The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

The Summer I Found You
Written by Jolene Perry
Expected Publication March 1st 2014
256 Pages
Thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whitman Teen
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?
After a twelve month relationship, high school senior now finds herself heartbroken. She's just been dumped by the perfect boyfriend, the too neat and too ambitious Shelton, only to watch him rebound with a cheerleader. Kate's life hasn't been easy these past twelve months, being diagnosed with diabetes, monitoring her food intake and checking her levels daily isn't on her to do list, but complies to please her parents. She despises the stares and concerns of those around her, she just wants to be like any other seventeen year old who can eat junk food, not have to administer insulin and can avoid Shelton, who now seems to be everywhere that she is. But her life isn't as complicated as Aiden.

Aiden is the cousin of Jen, Kate's best friend, and has just returned from a stint in Afghanistan, where he is now classed as a veteran. Aiden lost his arm in a roadside patrol and is struggling to regain any sense of a normal civilian life. The incident haunts Aiden, the loss of friend and Sergent who incidentally saved Aiden from a fate much worse, taking the brunt of the blast and losing his life in the process. He leaves a wife and child behind, who is expecting a visit from Aiden, now that he's recovered. But Aiden can't bring himself to face his Sergent's widow, the guilt of surviving being all too much. He has no idea what to do with his life, he has a car he can't drive and is now living in a detached unit with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin's, including Jen. But he never expected to be dragged along to a high school party, he never expected to meet Kate, and he certainly never expected to fall for her.

Kate doesn't seem to be able to filter her thoughts, often blurting out the inappropriate, the offensive and everything in between. She's a breath of fresh air, considering everyone else around Aiden seems to avoid the discussion of his missing limb, everyone except Kate. Kate knows what it's like to live with pity, being treated differently than everyone else, and finds herself slowly moving on from Shelton with Aiden now occupying her thoughts. But she doesn't want him to know she's a diabetic, regarding her as breakable if she doesn't manage her medication. But surely if anyone else could understand the ramifications, it would be Aiden, so why can't she bring herself to tell him?

As their relationship blooms, Aiden begins to open up, about serving, his fear for the future and how to be someone other than a soldier, making it more difficult for Kate to share her secret. But when Kate's health starts to fail and Aiden is left to deal with the aftermath, can he forgive the girl who inspires him to live again?

My Thoughts


The Summer I Found You was an entertaining read about a return soldier learning to live life with the horrors of war, post traumatic stress disorder and navigating with only one arm. Kate on the otherhand, she's been diagnosed with type one diabetes, which is a serious condition that she'll need to live with for the rest of her life. She's trying to cope with the loss of her relationship and the new and unfamiliar feelings towards Aiden, who has enough issues of his own. Together they can heal one another, and sadly that's what their blooming relationship is based upon. Kate admits that in the beginning, Aiden was a distraction after Shelton, where Aiden's feelings towards Kate seem genuine and more mature than the two year age gap he has on her. Although diabetics is a serious condition, Kate came across as immature and blasé, even though she supposedly understood the ramifications of not taking care of herself, which could lead to blindness or even death.

If the relationship had been explored more in depth with further character development, this could easily have been a four to five star read for me. I really enjoyed it, apart from Kate's character. I just found her incredibly annoying. Jolene Perry definitely has a knack for storytelling, but sadly The Summer I Found You was a little too short to have the desired impact.

8 comments

  1. I had to skim your review since I'm reading this one really soon but I'm glad it out 3.5 stars--shame it lacked some character development.

    Fabulous review! <33

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    1. Hey Melanie, thanks for stopping by. It's definitely readable, but I found it difficult to see past how immature Kate was. I wished for all her complaining, it should have been used to create a deeper character, more so than the victim Kate believes she is. Looking forward to your thoughts.

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  2. I have this to read also. I am sorry it was as good as you were hoping. I have enjoyed Jolene's other books. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Hey Ellen, thanks for popping by. I must check out her other books. It was pretty good, just that it could have been so much more.

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  3. Too bad it wasn't what you expected Kelly! Is it just me or was PTSD a major topic in books towards the end of last year? Maybe it's just the majority of books I picked up seemed to be dealing with that. Thanks for your review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Yeah, it seemed to be the theme of the month at one point, or some sort of mental trauma. I suppose we're sick of reading about the petty issues that most young adult seem to revolve around and authors are trying a new, serious approach. Sadly, it doesn't always work.

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  4. Replies
    1. Looking forward to reading your thoughts Ellen, thanks for stopping by.

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