Summer by Summer by Heather Burch
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After tragedy turns Summer’s life upside down, a summer in Belize caring for a charming young boy seems like the perfect escape. Then she meets her charge’s older brother, Bray. His smooth talk and good looks only remind her of everything she wanted to leave behind.
Bray doesn’t get Summer. He doesn’t understand why she hides herself beneath miles of ugly flower print dresses and avoids fun like it will bite. He resents her assumptions about him, even if some of them may be true.
When a boat tour and a terrible storm leave the two stranded on an uninhabited island, they have only each other to lean on for survival. Summer must learn to trust Bray and depend on his strength. As they grow closer, Bray must decide the kind of man he wants to be. When hope for rescue fades, the island give up a dangerous secret. Summer and Bray risk their lives to find a way home.
This book is every bit a romantic fantasy. A handsome guy and a heart-wounded girl trapped alone on an island. Let the romantic tension begin! While Summer and Bray keep boundaries on the physical part of their relationship, the struggle is pretty plain, especially for Bray. Despite the romance being decidedly in the forefront, some unexpected twists in the plot keep the pages turning.
The emotional journeys of the characters are a bit juvenile, which is probably okay since it’s YA… still, I wanted more depth from the characters. Sometimes it seemed as if I was getting the prettied up version of things rather than a deeper, realistic expression. I tend to enjoy grittier stories, so it could just be that personal preference rather than any flaw in the story. Either way it’s a great, light, summer read. Perfect for the beach, reading poolside or curled up next to a sunny window.
Bray has a history of hooking up with girls at parties, but he doesn’t mention details other than not being a virgin. Things between him and Summer get pretty steamy. There’s a lot of tension between them, but they commit to waiting until they are married to have sex.
Summer wrestles with some major doubts about her faith since the death of her best friend. Bray doesn’t seem to have a spiritual background but they do discuss what she believes and how important it is to her.
A man is shot, and it appears a woman may be held against her will.
Bray and his friends drink alcohol at a party. The legal drinking age in Belize is 18. Summer reflects on how drinking alcohol destroyed the life of someone she loved.