Cool for the Summer gave me serious “Grease” vibes! All the changes that happen in a summer. The ways we discover pieces of ourselves, step outside shadows, and our world changes just a bit. This queer contemporary was a breeze to read! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Cool for the Summer is all about summer plans and mistakes which follow us back. Full of ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ sections, Lara’s story examines what happens when we get our dreams, only to have lingering feelings. Thoughts we can’t put to bed at night. People we can’t get out of our head. It exposes the vulnerabilities of summer, of friendships you put yourself out there in, because they seem temporary. Cool for the Summer is a love letter to summer loving. To those summer relationships that haunt us even after we’ve unpacked.
I became immersed quickly in Cool for the Summer. In doubts we can’t shake off and the power of a single summer. Lara’s questioning representation, as well as the biphobia she encounters, is emotional and tender. While there were a few elements that seemed sudden which, upon reflection I wonder about, they never pulled me out of the book. Overall, if you’re looking for a summer beach read, a book that celebrates the magic of summer, or “Grease” vibes – then check out Cool for the Summer!
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