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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Cool for the Summer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    So excited that this book is one step closer to being out in the world! I can't wait for everyone to meet Lara, Jasmine, Chase, and the rest! Just for fun, here are five random facts about this book: 1) It's told in past and present timelines, with the former set in Outer Banks, NC and the latter set in a fictional town in Westchester, NY. 2) It's extremely bisexual/bi-questioning. (There is also secondary on-page aroace rep.) 3) It is obviously named for the Demi Lovato song, which also plays a r So excited that this book is one step closer to being out in the world! I can't wait for everyone to meet Lara, Jasmine, Chase, and the rest! Just for fun, here are five random facts about this book: 1) It's told in past and present timelines, with the former set in Outer Banks, NC and the latter set in a fictional town in Westchester, NY. 2) It's extremely bisexual/bi-questioning. (There is also secondary on-page aroace rep.) 3) It is obviously named for the Demi Lovato song, which also plays a role in the book, though Taylor Swift's "Betty" is also a frighteningly good fit. 4) This is my first novel with a Jewish MC, although we are not the same denomination. In fact, both Lara and Jasmine are Jewish, though Lara is Ashkenazi (Russian) and Jasmine is Sephardi (Syrian). 5) Lara is an aspiring Romance author, which, you know, definitely isn't taken from experience or anything.

  2. 4 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    [email protected] PAGE I have this thing for stupid characters and Cliché flings - *eye roll* till my eyes fall out of my sockets

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 3 stars This Grease inspired contemporary with a bisexual main character was certainly something. Summer love is fickle, and for high school senior Lara it arrives when she least expects it: while on summer holiday in Outer Banks, North Carolina. Swept away from her friends in New York and everything she knows, Lara spends the summer with Jasmine, the daughter of her mother's supervisor. What starts out as an unlikely friendship quickly blossoms into something incredible, but when they part way ↠ 3 stars This Grease inspired contemporary with a bisexual main character was certainly something. Summer love is fickle, and for high school senior Lara it arrives when she least expects it: while on summer holiday in Outer Banks, North Carolina. Swept away from her friends in New York and everything she knows, Lara spends the summer with Jasmine, the daughter of her mother's supervisor. What starts out as an unlikely friendship quickly blossoms into something incredible, but when they part ways at the end of the summer, neither expects to see the other again for some time. Of course, that's just where the story begins. Cool for the Summer is exactly the kind of book I wish I'd had access to growing up. This story explores friendship, love, and sexuality in tandem with one another, and I can already tell it's going to break waves with young readers. The actual story follows two timelines, then and now, then being the summer, and now being the present day. Both timelines are dispersed equally in the progression of the story, which allow for the revelation of relationship development to be split equally between Lara and Jasmine, and Lara and Chase. As many of you know, I absolutely abhor love triangles with every fiber of my being, but for the sake of this book, it gets a pass. Mainly because the development of the plot indicated that the couple I wanted to get together was headed for endgame. There really was not a lot of explanation for Chase's sudden interest in Lara, which is just one reason I didn't really root for them as a couple. I think I needed more groundwork to be laid there in order for me to care, but I'm beginning to think the absence of it was intentional on the authors part. Showing the flaws in the relationship, while building up the background for the other couple. Brilliant. One thing about this that did surprise me was the balance between the lighthearted and more serious moments. I didn't really expect it, but the addition of serious topics into the story was critical and handled perfectly by the author. I do want to make reference to a few things within the book that didn't sit well with me. One was the way certain characters were described when it came to their race and ethnicity, which seemed to serve as a diversity checklist more than anything else, and another was a statement about a nonbinary character, which seemed to have such a negative connotation associated with reading it. As most of these comments hinged around characters that were far in the background, I really question how and why they were said. Partly because we never saw or heard from these characters again, and because the negative comment was tacked on to a background character like it wanted to go unnoticed. These comments completely rubbed me the wrong way when I read them, and did impact my overall enjoyment of the book. Cossette does a great job going through these, if you would like to read more about what I'm talking about here I do think the exploration of identity tied in with a journey towards learning more about oneself completely stole the show here. Add to the fact that this was inspired by Grease, and I just know it is going to come to mean something to a lot of people. Also, who else didn't know that cool for the summer was a wlw song. Just me? Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger warnings: biphobia, alcohol consumption (underage), parental divorce Updated 2/4/21

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Man, do I love a messy queer love triangle. This book was SO MUCH FUN. It is full of pining and sass and questioning and FEELINGS and I highly, highly recommend checking this one out if you like YA romance! Seriously, so cute. This needs to be made into a summer movie asap bc I NEED IT (Also, I listened to this one via audiobook and thought the narration was fantastic! Highly recommend x2!!) CW: biphobia

