Review: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Song of Summer by Laura Lee AndersonSong of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 228
Source: NetGalley
Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song.

Once again, I picked up a book based on a cover. Sure, contemporary romances hold a lot of appeal, but, to be honest, I’m skeptical of ebook only imprints, which probably isn’t fair. However, the cover is so cute, and I have auto approval and an itchy download finger. Well, the good news is that Song of Summer is adorably fluffy but also deep, and I really loved it. The bad news is that I can’t be a copy for my physical shelves. Seriously, though, give Song of Summer a chance. I know that an ebook only book isn’t likely to get much hype, so I’m going to do my damnedest to convince you to read it.

SHIP SHIP SHIP, guys. But wait! I actually fell in love with this book pre-ship. That’s serious stuff right there. Song of Summer opens with Robin working her job at a diner. She’s talking with two older waitresses, lifers, about her breakup; her boyfriend, Trent, dumped her because he wants to be a free agent senior year. Fannie and Violet immediately begin dreaming of making a match, finding someone better for Robin. They make a list of qualities her perfect man should have: tall, handsome, intelligent, funny, etc. Robin adds one last qualification: a love of music. What I fell in love with was the banter between the three and the fact that Vi and Fannie feel like real people, not just convenient plot points. Also, I do love myself some shippers.

Enter two wealthy teens. They’ve come to the diner from the exclusive summer community down the road. Barry and Carter are just here for the summer, and they’re not thrilled to be stuck in this small town. Carter’s so hot that Robin momentarily forgets how to waitress. Fannie and Vi are convinced they’ve got their guy. Then Barry orders for them both, and all mourn the fact that the gorgeous guy is gay. Before they leave, though, Robin learns the truth: Carter’s not gay but deaf, which is why Barry ordered.

I immediately adored Carter because in his first POV chapter (they alternate), one of the first things he thinks is “I was happy when she thought we were gay.” A straight boy who’s not offended to be thought gay is a boy that I love. What he loved was the freedom of it. He was able to be more forward and flirt with Robin, because he knew she thought he wasn’t into girls. The whole thing was just so cute.

As I mentioned with Vi and Fannie, Anderson builds out all of the characters, not just the two leads. I have so much affection for their families and friends. Well, okay, I’m not a fan of Trent. Even he, though, isn’t a total asshole, and it’s sort of refreshing that no one gets totally run through the dirt, even the exes. Barry didn’t impress me in his first scene, but you learn there’s more beneath the surface and end up caring about his summer romance. Also, the fact that two teens have a happy summer fling and it doesn’t have to be a forever big deal love thing is awesome.

On top of that, both Carter and Robin have really happy loving families. Both families remind the teens to keep the door open if they’re going to be alone in a bedroom together. The parents insist in both cases to meet the new person their kid is dating. Carter’s family is so open and it’s really sweet. His parents adopted three deaf children of different races, and, my god, families that have been built give me so many feels. I can’t even.

The romance between Robin and Carter is definitely instalove, but it’s one of those cases that gets it really right. I buy their feelings completely, and I continued to ship them. They’re so cute. Carter thought she was attractive enough that he went back to the diner; she made an effort to communicate with him, and he asked her out. When, for their date, she’d learned a little bit of ASL, he was basically a goner. Throughout the book, they have a lot to work out, particularly prejudices they hold, knowingly or not. The openness of the ending is a bit frustrating, but I also like it.

The one thing that rubbed me the wrong way in Song of Summer was the unnecessary jealousy plot. Carter and Robin are doing perfectly until his sister and ex-girlfriend come to visit. Robin already had an ex hanging around, but Trent caused only very minor tension. Carter hadn’t told Robin that Jolene was his ex, and so that obviously ends up causing problems. Given how short the book is and how much they had to work out anyway, I really don’t feel like Jolene really needed to be in the book at all. I just think jealousy, though realistic, is really boring as a plot.

Despite some issues towards the end, I really loved this book, and I urge all of you who like adorable contemporary romances to give it a shot. Millions of bonus points for the beautiful treatment of deafness. Love love love.

Favorite Quote:

Not actually my favorite quote btw, but Adobe Digital Editions, my foe, chose to erase all my highlights. This one did make me laugh, so there you go.

I see a couple holding hands and I want to throw rocks at them.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif i love you asl family stone

One response to “Review: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson”

  1. Once again you’ve sold me! I don’t like jealousy plots either but the rest sounds amazing. I love contemps like this and it’s nice it features a different sort of diversity as well! I haven’t read any books feature deaf characters before. And that cover is definitely hard to resist! I feel the same way about ebook only imprints but I’m going to give this a try 🙂
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