The Summer of us by Cecilia Vinesse
A group of high school best friends decide on a whirlwind backpack tour through Europe before heading off to colleges all over the world and maybe to never see each other again. Obviously, this is a coming of age story. They are about to be adults, living on their own, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives for good or not so good. Yet, there is, understandably, still a part of them that clings to the comfort of childhood, to friends, and to familiar feelings. At first glance this story seems to be a bit of a played concept, the reader knows going in that they will all come to the end of the book changed in some way.
This is basically Aubrey’s story, yet I found that I couldn’t connect with her as well as some of the other characters. She seemed a little less defined. Not confident at times and overshadowing the stories of some of the other characters at times. The author has captured perfectly the wobble between child and adulthood that each of these young people is struggling with. Relationships between them ebb and flow as they deal with growing up and the fears of moving into the world and away from each other. In the end, they realize that things will never be the same, but that may not be a bad thing because maybe it wasn’t so perfect to begin to with. The European travelogue backdrop is the icing on this rich story. It will definitely be a summer that none of these teens will ever forget.