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    this is going to be the bi romance(s) of all of our dreams 💗💜💙 & the power of the line "but if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?" whew, lads! (also, my love for dahlia adler truly knows no bounds at this point) Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch this is going to be the bi romance(s) of all of our dreams 💗💜💙 & the power of the line "but if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?" whew, lads! (also, my love for dahlia adler truly knows no bounds at this point) Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.50 Stars. This was a pretty good read but I didn’t love it like I hoped to. This story had a queer Grease vibe that I was really excited about reading. The premise was good, but there were some obvious issues for me, mostly story choices, that I’m not a fan of when any author uses them. I have a feeling this book might work better for people who don’t share some of my dislikes. Firstly while I didn’t like all the characters, on an overall scale I thought they were well done. Even some of the se 3.50 Stars. This was a pretty good read but I didn’t love it like I hoped to. This story had a queer Grease vibe that I was really excited about reading. The premise was good, but there were some obvious issues for me, mostly story choices, that I’m not a fan of when any author uses them. I have a feeling this book might work better for people who don’t share some of my dislikes. Firstly while I didn’t like all the characters, on an overall scale I thought they were well done. Even some of the secondary characters, that were a little 2D, still each had their own unique voice. I’ve mentioned in other reviews that I’m horrible at remembering names, especially when I’m learning more than one or two new ones at a time. But with this book I had no issues remembering who was who at all. Every character had their own personality and was done well – including the parent characters -. Speaking of good characters, I was actually surprised how much I liked the character that the main does NOT end up with in the end. This is one of those stories that you read knowing the character is dating the “wrong one” until she can come to her senses and be with whom she is supposed to be. But in this book the “wrong one” actually seemed like a sweet character. Normally authors will have the “wrong one” be a real jerk kind of character but I liked that Alder made them a real possibility so we could understand why the main character was torn. While Adler did a great job in making the “wrong one” likeable, she bumped into one of my biggest issues on the way. Too much time was spent with the two mains apart and not as a couple or working towards being one. This is a romance and it’s hard to have a romance when the two characters who you expect to get the HEA or HFN, never spend any time together. Not only did they have very little time together as a couple, they spent a lot of the book even physically apart. Too much time was spent with the “wrong one” and the main romance suffered for it. I know that Adler tried to have more romance time for the mains but her way of showing that was almost entirely with flashbacks. Flashbacks how I hate thee! Yes, I know sometimes they are needed but 90% of the time they just don’t really cut it. In this case, Alder was able to show that the two mains had definite chemistry together, but she was not able to show that they had that a real deep and emotional past connection. It felt more surface level, still getting to know you, not L word kind of romance. I really like my YA stories to be filled with emotional teenage angst but this one didn’t quite get there. There was angst sure, but it was mostly just due to no communication. No one talks at all, that is until the last quarter of the book. The whole end of the book is the main character having big important conversations with four different people since she never talked to anyone. I think it’s not a surprise that the ending, when communication was finally happening, was my favorite part of the book. I think this YA book would be more geared towards older teens and adults. It’s not dark or triggering, but sex is definitely talked about. The sex scenes are not really explicit, but they’re not PG either. It’s explicit enough that you know what’s going on if that makes any sense. There is also a good amount of casual teen drinking. I’m not very good at age-ranging books but I thought I should mention this for any librarians who might read this review. As you can see, this book definitely had some ups and downs for me. I loved the Grease premise and the overall feel of the book. It was very readable with some well-done characters. The problem was that this book also had three book pet-peeves of mine. If you don’t have issues with flashbacks, no communication, and characters not spending much “relationship” time together, then this book might work a lot better for you. I liked Adler’s writing style enough that I would read her again and hopefully that book would be a better personal fit. An ARC was given to me for a review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Hands down. I loved this book. I enjoyed each of the characters. I liked the genuine, motivational writing style. And I liked the idea of self discovery, pure emotional, inspirational outcome! Of course I liked the bisexual love triangle theme between Lara, Jasmine and Chase! The only thing bothered me was the beginning point. I didn’t get exactly why Chase fell for Lara because they haven’t shared a deep bond, never talked before. Out of nowhere he started to flirt with her and of course Lara’ Hands down. I loved this book. I enjoyed each of the characters. I liked the genuine, motivational writing style. And I liked the idea of self discovery, pure emotional, inspirational outcome! Of course I liked the bisexual love triangle theme between Lara, Jasmine and Chase! The only thing bothered me was the beginning point. I didn’t get exactly why Chase fell for Lara because they haven’t shared a deep bond, never talked before. Out of nowhere he started to flirt with her and of course Lara’s reaction was realistic. She had a crush on that guy for such a long time now she realized her feelings were not unrequited! Everything seemed so bright and hopeful but when she saw the girl she’d spent summer: her heart started singing “ Summer loving had me a blast. Summer loving happened so fast.” So I want to scream her to tell me more she got friendly down the sand. After my tribute to Grease: I must add I wish Lara and Chase knew each before, maybe they could be close friends and finally friends to lovers dynamics may work better with their insta beginning ( not for Lara but absolutely it was instant love for Chase) But I liked how author executed the triangle idea and ending of the book was hopeful, heartwarming, sweet, inspirational! Overall: I’m giving my entertaining, sweet, cute, lovable, poignant four young adult stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Irena BookDustMagic

