Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Release Date - May 11, 2021 
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 272 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Lara's had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He's tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he's talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe...flirting, even? No, wait, he's definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara's wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?

Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

I was excited to pick up Cool for the Summer after reading its Grease inspired synopsis. It seemed like it would be a fun read and I have previously enjoyed books by Dahlia Adler. It turned out to be quite the enjoyable read filled with just enough angst and romance.

The story is told through a dual timeline. The summer that Lara and Jasmine spend together and the school year after. It allows us to experience the highs of them falling in love and the awkwardness of their reunion. It is effective as it keeps us anchored and connected to both Lara's relationship with Jasmine and her relationship with Chase.

Each of Lara's potential relationships are given weight and care. You believe that she cares for both of these people. Neither person is made out to be awful or shown to be a bad choice. I like that the focus is on Lara and what is right for her. 

Most of this novel is Lara figuring out her sexuaity. She has had a crush on golden boy Chase for forever and is unsure what it means when she starts also having feelings for Jasmine during the summer. I thought that Lara's arc of discovery about herself and what her heart ultimately wants was well done.

Communication is the main cause of conflict as per most romance plot points in novels. Much of the angst could be solved by the characters having a conversation. It is something that works especially well here because there are characters who are figuring things out. They cannot have the conversations that need to be had until they work through things internally first. It added another layer to this often used trope that suited this particular plot.

This book did not disappoint and is definitely one you should toss into your beach tote this summer. I also recommend checking out Dahlia Adler's other books if you haven't yet.

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