By: Cait Marie
*I received a free copy of this book from the author for my honest review.*
Jade and Griffan were once the best of friends. They were even given the same name when born (Tylar and Tyler) because their mother’s were best friends. Then, Griffan’s father became ridiculously wealthy and moved his family down to Florida. Meanwhile, Jade’s family was falling apart–her dad lost his job and all their money, then became an alcoholic. Her parents separated, and she did everything in her power to help her mother. Jade’s life was crumbling around her, and to make matters worse, Griffan never said goodbye or kept in touch after moving away.
Years later, Jade is working two jobs to help her mother and helping raise her younger brothers. She’s become closed off and “Jaded,” and the only things she looks forward to are surfing with her friend Luci and flirting with the “boys of summer.” She knows the boys are only there for summer vacation, so attachments are never made and her heart can’t be broken.
Now, Griffan is back and determined to gain her forgiveness, as he had no idea he hurt her all those years before. With his father going to prison, his whole world is flipping upside down, and their mothers think they could both use a friend. Trying appease them, Jade and Griffan call a truce and spend the summer together, opening up and being honest about their lives. As they grow even closer than they were before, Jade can’t deny that he may be more than just another “boy of summer,” and she’s not ready to admit that to anyone, including herself.
This was a very cute story. The book is well written and easy to read, I really enjoyed it. While it’s a light, summer YA contemporary, there are still very deep struggles for the characters. From feelings of abandonment to family troubles, both Jade and Griffan have a realness to their lives that is sometimes absent in this genre. There was a certain heartbreak in seeing them deal with their fathers. They’re both a mess, and their working together makes them that much more loveable.
Jade is somewhat bitter, but she has justifiable reasons. Griffan is more relaxed and entertaining. I love how caring he is not only to Jade but both of their younger siblings. His interactions with her brothers made me so happy. There’s a seen where she catches all three of them dancing in the living room and she just watches from the doorway, and it melted my heart. Seeing her walls breakdown bit-by-bit as she grew closer to Griffan was wonderful. I’m impressed with Henson’s ability to give such life to these characters in this limited space, as the book isn’t very long.
It was a fun, summer read, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started the book. I would definitely recommend it if you like YA contemporary. It’s adorable, and I’m absolutely going to look up more of Henson’s books, as well as the rest of the Boys of Summer series.