My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.
‘The Other Side of Summer’ was just heart-meltingly, breath-stoppingly GOOD. It wass definitely my type of novel. Bittersweet, yet lovely and full of hope. Romantic. Nostalgic. A novel of Bildungsroman.
The novel first came across of as a stereotypically-set London-story of a girl who I imagined was a bit snobby. Who didn’t realise the true extent of the world. Summer was definitely prejudiced…but she was also grieving. She had her faults and flaws – which I loved best about her – and she had her virtues. I felt that she grew better and more loveable in my eyes as the story progressed. There was definitely great character evolvement on her part, but what I admired most was how delicately and subtly it was revealed to the reader. Like a blossom. Slowly, but when you looked back on the novel, you saw a definite change.
I quite liked how the novel was split into four different parts. And what was best, they weren’t equal. There wasn’t an equal amount of pages per part. Some parts were shorter; others were a bit longer. And that was great because it reflected Summer herself. Summer didn’t grow in these definite, equal parts. She was real and imperfect in the way she evolved. And I loved that the most about her.
This novel was a real mix of genres; but if you were to label it one, I’d probably say that it fits into the contemporary-fantasy genre or into magical-realism. Because throughout the first parts, that is what the novel seemed to be. Just another chick-lot contemporary. (One that I, suprisingly, enjoyed.) But as I got further and further in, events you could only call magical, occurred. I thought there was a nice combination of reality and the magical.
I quite liked the blossoming romance that lingered between Emily and her mystery boy. It started off as a friendship, and like all hopeless romantics I hoped it would develop into something more. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. However those blooms of romance lingered through till the end of the novel, so I was somewhat satisfied.
There was a lovely song to accompany the novel at the end, aptly named “The Other Side”. It was gorgeous in my eyes and I thought that it was a neat reflection of Summer and her mystery boy. The novel left such an impression on me that I went ahead and looked it up on YouTube in order to learn it. I then proceeded to steal a friends guitar in order to learn to play it. Alas, you can imagine how that turned out. 😛
A lovely and quietly atmospheric young-adult novel that I would highly recommend as a summer read!
Congratulations to Emily Gale on the publication of ‘The Other Side of Summer’! A big FIVE star!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!