    Cool for the Summer was maybe the best book I read this summer (so far. Yes, I know, we still have 2 months left) and definitely one of my favourite ya contemporaries I read this year. It is coming of age story done well, with lead character discovering who she is and what she wants and doesn't want in her life, and how dreams coming true don't guarantee happiness. With wild cast of lgbtq+ characters that are, from my point of view, ,represented right, Adler deserves to be a new voice of ya contem Cool for the Summer was maybe the best book I read this summer (so far. Yes, I know, we still have 2 months left) and definitely one of my favourite ya contemporaries I read this year. It is coming of age story done well, with lead character discovering who she is and what she wants and doesn't want in her life, and how dreams coming true don't guarantee happiness. With wild cast of lgbtq+ characters that are, from my point of view, ,represented right, Adler deserves to be a new voice of ya contemporaries. The story was good and easy to read. I read in other readers reviews how they didn't like that the main character was naive and didn't ask questions she should have had. I do agree that there was miscommunication that could have easily been resolved with just talking, and the characters acted little immature when it comes to them, but if I'm being honest, I didn't mind them, because I feel like without them there wouldn't be a story. At least not this one. I also want to mention how I really liked Jasmine and if I was younger, she would probably be my book crush. I 100% understand why everyone wanted to be near her, and the way Lara talked about her really described the love she had for her. The chemistry was also written well. The book has two parts: "THEN" that talk about summer (which were my favourite) and "NOW" set during school year. I wish we got more of THEN. The novel is written in first person, following Lara's POV. Overall, really good coming of age novel with diverse cast. I highly recommend it to ya contemporary lovers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    Cool For the Summer is a cute, summery romcom that puts a fun, sapphic spin on Grease. Adler takes her readers on a journey of self discovery and acceptance, all while exploring first love, friendship and identity. There were a lot of things I loved about this book! Primarily, I loved Larissa’s character development as we saw her go from living in her best friend’s shadow and not being too sure of herself to really coming into herself and being confident enough to pursue her interests (namely, wr Cool For the Summer is a cute, summery romcom that puts a fun, sapphic spin on Grease. Adler takes her readers on a journey of self discovery and acceptance, all while exploring first love, friendship and identity. There were a lot of things I loved about this book! Primarily, I loved Larissa’s character development as we saw her go from living in her best friend’s shadow and not being too sure of herself to really coming into herself and being confident enough to pursue her interests (namely, writing a romance novel and, well, Jasmine). I appreciated that although it was her relationship with Jasmine and getting out of her comfort zone over summer that gave her this initial push, we still got to see Lara develop this confidence on her own in the present timeline. Which brings me on to something else I really enjoyed – the romance! I may be the only person in the world that doesn’t hate love triangles and this one was no exception. Although it was very obvious who the ‘real’ love interest was, it didn’t detract from the story as navigating these relationships and what she really wants was so key in Lara’s development. I really loved the ‘Then’ chapters which gave us the build up of Lara and Jasmine’s relationship so that Lara’s conflicting feelings made sense and I could fall in love with Jasmine and their relationship as the story progressed. These snapshots of the past were placed perfectly to create a flowing narrative and have the most impact, especially as they contrasted Lara’s present relationship with Chase and all of its flaws. Another thing that I particularly enjoyed was the positivity surrounding sex and sexuality in this book. Lara doesn’t shy away from discussing her sex life and the role it plays in her relationships, as well as masturbation. I firmly believe that YA is in dire need of more positivity surrounding sex and thought that this book did it perfectly, making it clear what was happening and discussing the repercussions and throught processes surrounding it, all while keeping it appropriate for the target audience. Furthermore, I also really liked Lara’s questioning of her sexuality and the emphasis on not needing to choose a label. Within this, I also appreciated the acknowledgement that everyone’s journey is different: some people know when they’re tiny, and others won’t know until much later. Neither is the ‘correct’ way to be queer and you’re no less valid for realising this part of yourself later in life. Especially as Lara is still only a senior in high school and doesn’t need to have everything figured out yet, no matter what anyone else says. I also appreciated that both Lara and Jasmine were Jewish and loved that the novel showed a couple of the different ways this can be experienced. And finally, there are plenty of easter egg references to other YA books, especially graphic novels (which I loved seeing get the attention they deserve) and so much love for books and reading in general that I just adored. The writing was easy to sink into and I flew through Cool For the Summer in just a couple of sittings and really loved reading it. However, I would say that this book lacked depth and development outside of Larissa herself. In particular, I felt like I didn’t know much about her best friends, despite their near constant presence in the present timeline. I also thought that their relationship with her could have done with more development as, honestly, they weren’t always the best (looking at you, Shannon) and I’d have loved to see more attention given to both them and Larissa realising and rectifying this. Additionally, I did feel that at certain points the book felt slow and as if not a lot was happening and that it could have benefited from a bit more development of side plots to rectify this, while giving the main plot of Larissa working out her feelings time to develop. Nevertheless, the book does what it sets out to do in being a lighthearted rom com, these are more just things that I personally think could have brought it up from a good, solid read to something incredible. Cool For the Summer makes for the perfect lighthearted, summery read and I’d highly recommend picking it up – and not just because the cover looks like me! Adler cleverly navigates questions of identity, friendship and acceptance to create a touching story of self discovery and the importance of being true to yourself. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sara⁷ ❀

