Tags: YA, summer, music, love
Rating: 4 out of 5
Priscilla Quinn Parker—who prefers to go by “Quinn,” thank you very much—isn’t sure that her summer before her freshman year of college is going the way she imagined it. She’s living with her older cousin Penny in Austin, Texas, and has an internship at Amalgam Records, her favorite indie label—but her internship is only one day a week, and Penny is a complete sorority girl. Things start to look up, however, when Quinn finds her ideal indie boyfriend in Sebastian a local Austin DJ. He’s beautiful, musically knowledgeable, and just like her. Therefore he’s perfect. Right?
Then there’s Russ, Penny’s annoying frat-boy wannabe-cowboy friend and neighbor. For one, Russ is always calling Quinn “Priscilla,” which she hates. For another, he’s always trying to get her to listen to country music, then calling her a snob when she says she hates country. Russ is clearly not her ideal guy…but Quinn finds herself unable to get him or his favorite country songs out of her head, especially after he calls her out on her close-mindedness.
Maybe Quinn will learn to open up her ears, mind, and heart, in order to find a love and a life that’s real.
It’s been so long since I’ve read a straightforward, fun, romantic, somewhat predictable, but ultimately heartfelt summer tale, and so LOVESTRUCK SUMMER far exceeded my expectations. Instead of flat characters, you get interesting, three-dimensional people whom you want to be friends with. It was of course easy to predict how this book was going to end, but I was surprised by how endearing Russ was, and what great banter existed between him and Quinn.
Most poignant was Quinn’s development from a self-centered, naïve snob into a more open-minded individual. I’m still having trouble understanding how Melissa Walker managed to, in just a little over two hundred (small) pages, make Quinn—who was even likable in her initial state—actually mature into a young woman we love and respect. Such gorgeously smooth character development rarely exists in a book that intends to be a light beach read, and I was greatly appreciative of how much I was able to understand, accept, and love the flawed Quinn and her equally entertaining and realistic friends.
LOVESTRUCK SUMMER is, first and foremost, a pleasure read, something that will make the bubbles rise in your stomach as the sun warms your face in the summertime. However, don’t miss out on the endearing characters and the complexity of Quinn’s maturation. I know that I will be reading this again whenever I need a book that makes me smile, swoon, and feel hopeful about the human nature.
Jennifer Echols (The Boys Next Door)
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover discussion: 1 out of 5 - Someone please lend me a hammer so I can bash my head in. Are we gearing this book towards teenagers or five-year-old girls who like to watch--what's that show called? "Strawberry Shortcake"? Yeah, teens, or them? Grr. I'm not happy.