REQUIRED SUMMER READ: Every Summer After Review

Summary (from the publisher):Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Carly Fortune’s Every Summer After is one of THE contemporary romances of 2022. This debut set across six summers in a Canadian lakeside town has everything a romance reader wants in a summer read: a friends-to-lovers/coming-of-age romance, family drama, a cute lake summer town, and so much more. The book alternates between Persephone, known as Percy, and Sam’s summers growing up in Barry’s Bay from age thirteen though the summer before college & the present. Percy and Sam have both lost someone very close to them, with Percy returning to Barry’s Bay for the first time in 12 years, ever since her split with Sam. 

I devoured Every Summer After over the course of a beach day last week. This book is the definition of everything you want in a summer romance. I know the book has gotten a few comparisons to some much-loved romances. I don’t necessarily see the comparisons to Emily Henry (she did blurb the book) other than maybe a summer-y setting like Beach Read or People We Meet on Vacation, but I think this book is the perfect cross between Christina Lauren’s much loved Love & Other Words and Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty (reminder that I need to reread this one before its Amazon adaptation!). I think I saw a bookstagrammer make this comparison as well, but picture Every Summer After as an adult version of The Summer I Turned Pretty.

I especially loved Every Summer After for its flashback chapters to Percy and Sam’s summers growing up together in Barry’s Bay. The setting was so atmospheric – it made me want to rent a cabin near a lake town & start swimming ASAP. I loved seeing their friendship evolve from summer kids who spent their days diving off docks and watching scary movies together into something more. There’s a sense of suspense throughout the novel, as we alternate between those teenage summers and the present, as Sam & Percy reunite for the first time in twelve years and we figure out what made them split years ago. I think what didn’t make this book a 100& knockout read for me was its ending, as I wanted a bit more resolution about Percy and Sam’s future (and maybe some more anger about why the two ultimately didn’t get together for good when they were teens??). 

Overall, Every Summer After is an absolute must-read for any romance fan this summer. Grab this book & get yourself to the beach or pool ASAP! 

Have you read Every Summer After? What are your thoughts? What contemporary romances do you want to read this summer? Share in the comments! 

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