    me on the outside: wow sounds cool me internally: bISEXUAL LOVE TRIANGLE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  11. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars When you get everything you wanted, why doesn’t it make you happy? That's a question at the core of Dahlia Adler's YA romance, Cool for the Summer . (Yes, it's named after the Demi Lovato song.) Larissa has spent most of high school in the shadow of her best friend Shannon and wishing that Chase, the handsome star athlete, would notice her. But having to spend the summer in the Outer Banks at her mother’s boss’ house changed her perspective, mainly because she got to spend time with J 4.5 stars When you get everything you wanted, why doesn’t it make you happy? That's a question at the core of Dahlia Adler's YA romance, Cool for the Summer . (Yes, it's named after the Demi Lovato song.) Larissa has spent most of high school in the shadow of her best friend Shannon and wishing that Chase, the handsome star athlete, would notice her. But having to spend the summer in the Outer Banks at her mother’s boss’ house changed her perspective, mainly because she got to spend time with Jasmine, the boss’ daughter. The two quickly struck up a friendship, which transformed into something more, something unexpected, but then they went their separate ways after the summer. Larissa returns to school for her senior year with a different kind of confidence, one which makes Chase really notice her for the first time. She has finally gotten what she’s wanted for years, which is great—and then Jasmine shows up at her high school, having transferred from North Carolina. Why does Jasmine’s presence throw her completely? They just had a summer thing, and now they’re pretending it never happened. But why, when she’s with Chase, is Jasmine all she thinks about? Larissa is left with a choice—does she follow the path she always wanted to, or does she follow her heart? I really enjoyed Cool for the Summer . I remember feeling like Larissa did when I was in high school, although it was fighting a crush on one of my male friends while “dating” a girl. (Things were both more and less complicated in the 80s!) Adler really captured that mess of emotions so well. I liked that many of the characters were far more complex and diverse than you’d expect. Even Chase, who could’ve been written simply as the handsome, dumb jock, had far more complexity, and it really added to the book’s appeal. Definitely a fun, thought-provoking, romantic summer read! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  12. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    this is probably a 2.5 star rounded up to a 3 star for me? i'm lowkey really bummed because a lot of people i know absolutely adored it & it was a highly anticipated read for me, but i just kept getting pulled out of the story from the way certain things are described. for example, the "non-binary friend" comment really rubbed me the wrong way, or the way each character's ethnicity was specified, even when it didn't make sense/if we never heard about that character again. at times, it felt lik this is probably a 2.5 star rounded up to a 3 star for me? i'm lowkey really bummed because a lot of people i know absolutely adored it & it was a highly anticipated read for me, but i just kept getting pulled out of the story from the way certain things are described. for example, the "non-binary friend" comment really rubbed me the wrong way, or the way each character's ethnicity was specified, even when it didn't make sense/if we never heard about that character again. at times, it felt like there was this ~ diversity checklist ~ the author was pulling from. the issue between lara/jasmine really hinged on miscommunication and it just frustrated me, especially since SO much could've been different if they had just talked, and lara/chase's relationship seemed to come out of nowhere and i just couldn't really get behind it. i absolutely loved the discussion about self-discovery & identity, and how not everyone knows/realizes that they're queer when they're young. i think this was explored really well, and i know CFTS will impact a lot of readers.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    Hmm this book wasn’t bad but it didn’t live up to my expectations. There’s a lack of relationship build up on both sides (Chase especially) so I did not really root for either relationship. Lara was in love with Chase for years and then suddenly he has interest in her which I know that that can happen but it feels like it just happened for the convenience of a having a love triangle. I don’t like love triangles but for the sake of this story I do think it works well, especially for teens growing Hmm this book wasn’t bad but it didn’t live up to my expectations. There’s a lack of relationship build up on both sides (Chase especially) so I did not really root for either relationship. Lara was in love with Chase for years and then suddenly he has interest in her which I know that that can happen but it feels like it just happened for the convenience of a having a love triangle. I don’t like love triangles but for the sake of this story I do think it works well, especially for teens growing up going through exploring their own sexuality. I think this is important for teens to read this coming of age story! Theres not much else in the plot aside from the love triangle and Lara does kind of go through a coming of age in finding herself. Lara's friends are also so terrible and I don't really understand why that was added to the story. The cover is so cute and it is a quick read but I just wasn’t that interested in it. 3 stars is me being generous but I do think this was just okay. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC and audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    Happy release day! I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was one of my highly anticipated reads for the year. The cover is amazing, and the synopsis seemed up my alley. I honestly did not expect to get the arc, but I was so excited when I did. However, this book did not entirely live up to my expectations. Dahlia Adler’s Cool for the Summer follows a high school senior named Lara as she attempts to figure out her life and what she wants. After the summer, Lara’s Happy release day! I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was one of my highly anticipated reads for the year. The cover is amazing, and the synopsis seemed up my alley. I honestly did not expect to get the arc, but I was so excited when I did. However, this book did not entirely live up to my expectations. Dahlia Adler’s Cool for the Summer follows a high school senior named Lara as she attempts to figure out her life and what she wants. After the summer, Lara’s long time crush, Chase Harding, has finally noticed her. She is over the moon about this at first, but Lara cannot stop thinking about how she spent the summer with Jasmine. When Jasmine unexpectedly switches to Lara’s school, the two must navigate their confusing relationship. Lara wants to be happy with her friends and the boy of her dreams, but she cannot forget Jasmine. I want to start by saying that while this was not a perfect read for me, this book still has very important messages. I really liked Lara’s arc and character development. Her story was a good representation of what it is like to be confused while questioning and figuring out your sexuality. The self-discovery aspect was well done in my opinion. I also appreciated that this was balanced with lighthearted and funny moments. I also really liked how the author incorporated a past and present timeline. I love when stories are not fully linear. It was really intriguing to see how much Lara has grown in the present timeline because of what happened in the past. It also help build the relationship between Jasmine and Lara. I did find this book hard to get into because of the writing. It was just not my favorite and took me some time to adjust, but after the beginning, it started to pick up and flow better. It was harder for me to feel invested because most of the characters fell felt. I felt that only Lara was well developed and had a good character arc. While the past timeline shows more of what Jasmine is like, Chase’s character seemed under developed. He started liking Lara out of nowhere, and we did not really learn much about him. I was not a big fan of how the author portrayed Lara’s friendships either. It was almost as if they did not really like each other since most interactions felt passive aggressive. One of my biggest problems with this book that I want to emphasize is that I found the character descriptions pretty weird. At times, it felt like race and ethnicity of different characters were thrown out in a superficial way. It seemed like the author was just trying to cover her bases and then just did not really mention it again. Representation, diversity, and inclusion are important, but again, it felt superficial in this book. There was a comment about a nonbinary character that felt off too. It seemed like the author was trying to make a joke, but it came across in a negative way. While I did not necessarily love this book, I still think Cool for the Summer will resonate with a lot of readers. Adler crafts an important narrative about self-discovery and bisexuality. Stories like this can really help teens, and I do wish there were more books like this when I was growing up. *Content warning: divorce, underage drinking, biphobia, sexual content* Thank you to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book before its release on May 11, 2021.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    A simply wonderful book about finding yourself and love Larissa "Lara" Bogdan has had a crush on one person for her entirety of high school: Chase Harding, the handsome, beloved football quarterback. But it's not until she comes back from a summer at the Outer Banks that he seems to take real notice of Lara. Like, flirting, asking her out notice. Now, she suddenly has everything she's ever wanted. But Lara can't seem to shake her memories of that Outer Banks summer and the girl she spent it with: A simply wonderful book about finding yourself and love Larissa "Lara" Bogdan has had a crush on one person for her entirety of high school: Chase Harding, the handsome, beloved football quarterback. But it's not until she comes back from a summer at the Outer Banks that he seems to take real notice of Lara. Like, flirting, asking her out notice. Now, she suddenly has everything she's ever wanted. But Lara can't seem to shake her memories of that Outer Banks summer and the girl she spent it with: Jasmine. Those memories come back in full force when Jasmine unexpectedly shows up at Lara's school on the first day and sees Chase flirting with Lara. Lara finally has Chase now. So why can't she stop thinking about Jasmine? "How do you tell people who've listened to you babble about your crush on a guy for a thousand years that whoops, you spent the summer fooling around with a girl?" Oh goodness, this was a great book. I'm so jealous there are so many wonderful YA LGTBQIA books out there now, which I would have devoured as a teen, yet incredibly happy too. I absolutely loved Lara as a character. She's sweet and bookish (addicted to romances) and in that stage where she's finding herself and coming out. It's hard not to relate to that. Adler's characters pop onto the pages--Lara, her mother, Jasmine, and Lara's cast of funny, overbearing, and loving friends. And even Chase, who is truly a good guy. (I appreciated that it wasn't "bad guy" versus "good girl" but two good kids, with their own personalities and flaws, whom Lara had to choose from.) The book is told in a then and now format, starting out with Lara in high school and then flashing back to her summer in the Outer Banks with Jasmine. As someone who has spent some time in the Outer Banks, I loved the beachy setting, and the book just felt fun, summery, and exciting. You could feel the thrill of Lara and Jasmine falling for each other. It's so rare that we get this in our literature, and it brought back memories of my own first love and that fun, scared, happy feeling, along with all that uncertainly of realizing you were feeling these things for another girl. Adler captures it all so perfectly. "If I somehow got Jasmine back--if I even wanted her back--what would it mean losing when everyone else found out the truth?" The premise for this book is fascinating and lovely. Lara suddenly has everything she wants: she has pined after Chase for THREE YEARS. She comes back from vacation with a tan, a new haircut, and a newfound confidence (which no one knows the source of) and he suddenly takes notice of her. She should be in heaven--her friends certainly think so. Faced with having to make all these monumental life decisions, to realize whom she loves, and what she is--it's a lot. The book does such an excellent job of portraying bisexuality and the journey of figuring out who who you are. It's very well done, but also funny and witty. All the characters seem real and, for the most part, true to their age. Overall, I loved this one. It portrays the queer community very well and does an excellent job capturing teens. The story is fun, sweet, and captivating. I feel like it would speak well to teens and adults who remember that spark of falling in love. I have to go read everything else by Adler now... 4.5 stars. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press / Wednesdays Books and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. Look for COOL FOR THE SUMMER on 5/11/2021! Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  16. 5 out of 5

