REVIEW: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
July 7th 2015
YA > Contemporary
250 pages (Kindle edition)
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
The 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.
This book is so hard to rate. The blurb suggests that it has all the makings of a favorite novel for me – cute summer read, first loves between two different people, music (!!!), and a deaf MC. Song of Summer has an interesting premise – one that I was so excited to delve into. The beginning itself was very promising. I even shipped Robin and Carter right from the start. THE FEELS WERE ON POINT, GUYS.
So, what the hell happened?
Well, after all the cutesy start and first love vibes, of course it had to be there. DRAMA. UNNECESSARY DRAMA, I might add. Now, I usually don’t mind some drama to keep my blood boiling especially if it’s really needed for the flow of the story. The drama between the exes? Pfft, I could easily forgive that. What I couldn’t stand AT ALL was Robin’s outburst and reaction to Carter’s “not telling her the truth” about his hearing situation which was totally out of line.
SPOILERS BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. (NOT HIDING THESE AT ALL BECAUSE I REALLY WANT YOU GUYS TO READ IT. HA!):
Robin loves music more than life itself. Music is everything for her. She lives and breathes music. But what happens now that the person – and probably the only one – who can make her love anything more than music, couldn’t hear and appreciate the thing she loves the most? Carter has been deaf since birth. Having tried CI (cochlear implant) before and not liking it, he has decided not to go through with it at all. So when Robin found out that Carter could actually listen if he wanted to, she overreacted.
This is the part that I hated the most. How can she claim to love Carter if she didn’t even give him the chance to try to explain his side at all? What’s up with the cutting all ties with him – blocking him on e-mail, Instagram (seriously?) and everything? What’s up with jumping to conclusions when she knew no shit about what it’s like to be deaf? Dude. Get over yourself. Your boyfriend is deaf. Just because you’re learning ASL for him doesn’t mean you know everything about what it’s like to be one. Smh.
The other part that annoyed me? That ending! Honestly, I felt cheated. I love open endings since they give more possibilities for the story but what the hell was with this one’s ending anyway? What’s up with all the build-up and then making it end like that? It was so underwhelming and rushed, I kept checking if my copy was somehow missing another chapter. It took me a long time to finally accept that that was it. Man, I could cry just thinking about it again.
Overall, I still liked the book and shipped Robin and Carter hard before any of the drama happened. I also want to applaud the author for making Carter’s situation very believable. Carter’s deafness didn’t come out as a stupid plot device to me. It seemed genuine, you know? I don’t even know if that makes sense but I guess what I’m trying to say is that the author has really done her research and I greatly appreciate that. That alone warrants this book a solid star. So even though I’ve had some uncertainties, I’m still giving this book 3 stars.