Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: Summer of Yesterday by Gabby Tirana

Summer of YesterdayTitle:  Summer of Yesterday 
Author: Gabby Triana 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Publishing Date:  June 17th 2014
Pages: 256
Genre:  YA Sci-Fi Romance
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC 


Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday.

The year? 1982.

And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.

Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?

I was excited for this book. I thought it sounded like a cute and romantic sci-fi. It didn't sound too deep. Just light. unfortunately it was a little to light and not enough deep for me, and fell a little under my expectations for the book. I found it very easy to read and it was very fast paced, I just had some issues with the the romance and depth of the novel. Even though I did have some issues, I wasn't bored and I didn't have an issue finishing it. I was just hoping for a little bit more than what I got.

Haley is on a very forced and very unwanted summer vacation trip with her father and his new family. She had plans for her summer which included camp, good friends, and a very cute boy. What she is in store for instead is twin toddlers, annoying step mother, and a camp-out at a boring Disney resort. She was not looking forward to reliving her father's glory days this summer. Fortunately for her, the summer vacation bonus she didn't anticipate was a cute boy and time traveling. She needs to find the way back to her time and say goodbye to her first love. 

I wanted to love this book. I really did. I love the cover and I thought I would get a very light summer romance. Which I did but it was a little to light and a bit too mushy. Not enough of real emotions and not enough depth for me. It was just a little to immature. I may have an issue with this where some teens will not. This is the type of YA that is hard for an adult to read, at least it was for me.

The story had great potential. It didn't feel sci-fi, the story read like a contemporary romance, the only difference was the time travel and the insta love. One thing I love about most contemporary romances for YA, there is romance but there isn't insta love. Even if there is instant connection, its never the "oh my goodness I love you even though I met you two days ago and I can't live without you" Well this was present in this story. That is my main issue. The characters knew each other a total of 2-3 days. The main character, Haley is head over heels, thinking about staying in the past, can't live even 5 breaths without her cute boy from the past, Jason. It was really too much for me. I get that teens are passionate, emotional, and all that jazz, but really it was over the top. This made the romance nauseating, unrealistic, and just not fun at all. I think if there would have been more of just a crush instead of madly in love, I would have liked it more.

The part of the story I did like and found a bit more tolerable and realistic was the part of Haley making sure her parents got together and hoped if it went a bit different, things would change in the future. Her parents would still be together. I think most teenagers would think this, feel this, and try this if it were possible. It was fun to see Haley interact with her mother in the past. This was the highlight of the book for me.

I wish I could say that I liked the characters but they didn't grow on me at all. Haley was really whiny, selfish, and clueless. I couldn't get past it. Jason was sweet but a bit on the dense side. He was super book smart which was cool. Those are the only two characters that I was able to see any interactions with and I just didn't connect to them. I really wish I could have.

The saving grace of this book was the pacing. It as a very fast read and it did keep me interested enough to keep reading. I didn't feel like giving up on the book. I really truly wanted to know what happened and the ending was a bit better than I anticipated. The ending fit and it was corny yes, but it worked out well. So it wasn't a total loss. 

One more thing,  I did enjoy, the nostalgia. It was fun to read the things from my childhood being brought out like it was all new and fresh, because for Jason it was.  It was a bit of fun.

I really think some would like this book. The book is very clean and simply written, good for the younger teens. I think the younger 13-16 would probably love this book. Its a quick read with some adventure, romance, and family issues without being too gritty or to deep. It just wasn't for me, but not a complete waste of time either. It was enjoyable enough to finish, but I am not sure I would like more of this in the future.

Not my cup of tea but I would recommend it to those that like the mushy love story. 

Gaby Triana
GABY TRIANA is a YA author, cake designer, writing workshop instructor, and ghostwriter. Her books, BACKSTAGE PASS, CUBANITA, THE TEMPTRESS FOUR, and RIDING THE UNIVERSE (HarperCollins), have earned the IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperbacks, and HISPANIC MAGAZINE'S Good Reads of 2008. Her obsessions include Halloween, Disney World, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, driving fast cars, hosting parties, and spending time with her husband and three boys. Gaby’s romantic time-travel fantasy, SUMMER OF YESTERDAY, about River Country, Disney’s abandoned water park, will be released on July 8th, 2014. She is represented by Deborah Warren of East/West Literary and is currently at work on a magical YA novel called CAKESPELL. Visit her at www.gabytriana.com and @GabyTriana on Twitter.

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