Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, GLBT, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Lexi has a secret…
Ever since her mom found out she was in love with a girl, seventeen-year-old Lexi’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.
You are on the road to truth. Help is on the way.
The road signs leading to New Horizons summer camp promise a new life for Lexi—she swears she can change. She can learn to like boys. But denying her feelings is harder than she thinks. And when she falls heads over heels for one of her fellow campers, Lexi will have to risk her mother’s approval for the one person who might love her no matter what.
I’m feeling rather conflicted on how I feel about The Summer I Wasn’t Me. You see, throughout the entire time I was reading this, I was a ball of rage. Yet at the same time, I found it interesting to take a look at a perspective that I find absolutely foul.
The book opens up with Lexi and her mum on their way to a heavily religious influenced de-gaying camp. After her father died, Lexi’s mother discovered Lexi’s secret and immediately took action by sending her off to a de-gaying camp for the summer. I know that a lot of people who are highly supportive of GLBTQ have decided to avoid this book, but I think it is a real eye-opener to how these issues are dealt with by different people. At the camp, teens are taken through activities which were supposed to help them ‘become straight’ and understand that having same sex attraction is absolutely not okay. Most of the activities were enraging. They were agonizing to read. For example: Mr Martin was talking about Father Flaws and how everyone has one that made them turn gay at one point in their life, and he claims that Lexi’s mother was the reason why Lexi became gay because her mother wasn’t feminine enough. Is it a crime to not wear pink and dresses and frills and not have long hair? Is that now the definition of feminine?
As for the characters, I didn’t really feel emotionally attached to any of them. We only get a little backstory when they are being confronted by Mr Martin in front of everyone else but I didn’t feel like much got resolved at the end of the book. Moreover, many issues were treated to lightly and simplistically. “Fixing” someone isn’t as simple as 123, but it sure felt like it was in this novel. There’s much more to it and I just did not feel that the author covered it entirely well in this novel. Though still commend Verdi because this topic is definitely a hard one to pull off well.
I thought The Summer I Wasn’t Me was still a readable novel–leaning towards lighthearted but still good attempt for a topic that only a few authors have touched into.
~Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this copy!~
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