    bella

    updated review (1/15/2021):2.5ish stars. This was quick and overall fun book, but it was also heartfelt and packed more of an emotional punch than I was expecting. After reading this, my heart feels like a piece of chocolate with a gooey molten center. I did not think this book would cause me to cry/tear up multiple times, but I enjoyed the emotional journey. Unfortunately there were also parts of the book that took away from my enjoyment of it. I liked Lara's character arc as she explored her s updated review (1/15/2021):2.5ish stars. This was quick and overall fun book, but it was also heartfelt and packed more of an emotional punch than I was expecting. After reading this, my heart feels like a piece of chocolate with a gooey molten center. I did not think this book would cause me to cry/tear up multiple times, but I enjoyed the emotional journey. Unfortunately there were also parts of the book that took away from my enjoyment of it. I liked Lara's character arc as she explored her sexuality and came to learn more about herself over the course of the book. It brought me back to when I was in high school navigating my own sexuality and coming to terms with being pan/bisexual. Even though I am quite different from Lara and had some difficulty connecting with her initially, I could relate to her internal struggles with self-discovery and wondering about the validity of her attraction/feelings for another girl. My main issue with the plot was that Chase's interest in Lara seemed to come out of the blue, even if she had significantly changed over the summer. They'd known each other for many years prior to that, so it felt like his intense interest in her was a bit sudden. It would've made more sense to me if they'd known each other better on a platonic level before romantic feelings developed on his end. I adored the development of her relationship with Jasmine during the summer and how the dual timeline showed that, along with her journey of personal growth. (view spoiler)[It was also incredibly satisfying and heartwarming to see how supportive Lara's mother (and Jasmine's parents) and friends were when she decided to tell them about her feelings for Jasmine in the end. (hide spoiler)] Unfortunately, the plot relied too heavily on miscommunications/lack of communication between the two, which grew frustrating. Furthermore, a few things in the book did not sit well with me regarding representation. There were a few comments made about race/ethnicity that felt off to me, and it often felt that Adler was only including the representation for "diversity points." Another comment made about the "nonbinary friend" rubbed me the wrong way, even if not was not intended in a negative way. The representation felt quite one-dimensional to me, which took me out of the story rather than being a positive thing. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! initial review (1/13/2021): i was not expecting to cry/tear up multiple times reading this! i’m emotional and my heart feels like a piece of chocolate with a gooey molten center. i loved this so much. full review to come. content and trigger warnings: biphobia (challenged), parental divorce, mild nsfw content, underage drinking

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    [Update Sep 23rd: can we talk about how fucking epic this cover is???? holy shit I cannot wait!!!!] I have honestly not stopped thinking about this book since Dahlia Adler talked about this all the way back during PitMad in June 2019. It's about a bisexual love triangle and YES, it is inspired by the Demi Lovato song!! Plus the author said on her twitter "COOL FOR THE SUMMER is about how compulsory heterosexuality often leads to bi girls figuring it out late" and as someone who thinks that queer n [Update Sep 23rd: can we talk about how fucking epic this cover is???? holy shit I cannot wait!!!!] I have honestly not stopped thinking about this book since Dahlia Adler talked about this all the way back during PitMad in June 2019. It's about a bisexual love triangle and YES, it is inspired by the Demi Lovato song!! Plus the author said on her twitter "COOL FOR THE SUMMER is about how compulsory heterosexuality often leads to bi girls figuring it out late" and as someone who thinks that queer novels talk entirely too little about comphet, I am SO HERE FOR IT! Instagram | Blog | Booktube Channel | Twitter

  18. 5 out of 5

    katie ❀

    [2.5] i have,,, very mixed feelings about this :/

  19. 5 out of 5

    Boston

    3.5 stars. This book follows a girl figuring out her sexuality while maneuvering through a relationship with a longtime crush. I think a lot of aspects of this book where really well done, but wasn't necessarily for me personally. If you're a fan of YA contemporary then I highly suggest picking this up, because you'll be sure to love it. I found some parts a little cheesy, but nothing too bad. Overall, a really great book, the rating just reflects my growing out of the YA contemporary genre. 3.5 stars. This book follows a girl figuring out her sexuality while maneuvering through a relationship with a longtime crush. I think a lot of aspects of this book where really well done, but wasn't necessarily for me personally. If you're a fan of YA contemporary then I highly suggest picking this up, because you'll be sure to love it. I found some parts a little cheesy, but nothing too bad. Overall, a really great book, the rating just reflects my growing out of the YA contemporary genre.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    4.25 Stars “Cool for the Summer” is a YA contemporary romance centered on 17-year-old Larissa (Lara) and her longtime crush, Chase, and the girl she meets over the summer, Jasmine. Lara is known for her crush on popular quarterback, Chase. She’s been pining for him for years and finally, on the first day of her senior year, he notices her back. However, as soon as things start to look up with Chase, Jasmine, the girl Lara spent all summer with, shows up unexpectedly. Like most YA novels, this is 4.25 Stars “Cool for the Summer” is a YA contemporary romance centered on 17-year-old Larissa (Lara) and her longtime crush, Chase, and the girl she meets over the summer, Jasmine. Lara is known for her crush on popular quarterback, Chase. She’s been pining for him for years and finally, on the first day of her senior year, he notices her back. However, as soon as things start to look up with Chase, Jasmine, the girl Lara spent all summer with, shows up unexpectedly. Like most YA novels, this is told in first person point of view, from Lara’s perspective. I have to admit, I totally loved this one. There are a few issues that keep it from a full 5 stars, but for the most part it ticked all the boxes that I enjoy in young adult. It’s fun and flirty but is also heartfelt and moving. It comes with the obligatory teenage angst, though it isn’t overwhelming and is very natural to everything happening. My biggest dislike is the love triangle. It’s mentioned in the blurb but I really didn’t think Lara would spend the majority of the book dating the wrong person. Her summer fling with Jasmine is shown in flashbacks so you do see them together, but they’re just friends and figuring things out for the majority of that timeline. They spend almost no time in the present together except for short spurts of time. I would’ve preferred less flashbacks and more time together in the present. There was also the problem of miscommunication. Honestly, all of the issues in this book probably could’ve been solved with maybe two conversations. That was frustrating to read but I also understood it to a point with Lara. She’s truly confused about her feelings and has a hard time understanding things herself so I can imagine not wanting to talk about it with other people. A big part of the story is Lara’s self-discovery of what it means to be queer and how it isn’t the same for everyone. It’s hard for her to believe she may be bisexual when she’s never been attracted to another female before now. Despite those two things, I really loved this. Lara is a fantastic character. She’s always hidden in the shadow of her best friend but over the course of her summer, she really starts coming into her own and it continues into the school year. She has a fairly large group of friends between the present timeline with her being home and at school with all her friends. The flashback scenes you also meet a new group of friends that spends her summer with. Both groups were diverse in race and sexuality and despite there being quite a few of them, they all have their own personalities and voices. Jasmine and Chase are also fun characters. This being in Lara’s POV, you don’t know them nearly as well but I never felt cheated. Chase seems like a really sweet guy while Jasmine is more mysterious. Though I knew who I wanted Lara to be with, Adler really made it difficult to be mad about either one and I really appreciated that. I don’t enjoy a story when “the wrong” person is an obviously bad choice. If you’re a fan of YA novels I would highly recommend this read. I received an ARC from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Okay, yes, it's kind of an asshole thing to do to rate a book that hasn't come out yet, thus broadcasting the fact that I got to read the ms early, but you know what? I get to brag about SO FEW THINGS, PEOPLE. Let me have this!! Ahem: This book is fun and sexy and bitastic and rompy but heartfelt and thoughtful and nuanced, too. Absolutely loved it - can't wait to get an actual real life copy and read it again. Okay, yes, it's kind of an asshole thing to do to rate a book that hasn't come out yet, thus broadcasting the fact that I got to read the ms early, but you know what? I get to brag about SO FEW THINGS, PEOPLE. Let me have this!! Ahem: This book is fun and sexy and bitastic and rompy but heartfelt and thoughtful and nuanced, too. Absolutely loved it - can't wait to get an actual real life copy and read it again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ;3

