Review: Wild Summer by Suki Fleet

Stand Alone spin off to This is Not a Love Story. 

This is Crash's Story.

At fifteen, Christopher falls in love with a boy whose life he saves. But things go wrong and four years later, he wishes he'd acted differently. His conscience begins to haunt him and he knows he must find Summer again.

At seventeen, Summer pushes away the boy who saved him. Four years later, he is stuck in an abusive, damaging relationship. When he sees Christopher again, it's a sign he can't go on living like he is, but he can't begin to see a way out.

For either boy to stand a chance at happiness, they must find each other and obliterate the wrongs of their shared past.

It is no secret that This IS Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet is one of my favourite 2014 reads, so when the chance to read and review Wild Summer came in I jumped at the chance. A stand alone spin off from TINALS I was really excited about reading it...until nerves set in. What if it wasn't as good as the first book? What if I didn't like it....would that ruin my love for Julian and Romeo's story? I, of course, need not have feared. I LOVED it.

This book, though it has some very sad aspects to it, is not as harrowing as TINALS. Shorter and more compact than the first book, Suki writes a back and forth time-line that works really well. If you've read TINALS, this is Crash's story (if you haven't it doesn't matter this will in no way impair this story for you). We meet a younger Crash, before he's settled into life with his foster/adoptive family, we meet him when he falls in love. Of course it is not a simple, happy-ever-after love, not yet, and we follow Crash both in the present and in the past unravelling the story and finding out what happened before to him and what is happening now to him. It is a great way to read I always find, heightening the mystery, putting clues together.

Though this story does not have the earth moving shattering impact of TINALS, I feel it is worth every one of those five stars. Suki (like all my favourite writers) has wonderful characters in her books, characters to fall in love with. The story is interesting, the writing kept me hooked. Scenes are vividly sketched, each word needed and meaningful - IMO anyway. We see the troubled youngsters that are the stars of the story, but we also see the carefree boys they could be, if only life had dealt them a better hand. 

Summer especially has to make some downright difficult decisions - and the more life kicks him in the balls the stronger he stands. Until he can't any more. Until his strength wanes and his heart, his purpose, is taken away. I loved the way Crash becomes the unlikely saviour. I mean, we know from TINALS what he can do, but here we see him from a different perspective, we've seen some of the hardship he has faced himself and everything that he fights to retain some of himself and not give in to the hurt and pain. 

It's a great story, one YA lovers should most definitely read. I've said it before and I'll say it again - this is an author to watch for. There's magic in them there words she writes and I can't wait to read more from her.

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