Summer Skin is the story of Jess, a fierce young feminist who’s smart, fun, driven & protective of her friends who meets Mitch, the moody, mate/bro type who drives her crazy with his witty but snarky comments, aloof behavour, & quirky habits. After meeting in the most peculiar way they can’t seem to get one another off the brain, start seeing each other in secret, thus beginning a very toxic at times, very loving at others relationship that’ll make you laugh, cringe, yell out in anger, & maybe even swoon at times.
What I love so much about Summer Skin is that it’s never represented as a healthy relationship, in fact, at many points I’d say characters argue it’s anything but healthy & I think this is important especially for young-ish audiences to understand what’s not acceptable behaviour, when to say enough is enough, how hard that can be when love is involved, but most importantly to respect yourself & your partner enough to be good to & for one another. Though relationships are complex & take work, it’s never ok to be treated badly, especially by someone you love. This is a central theme in the book.
Along with the challenges Jess & Mitch face throughout the novel,
another thing I absolutely love is how Jess’ friendships are never compromised by the space her boyfriend takes up, her dedication to being successful at school & her job are still in focus, too.
The characters in this story don’t change for one another but grow together to be better, more responsible, more caring, more mature versions of their younger selves & the journey we go on with them is fun, sad, lovely, heartbreaking, & honestly realistic.
If I could write a million more words gushing about how much I love it, I would but the ones I’ve written barely do it justice. My recommendation: read this book it’s great!
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