    would make a great netflix coming of age film 🍿

  23. 4 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    Imagine: you've just returned to school for senior year after an amazing summer. Theres a new air of confidence to you one can only gain from a summer spent with new, incredible people that have taken you out of your shell. The boy you've liked forever, the captain of the football team, is suddenly taking interest in you. But just as you're ready to be swept up in the most ideal senior year you could've set out for yourself, a girl walks through the door of your high school. A ghost from your su Imagine: you've just returned to school for senior year after an amazing summer. Theres a new air of confidence to you one can only gain from a summer spent with new, incredible people that have taken you out of your shell. The boy you've liked forever, the captain of the football team, is suddenly taking interest in you. But just as you're ready to be swept up in the most ideal senior year you could've set out for yourself, a girl walks through the door of your high school. A ghost from your summer, threatening to tear everything apart. Cool For the Summer, a bisexual Grease retelling, does exactly this. Lara has always considered herself straight; society's very heteronormative standard has never prompted her to question her sexuality, as it does to countless other teenage girls. Even after a summer fling with a gorgeous girl, Lara still isn't ready to open the can of worms that is her sexuality. But when said gorgeous girl reappears in her life unexpectedly, it all comes crashing down. This book does a wonderful job portraying identity crisis. The main character doesn't spend an excessive amount of time worrying about her sexuality, it's more about the draw she feels to both love interests. How is the draw to this girl different from the draw she feels towards the captain of the football team, Chase Harding? How is it the same?  I related *so heavily* to her struggle. Navigating the messy world that is sexuality can be uniquely hard for bisexuals, because the world so often tells us we must pick a side. The constant prejudice against bisexuals can make this self discovery so hard because differentiating between platonic, romantic, and sexual feelings can be so much harder than it should due to the overthinking alone.  This book does bring up some interesting issues, especially with the plot of emotional cheating. As Lara's having her internal freakout as to what her sexuality is and what she feels towards each of her love interests, she's certianly emotionally cheating on Chase with her constant thoughts about Jasmine. This is obviously very problematic. The negative stereotypes about bisexuals being cheaters is always so thoughtlessly propagated, and perhaps you think this book plays into that stereotype. But I disagree. As a bisexual with a lot of very messy, very drama-filled bisexual friends, I can say that while it's shitty, it's a story a lot of us can relate to. Lara is messy. She's making mistakes, she's hurting others, and she's very… morally gray. But so are so many IRL bisexual teenagers. This stuff happens. Maybe this propagates negative stereotypes, but then are our real life stories also contributing to this negative stereotype? Yes, but that doesn't devalue our stories, or make them "harmful representation." The author does a wonderful job portraying this struggle and messiness without making the book angsty and killing the overall fun vibes the book holds. At it's core, this story is a romantic comedy about teenagers just trying to find their place in the world and with themselves. Theres plenty of non-angst in this book (I'd go so far as to say the majority of it is non-angsty) but of course I'm going to relate more to the angsty parts of the story because it's just so real.  Overall, this book is a super enjoyable, quick read perfect for fans of sex-positive romances, Grease, and all things bisexual. Highly recommend!

