Book Review: Every Summer After

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Every Summer After is the New York Times bestselling debut by Carley Fortune. It’s a “second-chance romance” novel that marks a step out of my comfort zone into a genre that perhaps it’s still fair to say is traditionally enjoyed by women.

I’ve always loved a good chick-flick, and came to this book with an open mind, an open heart, and a sneaky feeling I might like it. However, I was not prepared to be as blown away as I was. Every Summer After is a deeply moving love story spanning almost two decades, following the blossoming friendship of Persephone (Percy) Fraser and Sam Florek from the moment they meet as teenagers when Percy first arrives in Barry’s Bay to spend the summer with her parents in their lakeside cottage.

With just one novel under her belt, Carley Fortune is already a great writer, and I admire the way she makes it look so easy. Many times, I found myself completely captivated by the wonderful sense of place and nostalgia that comes across in her prose. I cared for the characters, and really rooted for them to get together. When they shared their first kiss, I was elated, and literally cheered!

I struggle to find anything I disliked about this novel. When I picked it up, I worried it might be too corny, romancey, or maybe even too steamy, but it was none of those things. Other readers on Goodreads have complained about the plot twist at the end, but I loved it. As soon as that chapter began, I guessed what was about to happen, and it worked for me because I felt it was an inevitability that had been brewing for years.

Every Summer After is my favourite read of the year so far, and unless I pick up something amazing in the next month and half, it will be my top book of 2022. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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