One Perfect Summer – Paige Toon

one perfect summerTitle: One Perfect Summer
Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Format: Paperback
Pages: 464
My rating★★★★★

This book is my first paperback for the Paperback Summer challenge. With this speed I am not going to make it until 10 books before the end of August though. It had nothing to do with this book. Not at all, because I loved it. Why haven’t I read any of Paige’s books before? I really enjoyed reading One Perfect Summer and I can’t believe this is only the first novel by Paige Toon that I am reading. It will definitely not be the last.

What the book is about

‘And you still love him?’
‘Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…’

While on holiday in Dorset one summer, Alice meets Joe, a guy working at the local pub. She’s eighteen and on the brink of starting university, while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. But despite their differences, the pair fall hopelessly and desperately in love. And then summer comes to an end and they are dramatically torn apart.

Alice heads off to university in Cambridge where she gets a part-time job punting on the River Cam and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. One day Lukas – a gorgeous golden boy from Cambridge University – spies her and it’s not long before Alice falls for his charms.

Months turns into years, but then Joe comes back into Alice’s life again in a way that she could never have imagined. While Alice lives her ordinary life with Lukas, she has to watch from the sidelines as Joe’s life becomes evermore extraordinary. She never stopped loving him, but he’s out of her reach now, surely? And what about Lukas?

What I think about the book

This book is not your average chick lit and for me that is a good thing. It has way too many emotions inside, both romantic and dark ones, which makes the story very real. It is definitely not a fairy tale and I really liked that about this story.

The book has been divided in several parts. It begins with the perfect summer romance between Alice and Joe. They fall in love, spend lots of time together until the summer ends abruptly with some terrible events and they are separated from each other. I can definitely relate to that in a way. Yes, we have social media these days, but sometimes relationships or friendships end just like that, leaving you confused and alone.

In the second part of the book Alice goes to college and she is slowly picking up the pieces of her life. After a few chapters I had the feeling that I was reading a completely different book, to be honest. It was all happy and cheerful and just a story about a girl that goes to college, makes new friends, finds a job and eventually even falls in love with a wonderful guy. But is Lukas really all that wonderful? I have read in some reviews that readers don’t find him that bad, but in some ways I think he is a bit abusive. No, he doesn’t touch Alice, but the way he is trying to control her life freaked me out a little. Yes, she could have broken up with him, but she’s been scarred and hurt by previous experiences and that may cloud her judgment a bit. So I wasn’t really feeling it with Lukas. Nope, I was on team Joe for sure.

And then Joe comes back. I am not going to spoil that part, but that was quite a plot twist. I mean, I would have expected them to somehow bump in to each other and then either fall back in love or not. That wasn’t the case. All I am going to say is that I could not stop reading when Joe came back into the story and that I just found it all very lovely and romantic. The end could have been a bit longer, it was a little rushed, but that won’t keep me from giving this one 5 stars. One Perfect Summer is a wonderful summer read for sure.

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