  24. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    If you're looking for a cute summery romance that happens to feature a girl torn between the guy she's crushed on for years and the girl she met, and discovered previous unknown parts of herself with, over the summer, you should definitely pick this one up. This would be a great way to kick off the season of beach-y reads. How do you tell people who've listened to you babble about your crush on a guy for a thousand years that whoops, you spent the summer fooling around with a girl? What keeps this If you're looking for a cute summery romance that happens to feature a girl torn between the guy she's crushed on for years and the girl she met, and discovered previous unknown parts of herself with, over the summer, you should definitely pick this one up. This would be a great way to kick off the season of beach-y reads. How do you tell people who've listened to you babble about your crush on a guy for a thousand years that whoops, you spent the summer fooling around with a girl? What keeps this from being a love instead of a like is that certain parts did feel a little rushed (which makes sense as this isn't very long) and while I believed in the unexpected romance between the girls, and also could totally understand the protagonist's longtime crush on the boy, I didn't quite buy into him suddenly sitting up and noticing her after so long. And I didn't quite buy.. something else, that I realize might be a bit spoilery. This isn't going well to explain my reasons but suffice it to say some parts of how this was set up and executed was so well done, others.. less so. How do you tell your closest friends, when you only have one year left before you all head off in new directions, that they don't know you as well as they think? How do you have that conversation when it means facing that you didn't know yourself as well as you thought you did? Additionally, I think I only actually liked our main character? I didn't dislike the romantic interests, or anyone really, but she was the only one who felt really well rounded. I loved how she discovered a new sense of herself (beyond her sexuality) when she was put into a situation away from her home and longstanding friends. I loved how she started seeing herself from the outside and how she felt hampered by that view but would also think about the friendships and relationships had defined so much of her life. Not in a negative way, I loved the reflections she had about her very different friend group, but I really liked the introspection, of trying to figure herself out. Again, I really liked Lara. COOL FOR THE SUMMER is a quick fun read that also has a bit of YA-appropriate steam. Between the bi-questioning, the very different kinds of love interests, and the Grease vibes, this is definitely worthy of being on your radar. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  25. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Actual rating 2.5 Rep: Jewish bi mc, Jewish Syrian American bi li, Black & Japanese American side characters, bi, gay & pan nonbinary side characters CWs: internalised homophobia, biphobia Galley provided by publisher Cool for the Summer is a sweet enough romance, centering on Lara, who has a summer fling with a girl, then returns to school to find that her longtime crush is interested in her. Like I said, it’s a sweet enough read — I didn’t actively dislike reading it, but neither di On my blog. Actual rating 2.5 Rep: Jewish bi mc, Jewish Syrian American bi li, Black & Japanese American side characters, bi, gay & pan nonbinary side characters CWs: internalised homophobia, biphobia Galley provided by publisher Cool for the Summer is a sweet enough romance, centering on Lara, who has a summer fling with a girl, then returns to school to find that her longtime crush is interested in her. Like I said, it’s a sweet enough read — I didn’t actively dislike reading it, but neither did I really like it. I think the major problem I had was that I never really worked out why I was supposed to be rooting for either of the relationships. Sure, the flashbacks were good to establish that Lara and Jasmine had had a relationship, but there didn’t ever feel like there was much more there than something maybe beginning. There wasn’t really the emotion to convince me that they could have gone somewhere. And then there was Chase. Maybe it’s me here but nothing about Chase made him seem remotely like a viable love interest. Okay so he was nice enough, but he didn’t notice Lara at all until she had a whole makeover over the summer and then he decided she was worth it. And that kind of shallowness stuck with me throughout their attempts at dating. But I think maybe that shallowness was kind of indicative of the book as a whole. In trying to be a fun, summery romcom, it sort of lost a little bit in its characterisation. Not so much with Lara herself, but definitely with the side characters, none of whom felt particularly distinct. Which then became a problem, because how am I supposed to enjoy a romance, enjoy the relationships, if I don’t have a proper sense of who the characters are. That wasn’t just a problem with respect to the romance, but also the friendships. I mean, I can tell you maybe one or two things about each of Lara’s friends — Gigi is obsessed with her boyfriend, Kiki runs a mystery-solving podcast, Shannon is a bitch — and really, not much else. Which, I guess, is why this book as a whole just fell a little flat to me.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinions in any way. Cool For the Summer is a perfect summer romcom—fun, sweet, silly, and just that perfect little dash of emotional. Exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up a book like this. Cool For the Summer is also relatively unmemorable. This isn’t a criticism exactly, but even a week after I’d read it, most of it had already left my head. I remember a bookstore, a fun karaoke scene, some angs I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinions in any way. Cool For the Summer is a perfect summer romcom—fun, sweet, silly, and just that perfect little dash of emotional. Exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up a book like this. Cool For the Summer is also relatively unmemorable. This isn’t a criticism exactly, but even a week after I’d read it, most of it had already left my head. I remember a bookstore, a fun karaoke scene, some angst, and the dual timeline. Other than that, I couldn’t tell you what happened. That said, I do recommend this book—and I really liked it! This is fully a positive review! I just recommend it for a very certain sort of situation—when you’re looking for something fun and cute and full of cheese. The writing is good, the tension is good, the characters are good. Cool For the Summer is an easy book to lose yourself in, and I think it does everything it set out to do I also think this book has the potential to mean a lot more to bi readers than it did to me—if you’re looking for a bi love triangle book, this is probably perfect for you. I personally do not particularly like love triangles, and while I’m always looking for rep, I had no personal connection to this rep. Overall? I fully recommend this book. It’s fun, simple as that Initial reaction: hi this was SO much fun omg I enjoyed this so much and I couldn't put it down and the characters were great and ahhhh I loved it!! RTC

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Honestly just crying at how cute this was and how much the struggle to find a label that fits is. Lara is back from a summer at the Outer Banks and she's determined to make this year hers. All things are going right when her long time crush, Chase, finally notices her. But then Lara finds out Jasmine, the girl she had a summer fling with, is also at school. Lara doesn't know what to feel and where her feelings truly lie. A note on the Jewish rep first because I feel like Jewish characters don't ge Honestly just crying at how cute this was and how much the struggle to find a label that fits is. Lara is back from a summer at the Outer Banks and she's determined to make this year hers. All things are going right when her long time crush, Chase, finally notices her. But then Lara finds out Jasmine, the girl she had a summer fling with, is also at school. Lara doesn't know what to feel and where her feelings truly lie. A note on the Jewish rep first because I feel like Jewish characters don't get enough attention in gentile reviewers. This is from the author's review, both Lara and Jasmine are Jewish: Lara is Ashkenazi (Russian) and Jasmine is Sephardi (Syrian). This book gave me all the feels. Between the is it only her, could I be queer etc that comes with questioning, I felt seen. Told in two timelines: flashbacks to the summer and now with Lara & Jasmine at school together. I loved seeing how events unfolded. Also Jasmine has my whole heart, I love her so much. Also there were so many freaking cute ass scenes while Lara is at work at the bookshop/being a barista and like MY HEART. I am just a giant swoon. This book just worked so much for me, I truly loved it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Althea

