Every Summer After is lovely, heartwarming, touching and beautifully written second chance romance about first love, young innocent mistakes and forgiveness.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Publication Date : May 10th 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Pages : 320
Tea for this book : Menthol + Indian Masal + Peppermint
Spice factor : ❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥/5
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for eARC via NetGalley. This doesn’t affect my review or rating.
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Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.
Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.
For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.
Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.
Every Summer After is emotive and heartwarming contemporary romance that revolves around childhood friends, Percy and Sam, and their love story. The story is about family, love, friendship, teenage angst, coming of age, young love, innocence, mistakes, heartbreak, loss, second chances, and forgiveness.
Writing is fabulous, beautiful, cozy, and steady to fast paced. it is written in first person narrative from Percy’s POV with alternative chapters of ‘Now’ and ‘Before’ that takes back to every summer they spent together from 17 yrs ago till their break up 12 yrs ago. Dual timeline worked really well here.
Plot is interesting and engaging. I loved the beginning. It started with Percy getting a phone call from her childhood friend, Charlie, brother of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend – Sam, informing her about funeral of his mother that take her back to memory lane of her first summer in Berry’s Bay, how she met Sam and Charlie, how Sam became her best friend and eventually boyfriend, how Berry’s Bay became her best place in the world until everything fell apart 12 yrs ago.
It was interesting to know what happened all those years ago, why it was so terrible for her to move on, what happened that is giving her panic attacks, and how their reunion will be after 12 yrs when Percy will attend the funeral.
This is character driven story and I loved all characters. They all are realistic and relatable. Characters of any age can find connection with these characters. They made the story nostalgic making me think back to my own childhood, first love, and mistakes we make.
It feels hard to seperate Percy and Sam even in review. I feel like I can’t talk about one charcter leaving other one out of the discription. Percy is my favorite though, even with her mistake. She is lovely, kind, fun, and smart. In the beginning we see her vulnerabilty as she was being bullied by her best friend but her first summer at Berry’s Bay meeting Sam changed things. She is forgiving person as she let go of how her best friend treated her at the end of the summer and continued being best friend again.
I could understand her feelings and dilemma as her crush towards Sam grew to be love while Sam didn’t give any clue about his own feelings, keeping her hanging. I liked her for being true to her feelings and knowing what her heart really wants and still trying to move on when she realised Sam isn’t reciprcating her feelings and then making right decisions when he did.
I get her reaction and behaviour to Sam’s decision about college. When I think about it I don’t think Percy was that wrong making that mistake. Sam has been equally responsible but of course we don’t see that until it was revealed in climax. I felt for Percy suffering for that mistake for so long. I loved how determined she was to come clean about it when they finally met.
Sam is smart who wanted to be doctor ever since he lost his father to heart attack. He is kind, lovely, but not forgiving type. He keeps close lid on his emotions, he is resposible for his age and even more developed but he is clueless how to keep a realtionship and because of that he makes many mistakes that makes Percy feel unloved and insecure. He unknowingly was cruel for wanting her and at the same time pushing her away. You see why I said it’s not only Percy who is resposible for her mistake.
I liked him for being true to his life goal, thinking they have all the time and he wasn’t wrong but he wasn’t good at expressing it right. He is perfect and also not perfect at the same time. It was sad to see him suffering as well, going through hard time like Percy and it is amazing he still focused on studies and became doctor. I was surprised he was so calm when they first met in present and kept things lighthearted and even showed he still loved her. His reaction in the climax is shocking. This guy is hard to understand.
I also liked secondary characters. Charlie made story fun and light-hearted. It was interesting to know him more and finding his hidden talents. He looked irresponsible, total flirt, and playboy but he was actually smart and unlike Sam, he knew how to keep a relatioship. I liked him for pointing out Sam’s mistakes and trying to make him see where he is wrong. There is jealousy and teasing between brothers but they liked each other in their own way. Sue, their mother is amazing. I liked Percy’s parents too but they mostly stayed out of pciture. Delilah– Percy’s best friend, the same who bullied her, is also amazing. I wish I could see her more.
Percy and Sam’s childhood friendship, their first love, and relationship and how they grew up in present how their past affected them… the whole journey is best part of the book. It truly showed how silly and innocent first loves are. All those overreaction, high expectations, disappointments, and insecurity is totlly age apropriate, so realistic and realtable.
There are so many lovely moments. Like every readers who enjoyed this book, I loved those friendship bracelets, their movie nights, horror stories Percy loved and wrote, Percy’s swim training and her yearly challenge and how Sam helped her with it, their shifts at tavern… It was all beautifully written.
Their friends to lovers romance is another best part and it made me sad to see how that changed them, distaracted them from life they wanted and unltimately broke them apart. I wanted to kick them both for taking so long to make things right.
Climax is what I was waiting for whole book. I feel so smart for figuring it out or maybe not because I could see the hints even before I reached the middle of the book. I just wanted to see if I’m right or not and I went along the story to enjoy it more and I really did. Funeral, panic attacks, taking back in time for revelations, admitting it in present, and reactions to it made everything from climax to end most interesting. I wasn’t expecting this to become all steamy in last 20% of the book as for most of the story it was partially clean romance. End is pefect, lovely, and feel good but I still wanted to kick them for taking so long.
Why 4.5 stars-
Like I said I could figure out that mistake and what happened 12 yrs ago. It’s not hard to figure out and yup I have seen that happening before but it can be overlooked as I still enjoyed the story.
Overall, Every Summer After is emotive, touching, nostalgic, second chance romance about first love, young innocent mistakes and forgiveness.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Second chance romance
Childhood friends to lovers
First young love
Perfect summer read
Realistic and relatable characters
coming of age stories
emotive and touching story
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