Title: Cool For the Summer
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication date: May 11th, 2021
Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.
Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.
Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?
Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.
Cool for the Summer chronicles Lara’s summer before senior year, and senior year, told in split time lines – bouncing back and forth. Before Lara spent the summer with Jasmine, her mom’s boss’ daughter, Lara was obsessed with Chase, high school quarterback and overall amazing guy. But when Lara and Jasmine start a romance over the summer, Lara questions her identity. Jasmine ends up moving to Lara’s school for senior year, but it seems like she wants nothing to do with Lara – and when Chase finally notices Lara, how can she say no to the guy she’s wanted forever? But, why can’t she get Jasmine out of her head?
I LOVED this book so much. I loved the back and forth timelines, the slow dump of information from the summer and present times, and the journey Lara takes of self discovery. For a book on the shorter side, less than 300 pages, it sure covered a lot of ground and really built a story around Lara’s love story. Cool For the Summer really highlights high school love, and how what you think you want isn’t always what you want the most.
I appreciated the discussion Dahlia Adler wove into the book around biphobia, LGBTQ issues, and diversity. Lara struggles with her attraction to another female after believing she was straight for a long time. I can only imagine how important this story could be for someone feeling similarly and not sure how to handle it. I encourage everyone to read this story, especially if you love diverse YA Contemporary.
Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!