Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond

Title: The Summer of No Regrets
Author: Katherine Grace Bond
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: May 1st 2012
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: NetGalley - thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing a free eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads description:
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she’s never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he’s Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. Brigitta hopes he’ll hide far away from her. But Trent wouldn’t be the only missing person. Since her grandparents both died, Brigitta has felt lost—especially with her dad refusing to talk about them. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie’s fantasy to be true. But as she comes to know him, Brigitta realizes she wants more than an idol. And she may not get to choose.
First sentence:
"Touch him," Natalie whispered.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Argh. I hate writing negative reviews, but I don't really have a choice here. I really liked the set-up of this book, but I found the execution lacking in almost every aspect.

I'll start with the positive. I really liked the whole set-up of The Summer of No Regrets. Brigitta is home-schooled, and her parents have an alternative-living resort. I really liked reading about this unique lifestyle of Brigitta's family - why don't we get to see more unusual set-ups like that in YA?

But... yeah. That's really the only thing I liked about this book. I never really clicked with our main character Brigitta. Honestly, I just found her boring - despite her unusual circumstances, she's a pretty bland character. She has no real personality, and I never felt like I got to know her, even after reading 300 pages from her POV. The different sides to her character confused me, and I couldn't form an image in my mind of what Brigitta's really like.

One of Brigitta's biggest issues in the novel is the fact that her grandparents died a year ago. I don't want to sound rude or insensitive, but... so what? Of course it's sad to lose someone you loved, but it's been a year, and your grandparents dying is totally normal, happens to everyone. It's sad, but it's not enough to make Brigitta a character who's been through a lot, if that's what the author was going for.

The romance fell flat for me. There was no spark, no chemistry, and I never felt a real connection between Brigitta and Luke. The whole is-he-Trent-Yves? thing annoyed me, and I just couldn't get myself to care. The way the issue is portrayed is very melodramatic, and Brigitta's obsession with finding out whether Luke is Trent just got on my nerves. I can't say too much about this since I don't want to spoil anything, but the set-up seemed too convenient to me, too unrealistic.

Religion plays a pretty important role in The Summer of No Regrets. Religion is a hard topic to handle in a YA book, and it didn't work in this one. I found the message to be confusing and preachy at the same time. Like, it was preachy, but in two different directions, if that makes sense. I just didn't know what to make of the religion aspect.

Also, what is the title supposed to mean? The Summer of No Regrets? I don't see a relation to the story, since it's not like Brigitta makes the decision to be outgoing and crazy this summer, for once in her life, or anything like that.

Plot holes and weak characterization made it hard for me to enjoy this book, and I just couldn't get myself to care about what happens to any of the characters. Maybe I'm just getting too old for these types of books - I think this is definitely directed to younger YA readers. Especially the celebrity aspect I see appealing more to 14- or 15-year-olds.

If you've read this book, what did you think?


  1. Oooh, I'm nervous now. I thought this one sounded great. I have it coming up to be read in the next week. Hopefully I'll love it. *fingers crossed*

  2. I also got this from NetGalley... I'm actually excited to read this book. Your review is great and very straight, i'm sorry that it didn't work out for you but I shall give this a try.

    <a href=">We Fancy Books</a></b>


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