Title: The Season of You & Me
Author: Robin Constantine
Series: No series – Stand alone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: May 10th, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5)The summary of The Season of You & Me from Goodreads:
Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee.
Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job.
Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.
Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.
Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.
While I enjoyed Constantine’s previous two novels, I had a few issues with them. I liked the premise of The Season of You & Me, and I thought it had a lot of potential. It ended up being a sweet, meaningful read about two people accepting what life throws at them and finding romance along the way.
First of all, I want to talk about Bryan. I have a problem with perfect characters. People are not perfect in real life. Everyone has problems. Bryan is paraplegic and while that could be seen as a “flaw,” I absolutely love with Constantine did with it. Yes, Bryan struggles with his new reality. And while technically, he is imperfect because of it, it does not define him. That’s an incredibly important things to realize. People’s imperfections do not define them. It’s how people adapt and accept their imperfections that’s important. Bryan knows his life will never be the same. But he’s come to realize that his new reality does not change who he is as a person. It just offers the chance to grow.
Cassidy thought she and her boyfriend were happy, until she learns her boyfriend cheated on her. She’s wanting to escape her town, get away to clear her mind and find some sort of happiness. She’s not really running away because she knows she has to deal with her problems eventually, but she also knows a change of environment will give her a chance to get away and clear her mind.
The setting was perfect for this story. Being counselors at camp gave Cassidy and Bryan the chance to be together, but it also gave Cassidy the chance to meet new people. Bryan was able to see his friends in a different way because Cassidy could give him the outsider’s perspective on his friends’ actions. For Bryan, his friends are trying to get him to do things he’s not sure he’s ready for, but Cassidy helps him see that they are just wanting to see him happy.
Even when an issue pops up and Cassidy listens to her feelings more than her brain, she and Bryan are able to communicate. They actually used words and talked out their problems, something I find lacking in some young adult novels.
This isn’t really anything wrong with the characters, it’s more of a personal style preference. Every once in a while, Bryan would comment, in his internal dialogue #wheelchairperks. While I’m no stranger to finding the perks in a bad situation, I found the use of a hashtag in personal thoughts a little strange. Maybe it’s something teens do, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought in hashtags and it was a little strange to me.
I think this is the Constantine book I’d recommend to friends. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was sweet with a little angst. It had a heart-flutteringly young romance. The characters were well written and the setting is perfect for the story.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for an advanced copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.