Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC Ebook
Where You Can Find It: Goodreads Ι Amazon
Quote: “The chemistry of music is like the chemistry of love, but they are not the same thing: two people can go hand in hand but that doesn’t make them the same person.”
**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Synopsis: The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.
Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.
Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song.
I really enjoyed this book! It was a great summer read that provided me with an adorable romance but also shed light on a topic that I normally do not read about which is when a character is deaf. Through Carter’s perspective though, I was able to see how someone who is deaf lives in a world where being able to hear is a normalcy. It was even more amazing to see how open-minded and compassionate Robin was once she realized Carter was deaf. She respected Carter from the very beginning and went out of her way throughout the book to learn how to communicate with him using ASL while also defending him when the moment presented itself. It really surprised me how each character reacted to one another, given the obvious differences between them.
I mean, you have a girl who loves music surrounding herself with it any chance she gets and a boy who is deaf and not the biggest fan of hearing people. First thing that comes to mind is how are they going to be able to communicate or even connect with one another given the barrier that is in front of them. But what makes this book ooze with cuteness and delight is that from the very first encounter, both Carter and Robin do not let that be an issue using notepads to communicate with each other in addition to Robin becoming more and more familiar with learning how to sign throughout the book. Seeing Carter’s reaction to Robin learning how to sign was wonderful because he was so appreciative and even shocked that she would go out of her way to do that. As the story unfolded and they became closer and closer to one another, it was like Carter and Robin went into this bubble and you couldn’t help but smile and be happy for them. Their romance is what any girl would want if they were to meet someone over the summer.
Robin and Carter’s romance is not the only thing I enjoyed about this book. I also loved how in depth a look the readers get at the deaf community through the eyes of Carter and his family. Carter’s family is one that I would love to actually meet because they are not your typical family yet they were so funny and so welcoming especially to Robin. Almost every member of Carter’s family is deaf except for his mother who is a CODA, or child of a deaf adult, and what is even more amazing is that Carter and his two sisters, Denise and Trina, were all adopted by their parents. In addition to that each child is of a different race and/or culture: Denise, Carter’s older sister, is Indian, Carter is either South American, Italian, or Greek but even he is not 100% sure, and Trina, Carter’s younger sister, has blond hair and blue eyes. Picturing them all together especially around the dinner table communicating with one another would be an experience I would love to see. The diversity in this family was such an amazing aspect to this story especially since one would probably visualize a family who is from New York City and vacations in the summer in a place like Chantauqua to be all white.
Despite the bliss Robin and Carter had when they were together, reality was still there on the sidelines as the format of the book counts down the weeks until summer is over. There were times when I couldn’t help but revel in that reality, noticing some things in the story that were my not my favorite. I realize that this was a summer romance and therefore the love story would be a whirlwind of emotions seeing as there was a possible end date in the near future, but I just think that Carter and Robin’s love for each other happened a little too quickly in the story. Also, because you know that it is a summer romance, the plot was a bit predictable towards the end. Regardless of that though, the ending of this book left me oddly satisfied and filled with a lot of hope.
Song of Summer is a great book to pick up, especially in the summer, because it tells an adorable, lighthearted story of two people who meet and despite their differences, fall for one another. Not only that but readers get a eye-opening perspective into the deaf community and how they are perceived by those who can hear. I would definitely go check out Laura Lee Anderson’s debut novel, Song of Summer!