on another passion, his art, and he creates a lot of cool artwork throughout the story. I think he handles his vision loss in a really mature way–definitely better than I would if I were in that position. He’s such a sweet, nice guy, and I think that him and Olivia bring out the best in each other.
Emma, Olivia’s best friend, and Ellis, Aiden’s best friend/cousin were great supporting characters, and I would have loved to see some scenes of all of them interacting together. Bonus scene, maybe? Overall, this is a cute beach read, and a great book to make you wish it was summer again!