Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein
Published by Random House; scheduled for release June 13th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Source: Jen Klein sent me an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
For the second time in a month, I am loving a book by Jen Klein! This time I knew better than to be surprised. Summer Unscripted is a fun, quick read, PERFECT for the many summer days ahead.
Girl looks for a sign. Enter: boy.
Rainie doesn’t have a “passion” like her friends do. She’s more of a dabbler—quick to give up and move on. But as graduation approaches, she wishes she had more direction. So when gorgeous Tuck gives a monologue that literally puts into words exactly how she’s been feeling lately, it’s a sign! Tuck is her passion. How could she not have seen it before?
Girl follows boy. Enter: second boy.
Rainie convinces her ex-BFF to let her work at the same summer job as Tuck. She’s got a foolproof plan to date him. But when she arrives, Rainie discovers things aren’t that simple. And she meets Milo, a super-cute boy who also works with her. A boy with a complicated past.
Girl needs to figure stuff out. Enter: drama.
There is A LOT to love about this book (not the least of which being that now I know I’m not the only one to wonder about the logistics of a human woman having sex with a swan), but I’ll start with:
For one, we have a Mexican-American male lead. I am all about interracial relationships and diversity without the story being about interracial relationships and diversity. We have those stories, and I love them, but I also love stories that just reflect life for the diverse masterpiece it is without making a big deal about it.
I relate so much to Rainie, our narrator, who flits from one thing to another, seemingly with no focus or future. I also relate to meeting some beautiful person and way over-exaggerating the moment, determined to make that person your focus and future. Now I am much older and (theoretically) much wiser than Rainie, and I still do stuff like this. I, like her, am a dabbler. If you are, too, be ready to see yourself in a way that’s maybe not flattering, but still incredibly real and beautiful and refreshing.
Milo is so fun. I really like Klein’s ability to have her male leads be solid, decent young men, who are still incredibly sexy. Because there is so much of the Good Girls Only Like Bad Boys stuff floating around, ESPECIALLY in YA stories. I cannot tell you how many YA books I read where girls fall for guys who treat them like shit, and we’re supposed to love that guy too. We need writers like Klein, so young girls who read can see that you can fall for a guy who is solid and decent, and dare I say nice, who is still sexy and not at all boring. (Just to really drive home this point, girls, guys who treat you like shit are not sexy. They’re garbage people. Feminism is sexy. Get on board.)
Is adorable; hilarity often ensues.
It makes me nostalgic for days of being a drama kid, obsessed with theater. It’s such a distinct dynamic. The hook-ups, competition, break-ups: all of it is captured splendidly. And it is fun to have our narrator be a non-drama kid, observing as an outsider.
The fun story and quick pace make it easy to lose yourself in; it’s a book you can easily finish in an afternoon.
Summer Unscripted to any drama nerds, fans of YA romance who need a fun summer book, and anyone who likes to laugh at the weirder aspects of Greek Mythology.
Thanks to Jen Klein for advance access to this book in exchange for an honest review!
*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/bulldog. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.
**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.