Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Published: May 10, 2022
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.
Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
So I devoured this book. And I had a good time reading it, but it wasn’t anything ground breaking. But without further ado let me just dive into what I thought about this overall.
The first thing one should know is that this story is told in dual timelines. One when Persephone is 13, and her parents buy a lake house to get her out of the city after a fall out with a group of friends that leaves her with no school friends, but finds herself becoming friends with the two boys (Sam and Charlie) next door at the lake. And the other, present timeline where Persephone has been working through her career as a journalist, and gets a phone call from Charlie, asking her to come back to Barry’s Bay for the funeral of his and Sam’s mother, even though her and Sam had a huge fall out when they were 18 and it’s been 12 years since they’ve spoken to each other.
What I loved about this book was the way everything flowed. Carley Fortune wrote this with words that when brought together were read with such ease. The descriptions of summer and summers on the lake were just so easy to read and so easy to imagine I was transported there in an instant. I could see everything she was describing. Which just made this book really enjoyable. I love being able to read something and not have to really sit and work to imagine what the author is describing to me.
The summer love the developed was great too, at least watching Sam and Percy through the years of 13-18 I felt like I was actually watching some sort of summer love movie in sepia. Which I feel like is the best way to describe these past timeline moments. But once Percy and Sam graduated high school/college years, that’s where it fell short for me and the drama felt kind of juvenile. I’m sure I’ve acted like Percy when I was 18, but reading that as an adult now is kind of cringeworthy.
So what really bothered me about this book was the plot twist and ending WHICH I WILL NOT SPOIL FOR YOU. I could tell what the overall twist was going to be (not exactly the exact details but the gist) so it made going through reading the book a bit tough. I wanted to just ignore my little inner voice that kept chiming in saying “you know what’s going to happen, why keep reading?” which I successfully did, might I add. But it was a little bothersome as a reader, knowing what the point of contention and big twist was, before I even got to that point in the book. The twist though, was something I really didn’t enjoy that the author did. I felt like there were so many better avenues to go down if THAT was the twist they wanted to go with. And I feel like the reveal of it was a bit rushed and it sat kind in a bad way with me, especially because Sam and Persephone end up reconciling within just a few pages, where it felt like it warranted way more than that due to the way they both felt about each other at the time.
Overall, it’s an okay read, like I said it reads really easy, just because the majority of the book is in the past, which is the better of the two timelines (in my opinion) but reader beware – there’s a lot of folks out there saying this is just basically a copy of From Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren, so if you’ve read that just know you’re probably going to see a lot of similarities. I have yet to read it, and hope to soon, but if you’d like I’ll let you know so you’ll get to see my thoughts on that for sure.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
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