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Review: Song of Summer (Laura Lee Anderson)

Song of SummerThe thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song. 

I had high hopes for this one. Such high, high hopes. Unfortunately, I was left a bit disappointed.

I have mixed feelings on the characters. I like Carter. Robin is ok. Some people might like Robin but she just didn't mesh with me for some reason. There really isn't anything wrong with Robin per se but I just did not like her much at all in some parts of the book. The musical references were over the top, even for someone that "loves music more than life". And this, is what probably put me over the edge. I get it; music is that thing they can't really share in the same way. It's like the line in the sand that they have to overcome (and really it's Robin). But even with her deep love of music all the references were too much. I don't keep current on pop culture, so most of them were lost on me anyway. But I was proud of myself for getting the Emmylou reference by First Aid Kit.

Now, Carter was unique. I felt the author did a great job capturing his personality and making him believable. She was on point when she wrote Carter, no doubt. His story was a very interesting look into what it's like being deaf and how people treat you. I do not know anyone that is considered deaf, but I would imagine his reactions were realistic. The only thing that left me wondering more about was how he was able to ride the motorcycle. I know there was an explanation thrown in there, but I guess it didn't make much sense to me? For whatever reason, it didn't stick.

So, I was pretty crazy in love with this book until the end. Everything mentioned so far was minor and didn't bother me too terribly much. Not enough for me just to say it was so-so anyway. But then the ending happened. I was infuriated by the ending! No sense of closure at all. I know life doesn't always give you closure, especially in the summer romance department, but this was crazy. You're left to speculate what might happen. Maybe I'm being overly critical, but I feel those kind of endings are a bit of an escape for authors to write. (Then again, some people love imagining their own version of happily ever after.) 

In a nutshell, it was a pretty good read. It's certainly different, which is refreshing. I don't rank it as a favorite like I hope, but it's certainly something I would recommend.


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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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