Trying to leave behind her breakup with her manipulative ex, Gavin, Cassidy decides to spend the summer with her father's family at their Jersey Shore bed-and-breakfast.
Despite her parents’ painful divorce, Cassidy's father’s family is welcoming and supportive; her younger half brother's innocent humor is particularly endearing. Soon, however, Cassidy feels considerably less welcome when she gets a job as a camp counselor—as a summer girl, she faces scorn and jealousy from local girls. At camp, she becomes acutely aware of Bryan, the polar opposite of Gavin. Paralyzed in a poignantly mundane accident, Bryan is adjusting to both paraplegia and a breakup of his own. Bryan becomes a counselor to force himself to socialize—and, maybe, to relearn how to surf. His doubts and frustrations are realistic and balanced by wit—he's not above claiming the occasional #wheelchairperk, like having "the upper body of fucking Iron Man" or "hot girls being helpful." Narrated in their alternating voices, Bryan and Cassidy's gradual romance is graced by a cast of caring, bantering friends, the sunny beach setting, and even a riddle to solve. Squalls and rash decisions threaten the summer fun, but drama never overshadows characterization. Cassidy's wavering between Gavin's and Bryan's respective attractions will resonate with teens who've gone through messy breakups, and Bryan's increasing confidence will both educate and satisfy readers. Both Bryan and Cassidy are white.
Fun and thoughtful—more than just a summer read. (Romance. 14-18)