Monday 6 April 2020

Review: One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon

A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and Joe and Alice, both 18, fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered as quickly as it began. Joe leaves without warning; Alice heads off to Cambridge University and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart.

Years later, when she catches the attention of gorgeous, gifted, rich boy LukasAlice is carried along by his charm and swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together.

Until news of Joe reaches her once more, but he's out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Review: Oh my goodness why did no one make me read this sooner? I read this as part of my Paige Toon back catalogue read along and did it as a buddy read with a friend. Thank goodness I did this one as a buddy read because I had so many thoughts on these characters and this plot!

I loved Alice as a main character, when we first meet her she is so innocent and so untouched by the world but then that summer in Dorset happens and she then carries on through life as a slightly jaded human being, just trying to get through the day, The swing in her character from beginning to middle and then middle to end is remarkable and I was so here for it. 

Joe is an awesome male lead as well, I really liked how sensitive he was in the beginning and I loved how, like Alice he really goes on a journey over the course of the book, the person he is just after the very beginning of this novel is barely recognisable when you compare him to the person he becomes in the end. And then there's Lukas, I did't like Lukas but he because a little bit of a pantomime villain for me, the person I loved to hate and he really posed a dilemma for so many characters in this novel. I loved that he was there to do that but I still resent him now weeks after finishing the book. 

I really like what Paige Toon did with the settings in this novel. This is the first book where we have very little travel to other countries, We travel to Dorset and to Cambridge and have a very brief trip to Germany, all of these settings are highly underused in novels though and so I loved exploring them all with Alice. Oxford gets used a lot in books so it was refreshing that so much of this novel was set in Cambridge, I loved the punting and I loved learning about all of the university buildings. Dorset was an interesting one for me because a lot of the places that Joe and Alice go to I went to with 40 children on a school trip so it was tough to pictures them as romantic settings. Thankfully Paige Toon's writing helped me a lot with that!

I just loved all of the love in this book, this read a little like One Day where you're waiting for characters to realise things and you're kind of waiting to see what catastrophic event the next time period will bring for poor Alice. I loved the romance I loved the characters and this is definitely in the running for my favourite Paige Toon novel of all time. 

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