Cool for the Summer, by Dahlia Adler

allygator's review against another edition

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I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this, in exchange for an honest review. This review will be honest, and honestly I don't think it was a good as I wanted it to be.
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't as incredible as the hype surrounding it says it is. Thinking back on it, the beginning of the book rubbed me the wrong way, and those problems stuck with me through the whole reading experience.
The Things that Messed with Me:
-- In one of the first flashbacks, we're introduced to all the Outer Banks side characters. Instead of introducing their personalities, though, the author chooses to introduce them with their names and races/ethnicities. It felt like she was running through a diversity checklist, especially because those things were never mentioned again.
-- Also in regards to the last point, a Latina(?) is introduced. Instead of just saying this character is Hispanic, the author says that shes maybe-white, maybe-Latina. As a Latina, this pissed me off. If you're trying to say your book is diverse, at least don't skirt around your one Hispanic character and discount them by saying they might be white.
-- The whole what do you call a not boyfriend, not girlfriend thing bothered me. The author settled on nonbinary friend, which just is clunky and not good. There are so many better words to describe a nonbinary person who's dating someone else (partner, date, significant other come to my mind).
-- Chase just.... happened to fall in love with Lara this year? He never expressed interest in her, but all of a sudden he was all over her. It doesn't make sense.
-- Every. Single. Problem. Could have been solved by simple, easy communication. I got really frustrated.

This is not to say that the book is bad. Slightly problematic, yes. But I did genuinely enjoy a lot of it. I just may not be a romance-novel person because I couldn't get behind the love triangle, and the romance just wasn't that great for me. I didn't dislike it, but I definitely won't be rereading it, and I wouldn't recommend it for a friend looking for a bi-centric romance.

aislyngrace's review against another edition

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lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


mentalbreakdowndeluxe's review against another edition

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I do see what it was trying to do, but it just didn‘t do it.

kalynwoodbury's review against another edition

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This was cute, but I feel like I would've enjoyed it more if it weren't for a few key issues that hindered my reading experience. (Some of which aren't the book's fault, to be fair.)

1. The age gap. I'm only around 4 years older than the characters, but apparently that's enough to get frustrated over their immaturity and poor communication skills. (I wish this book had come out when I was a teen and could've related more to them!)

2. The audiobook doesn't make it clear whether a chapter is in the past or present, which gets confusing. I don't know if it's the same way in the physical or e-book copies. (Or if other audiobooks are fine and it was just an issue with the copy my library has?)

3. The app my library uses for audiobooks decided to randomly skip chapters or go back a few, just whenever it felt like it. I was ~annoyed~ and might've projected those feelings onto the book a little bit.

4. This is yet another book that makes representation feel like a checklist.

When an author goes out of their way to mention a character's race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation/etc every chance they possibly can, even when it doesn't make sense in the scene, it becomes pretty clear that specific character is only part of a marginalized community for brownie points. It's even more obvious when that's the only scene they get.

I'm sure the author only has good intentions, and I hope she keeps writing diverse characters into her stories— but in a way that feels more authentic and less checklist-y.

Buuuuuut it is a bi coming-of-age story, so I couldn't hate it even if I tried. I hope a lot of bi teens read (and love) this book!

daniellemedina's review against another edition

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"Here I feel like... I get to be and do other things. I don't have to know exactly who I am and what I want. I'm a summer girl, living my highlight reel. Maybe I don't want anything realer than that."

I've been reading more YA lately (#bookstagrammademedoit) and enjoying a lot of the books although as a mother of almost 13-year-old twins (one of whom has very mature taste), I find myself looking at them through a filter of how I would feel if my kids read them. This is one that not only would I be okay with, I'll definitely be buying for them so we can discuss. (In an odd role reversal, I like to read ebooks but my kids insist on physical copies.)

Cool For the Summer takes its name from the Demi Lovato song about being bi-curious and experimenting over the summer so you can guess where this is going. Lara is heading into her senior year of high school with one goal - to finally land Chase Harding, the guy she's been crushing on for as long as anyone can remember. On the first day of school, not only does Chase notice her, but he flirts with her! Lara is on cloud nine until a new girl walks in, taking Lara back to a summer spent on the beach with a totally different kind of crush. With her summer fling, Jasmine, now part of her everyday life, Lara finds herself stuck in a love triangle with the boy of her dreams and a girl she never dreamed she'd see again.

Things I liked about this book:
1. The gender and sexual inclusion. The main storyline is bi/bi-questioning and there are gay, non-binary and aroace characters as well and it's no big deal.

2. The Jewish representation. Both of the main female characters are Jewish - Lara is Russian and Jasmine is Syrian - and while religion doesn't play a huge role, it was nice to see it portrayed so matter-of-factly.

3. It's bookish. Lara is an aspiring writer and works in a bookstore and she and Jasmine share their love for romance books and graphic novels with the other

4. No one's perfect. This may be about a group of popular girls but they all have their own insecurities and issues.

This is a quick read and a different take on a coming-of-age story that I highly recommend.

Thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for a copy to review.

infectiousreading's review against another edition

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I truly loved this one -- I thought it was a perfect execution for what it was going for: a queer romance or coming-of-age novel. It took me a while to come back to it, I started it a while back and then kind of faltered from it for some reason. When I came back to it, I was glad I did. This book is cute, I enjoyed the ending as well. A cute queer romance that I think works for all ages.

thebookberrie's review against another edition

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Quick shoutout to my friend Lee for not telling me this was bad and letting me buy it anyway!!

Cool for the Summer is about a girl named Lara who is questioning her sexuality. She finally has the boy of her dreams named Chase but she can't stop thinking about the perfect summer she spent with a girl. When Jasmine shows up at her school, it throws everything into chaos as Lara can't decide who she wants.

Some parts of this were good- Lara questioning her sexuality and who she was was relatable and I felt for her utter confusion. But then that is outweighed by the rest of the book being an absolute mess. While I like Lara WAS a bisexual mess, this entire book is about her questioning if she was bi and at the end she's still like well idk. ???? I understand labels are hard to pin down but the entire point of this book was bi rep and to just shit the bed and say jk she's not bi / doesn't like the label / doesn't even KNOW, why did we even bother? What was the point!!

The author went out of her way to mention every race of every background character and it was so awkward because they weren't relevant at all. There is a non-binary friend who is mentioned as the non-binary friend EVERY TIME they showed up and I don't think they even had a name??? It was so offensive. All of the so called rep in this book was just shit all around, like the author was trying to hit a checklist of name dropping people and literally nothing else.

I should have known going into this that they would mention Demi Lovato. They are mentioned so much and for what oh my god I hate Demi Lovato shut up about them. Cool for the summer isn't even a good song bye.

I love the cover so much but I want to go back to B&N and get my money back because this sucked.

rhiannon_d34's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


cecireda's review against another edition

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You know between these really great romances and all of her work on lgbtq reads I’m pretty sure I would kill for Dahlia Adler

thefirstbookkeeper's review against another edition

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2.5 stars for the book that made me want to pull my hair out. This is the cliche story of a girl meeting someone on holiday and being attracted to them, they spend the holiday together and bond and fall for each other and when she returns home they guy she was in love for, for the past few years, asks her on a date. Roll love triangle between main character, childhood crush and mysterious girl from OBX.

Thai book was... Boring. To say the least. There wasn't much character development, or any actual relationship between the main character and her friends, and there was just so much damn miscommunication I felt like throwing my phone across the room. Like honestly, not worth it to read at all.

I felt kind of annoyed that there was so little interaction between Larissa and her friends, like you don't really see their dynamic and what makes them best friends because all that they seem like is school friends. They only ever hung out outside of school like 2 times in the whole story.
We didn't really get any understanding of other characters either but I think that's expected when it's a first P.O.V. story.

Her are some thoughts I had when reading the book:

"But then, Chase being an incredible big brother is one of the things that’s always made my heart pitter-patter in the first place. "

Ummm ma'am your basically implying you got a crush on your crush when he acted like a big brother to you... Idk how I feel about that bestie. I now realize she's talking about him being a good brother for his siblings. Got it. But you know what he is cute towards his siblings. Super supportive. I would want him as a big brother. I would Not Crush on him tho. He's basically the blue print of every football playing, popular guy in a YA contemporary... Or Wattpad stories.

" “We’re in English together” is all I offer, and I watch as Jasmine takes in my answer, takes in that I haven’t told my friends about her."

Oh my god these two need to talk properly. Like actually communicate. I mean they already have each other's numbers might as well just start talking.

" She’s trying to pretend we were never friends—don’t ask me why."

Maybe if you guys talked (like actually talked) you could've sorted stuff out

Larissa keeps splattering how horny she is throughout the book and I'm wondering, "is this how teens usually think?" Because that usually doesn't happen. Like Larissa thinks about smutty stuff with Jasmine almost all the time and I'm just thinking 'this didn't add to anything of the plot, maybe add some of these words towards character development in your other characters instead. Also all those side characters, who were people of colour, were there as brownie points. There was barely any mention of them besides their ethnicity and then moving on from it. It felt like the different ethnicities and sexualities were there just because the author wanted brownie points.

" “Slightly,” she says with a laugh, dealing another hand. “I’m a gaming nerd. "

Who just says they're a gaming nerd. No one says that. Ever. This dialogue is trying to be #relatable but really it's just cringy.

"The person I assisted? She was amazing. She did all this photography and web stuff, and I feel like I learned that there are more things to do with your life than, like, doctor or lawyer or accountant or whatever else every kid from here does. I don’t know, it just got me feeling … open. And optimistic. "

Girl do you know the internet? Instagram? Any form of social media where people talk about their lives? It's not like the only careers you hear about are ones from your town. It's not the 1900s/early 2000s you could have easily done research yourself. This is clearly meant for the cliche "manic pixie girl" type thing the author is trying to put on jasmine

There's a point in the story where Lara and jasmine have a food fight of sorts with avocado and all I could think was "Every love story/ cheesy rom com always has like a food fight (usually flour) and I just never see it as fun (or am I just boring?). Rich people I guess