Title: The Summer of Everything
Author: Julian Winters
Genre: Young Adult
Diversity tags: own-voices, authors of color (black author), poc representation (black biracial), lgbqtiap+ representation (gay, m/m romance)
Publisher: Duet Books
Publishing Date: September 8, 2020
Page count: 312 pages
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Bago ako magsimula, gusto ko lang sabihin na I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour.
Anyway, The Summer of Everything. Ang libro kung saan susundan natin si Wes, an 18 year old stunner (char) na naloloka kung paano magtatapat ng feelings niya sa bestfriend at long-time crush niyang si Nico while at the same time ay namumroblema sa adulting, start ng college life, relationship with his father and his brother Leo, at ang pagsasara ng Once Upon a Page, ang bookstore na minahal niya mula pagkabata at kung saan siya kasalukuyang nagtatrabaho kasama ang iba’t-ibang characters na very diverse at talaga namang nagdagdag ng kulay sa istoryang ito.
Una sa pinakanagustuhan ko talaga dito ay ang mga characters, they have different personalities and are very diverse and sobrang enjoyable lang ng interaction nila sa isa’t-isa; their banters, debate about music, their I-hate-you-but-I-really-treasure-you-as-a-friend relationship is just everything! This new-found family kind of trope just warms my heart and while reading it, the fire in my heart, the gusto kong magtrabaho sa bookstore or magtayo ng indie bookstore as a business ay talaga namang nag-aalab ng bongga.
And now na nabanggit na natin ang indie bookstore kung saan nagtatrabaho si Wes, it’s also the perfect time to say na I luuuve na most part of this book happens sa Once Upon a Page, the indie bookstore where they are working. As a bookworm, sobrang nakakatuwa na nangyayari ang istorya sa isa sa pinakapaborito kong lugar sa buong mundo and their group conflict will revolve in that bookstore.
Now let’s go to the romance. The romance in this book is suuuper slow burn to the point na gusto ko nang sigawan si Wes ng “JUST FUCKING SAY IT!” Kasi, jusko naman, ang lala na ng romantic at sexual tension sa pagitan ni Nico at Wes. Kaloka! Pero I can understand Wes’ internal conflict din naman when it comes to having doubts sa pagcoconfess ng feeling niya kay Nico because there is the possibilty na baka masira ang matagal na nilang pagkakaibigan. So in a way, I am okay na hindi siya nagcoconfess tapos minsan gusto kong magconfess na siya so… pati ako naging conflicted! Hahaha.
I can also relate a lot kay Wes in the having-a-crush-tapos-minsan-nagseselos-to-the-point-na-hindi-ko-alam-kung-may-karapatan-ba-akong-magselos kind of moment. I relate so hard sa nararamdaman ni Wes kay Nico. Very close to home!
Ang isa lang na medyo hindi ako makarelate is kapag nagtatalo na sila about music, which is marami dito sa librong ‘to, so medyo lost ako sa part na yun.
BUT ALL IN ALL, I enjoyed this light, sweet, and fluffy gay romance book. I like how this ends and I also appreciates how this is not just about Wes and Nico, there’s a lot of issues and factors about gender and slight discussion about racism that adds flavor into this book.
If you’re into a slow burn but cute gay romance, diverse characters, lots of talk about music that is set in an indie bookstore, then you should give this book a try!
Related links for this book
Julian Winters is a best-selling and award-winning author of contemporary young adult fiction. His novels Running with Lions and How to Be Remy Cameron (Duet, 2018 and 2019 respectively), received accolades for their positive depictions of diverse, relatable characters. Running with Lions is the recipient of an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award. How to Be Remy Cameron was named a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection and received a starred review from School Library Journal.
A former management trainer, Julian currently lives outside of Atlanta where he can be found reading, being a self-proclaimed comic book geek, or watching the only two sports he can follow—volleyball and soccer. His third novel for Duet Books, The Summer of Everything, will be released in September 2020, to be followed by Right Where I Left You from Viking Children’s/Penguin in 2022.