In SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER, Anna finds her late sister Storm's bucket list and decides to go on a road trip to check off all the things Storm didn't get to.
What intrigued me: I totally didn't read the blurb and went off the gorgeous cover.
SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER is an unexpected gut punch. I immediately grew very attached to the characters, from protagonist Anna to her ex-boyfriend Jovani to her neighbor Cameron - I loved them all!
This is very much a character-driven story that takes its time to get to the actual premise and get the plot started, so it's always fantastic to connect with the characters. Bateman excels at conveying the emotions of her characters and portraying their grief and sorrow over Storm's passing realistically and beautifully.
It truly feels like Bateman took her time creating realistic and fleshed-out characters with intricate and sometimes complicated relationships to each other.
Quite unoriginal and following tropes
However, there just isn't that much to this story after all. This is your typical bucket list / road trip story with absolutely no spin to the topic, no originality, and nothing memorable about it aside from the nice characters. Every twist and turn the plot takes is extremely predictable if you've read a handful of novels with similar themes.
As soon as everything is settled introduction-wise the story just starts to become really dull and boring. Anna and her sidekick Cameron embark on a journey to tick off all the bullet points on the list and that's it. You have to be a fan of those types of novels to enjoy this and specifically enjoy bucket list narratives. Because this personally isn't really my thing, I found the narration and plot to end up feeling very stoic and boring.
SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER really has its peak within the first 80 pages, which are just brilliant, but then simply recedes to boring bucket-list-novel tropes.
Overall: Do I Recommend?I really enjoyed the first third of SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER but quickly grew uninterested when I realized that this is quite unoriginal with little to no variation to other novels that feature bucket list storylines. If you enjoy these types of contemporaries, SOMEONE ELSE'S SUMMER surely is among the better of these books, if you don't and like me enjoy variation, original plot, and surprises, you might want to skip this one.
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Genre: YA / Contemporary
"Anna's always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm's summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm's list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm's dream summer would eventually lead to Anna's own self-discovery?"