“All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.
Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?”
– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16094953-the-summer-i-found-you)
I’d like to thank NetGalley and Albert Whitman Teen for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
When I first read the synopsis, it made me think of bravely overcoming an adversity. In this particular case, we were talking of permanent issues. Kate has diabetes, a disease that does not have a cure (yet), and Aidan has lost his arm, and for that, there is no solution other than adapting to the new situation.
However, I was disappointed. I’ll start with Kate. I felt that her attitude toward her diabetes was justified up to a point. At first, the diagnosis sure is scary, especially for a teenager who still has her whole life ahead of her. But the book does not start with her diagnosis. It starts a year or so after that. I feel that, at that point, she should have come to terms with it or, at least, be less stubborn in her refusal to follow treatment, especially after landing in the hospital a couple of times.
Again, I get it that it is a hard diagnosis to face. But Kate’s attitude clashed terribly with the way I was raised. You see, I have a severe to profound hearing loss, which is progressive, and there is no stopping it. And I was not raised to let that bring me down. There are, of course, some low moments, but I learned how important it is to deal with the hand you were dealt. And I figure that everything has to be put into perspective. Does diabetes suck? Yes, it does. But there are so many worse diseases, where there’s nothing you can do but watch the person fade before your eyes. Reading Kate and her self-destructive tendencies was quite frustrating, and the fact that her parents weren’t more forceful in their approach was even more frustrating. I just couldn’t sympathize with Kate.
Moving on to Aidan. I felt that his reaction was more realistic. His whole future was thrown off course, as he was planning a career in the army. Besides, it was an extremely traumatic event. What I liked about him was that he was eventually able to accept the fact and move on. And his reaction at the climax of the book was very believable.
I was expecting more of this book. I couldn’t get into the book, which might have had something to do with the formatting (it was quite distracting, and I hope they solve this issue before publishing). And the characters didn’t really help. As this is, in my opinion, a character-driven book rather than plot-driven, the fact that Kate, one of the main characters, doesn’t really do anything until the very end of the book was a bit disappointing.
Rating: 2 out of 5