The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner

Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Just when everything seems to be going wrong, hope and love can appear in the most unexpected places.

Summer has begun, the beach beckons and Francesca Schnell is going nowhere. Four years ago, Francesca's little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca is the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn sixteen, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Meanwhile, her best friend, Lisette, is moving on most recently with the boy Francesca wants but can't have. At loose ends, Francesca trails her father, who may be having an affair, to the local country club. There she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon, and Francesca begins to wonder if it's possible Frankie could be his reincarnation. Knowing Frankie leads Francesca to places she thought she'd never dare to go and it begins to seem possible to forgive herself, grow up, and even fall in love, whether or not she solves the riddle of Frankie Sky.

Before starting this one, I’d heard so much about The Pull of Gravity, Gae Polisner’s first book. Wayyyyy back in 2011, I had the chance to interview Polisner for the blog (you can read it here). It still astonishes me that I still haven’t gotten the chance to read her debut, but when I got the chance to review her sophomore novel, I jumped at the chance. I loved The Summer of Letting Go! It was so beautiful. It could have gotten stuck with so many clichés but luckily, this escaped and truly stands out from several other YA contemporary novels that revolve around the same subject. The writing is absolutely gorgeous as well, I mean take a look at the first line:

It’s not even noon in not even July, yet already the sun bakes down hot and steady, making the air waffle like an oily mirage.
–p. 3 (eGalley*)
*text is subject to change in the final version

The language she uses is amazing and I’m so glad the rest of the book only got better from there.

I really loved Frankie's (aka Beans) character. The Summer of Letting Go is truly a story about growing up and coming to terms with the past, as well as to let go of the ghosts that are holding you back. Exploring this topic through her eyes made things a lot easier to empathise with, and the emotions came through very clearly, not just from Frankie but from the people around her as well. Frankie Sky was adorable. I fell in love with this small child who has so much character, and I loved how Polisner was able to capture his speech in the book– it really made it much more clearer with imagining his character.

A lot, and I mean A LOT, happens throughout this book. Glad that there was something from the past, something hidden, something revealed, something unresolved that is later resolved and something to look forward to come! I liked how it wasn’t a whole load that the author dumps onto the reader but it’s a slow spindling of a web that connects intricately as the story goes on.
Speaking of the past, so much of mine came back to me when I was reading this book. For some reason, “My Sharona” by The Knack was stuck in my head the entire time because it was mentioned once during the book. Even the Frog and Toad books brought back so many childhood memories. I enjoyed having such a connection with the book, because now I’m starting to feel slightly nostalgic...

The Summer of Letting Go was a stunning novel that perfectly captures the pain and heartache of loss and the joy of letting in someone new into one’s life. Wonderfully written by the very talented Gae Polisner, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more books from her!

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1 comment:

  1. I loved this book - it was so wonderfully written with a lot of raw emotions. So glad you enjoyed it, too!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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