    4.5/5 Stars When I first heard about this book way back in 2020, I was so excited to pick it up – it was pitched as a Grease retelling with a bisexual love triangle, and if that alone doesn’t sound amazing to you, I don’t know what to tell you! Though it is a fairly loose Grease retelling, I still had so much fun reading this fresh, summery novel! Cool for the Summer follows Lara who has had a one-sided love for the popular football player at her school, Chase Harding, for years. But one summer c 4.5/5 Stars When I first heard about this book way back in 2020, I was so excited to pick it up – it was pitched as a Grease retelling with a bisexual love triangle, and if that alone doesn’t sound amazing to you, I don’t know what to tell you! Though it is a fairly loose Grease retelling, I still had so much fun reading this fresh, summery novel! Cool for the Summer follows Lara who has had a one-sided love for the popular football player at her school, Chase Harding, for years. But one summer changes everything, when she has to stay with her mum’s boss and his beautiful, intriguing daughter, Jasmine. The two spend a fun-filled, romantic summer together – and that’s all Lara thinks it is, one summer – that is until Jasmine shows up unannounced at her school and Lara must deal with the confusing feelings she’s been having ever since. Though I am not an own-voices reviewer for bisexual rep, I really enjoyed the representation that we got in here, particularly to do with questioning your sexuality. Jasmine is the first girl Lara has kissed, and the only one she’s had some sort of feelings for, and we get to see her deal with her sexuality – questioning if she’s bi, or if she’s straight, or if Jasmine is some sort of exception. And so many of the scenes in which we see her introspectively questioning herself felt so, so realistic and similar to some of my own experiences. Both Lara and Jasmine are also Jewish, and I loved the little sprinklings of their Jewish culture throughout – the food especially sounded so, so delicious! As for the characters, I really enjoyed them all. This is a fairly short book (only slightly longer than what I’d consider a novella), but every character felt really fleshed out and three-dimensional. Lara really comes into her own in the book after being stuck in her best friends’ shadows for so long which was so lovely to see, and really reminded me of some of the topics tackled in Kelly Quindlen’s Late to the Party. She also works at a coffee-shop-slash-bookshop and loves to write and read romance novels, and honestly – dream job! Jasmine was so wonderful – she was so thoughtful and understanding of other people and their boundaries and I wish we’d gotten to see her interact with Lara more in the ‘now’ sections of the book, because the yearning between the two of them would have been top tier! Even Chase, the almost stereotypical football player character, was so sweet and caring, and I found myself really enjoying his character. He was patient and kind and really cared about Lara’s boundaries. This is my official petition to turn all queer love triangle stories into polyamorous relationships, because I always seem to just want them all to be together!! Even Lara’s trio of best friends felt so fleshed out and I would have loved to see more of them (a companion novel all about Kiki please!!). The overall vibes of this novel really are perfect for a summer beach read that you devour in one sitting. It’s another example of that almost nostalgic high school kind of book that I absolutely adore, and I think the length of the book really worked well as it felt like it encompassed so much more than its 272 pages – not once did I feel like the story dragged. I did dock half a star for a couple of reasons, that many other reviewers have also pointed out. First being the representation among side characters – there’s one bit where Lara is being introduced to Jasmine’s friends and their races, ethnicities and sexualities are all kinda labelled in a way that felt like Adler was trying to fit as many in as possible to get representation points. They were basically all listed out and it felt really inorganic. I’m absolutely all here for wonderful and diverse representation, but this felt a bit disingenuous. There was also a bit of a throwaway comment about a nonbinary character, that I can tell wasn’t done with any ill intent, but that just felt a bit strange and the book could have completely done without it. Regardless, I had such a fun time reading this, and I wish we could have gotten a teeny epilogue about where all the characters are maybe a couple of months after the book ended, but that’s just because I loved all the characters so much! This is the perfect sweet sapphic read for summer that should be right at the top of your TBR list!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shawna :)

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book. As is clear by my star rating, this book was a big disappointment for me. The synopsis of this book and the cute cover made this book one of my most anticipated reads for the year and while it did have some good parts, it quickly turned into a little bit of a mess. Granted that this is just my personal opinion and I do think other people will like this book. I I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book. As is clear by my star rating, this book was a big disappointment for me. The synopsis of this book and the cute cover made this book one of my most anticipated reads for the year and while it did have some good parts, it quickly turned into a little bit of a mess. Granted that this is just my personal opinion and I do think other people will like this book. I feel that it even has the potential to be a cute Netflix rom com like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Before I get to the negatives, let’s talk about what I enjoyed in this book. Chase was such a sweetheart throughout the book. He’s the jock that girls crush on, but you slowly get to see a more vulnerable and loving side to him. He’s definitely my favorite character and he’s what made me want to finish the story. The romance scenes were also extremely cute. There’s is some spicy scenes in the book, but the chemistry in those scenes was beautiful and this is coming from an asexual person who normally hates any spice in books. Dahlia Adler truly knows how to make you ship two characters together. I also appreciated the authenticity to the writing style. It felt very much like I was reading a story about an actual teenager and Lara’s thoughts were like how a teenager actually thinks. However, here’s where it starts to go downhill, even though I appreciate that, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style. It felt like at times I was reliving my high school years in a not so pleasant way and I didn’t want that from the book. This book is also extremely heavy on the love triangle. It doesn’t have too much plot wise and more focuses on Lara’s internal dialogue as she navigates feeling torn between two people while trying to figure out her sexuality at the same time. I wish that more action or events had happened in this book. The major downfall of this book for me were the characters. I hated almost every character besides Chase. Lara led one of the love interests on while she clearly had already chosen the other love interest in her heart and Lara would’ve been able to singlehandedly solve every issue in this book if she actually talked to people. She instead chose to just stay silent on all issues and not work out problems with people. It was infuriating. Jasmine fell a little bit along the lines of why I don’t like Lara, but it also felt like she was somewhat using Lara at first and it made me feel bad for Lara. And Lara’s friends at her high school… oh boy, they were awful. While this book did have good representation and a dreamy love interest, this book was just not my cup of tea. Maybe it’s for you, but as a person who relies on characters to make a good story for me, this book was a massive miss to me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    gauri

    the blurb had me excited but reading it was not so exciting, probably why i felt like i was taking too long to finish a contemporary book. i really liked Lara's character arc. teens questioning their sexuality is definitely a theme to be explored in YA. her confusion, internal struggle and self-discovery is sure to resonate among young readers. but the writing and characters felt bland. i wasn't invested in either of the love interests. Chase's interest in Lara felt abrupt. her relationship with J the blurb had me excited but reading it was not so exciting, probably why i felt like i was taking too long to finish a contemporary book. i really liked Lara's character arc. teens questioning their sexuality is definitely a theme to be explored in YA. her confusion, internal struggle and self-discovery is sure to resonate among young readers. but the writing and characters felt bland. i wasn't invested in either of the love interests. Chase's interest in Lara felt abrupt. her relationship with Jasmine could be explored better (given the dual timeline in the book) rather than centering it around dull miscommunication. there were also a couple of scenes and phrases that felt uncomfortable to read, eg: the "non-binary" joke, the way Lara describes Chase or even some of the conversations Lara and her friend group had. it seemed like the diverse characters were just there for brownie points, the mentions of their ethnicities having no relevance to the story. diversity really felt superficial in the book. i don't mind stereotype characters as long as they are fun to read or have depth but the characters here were plainly stereotyped and not in the enjoyable sense. overall, Cool for the Summer is a short fun read which will impact readers, but it was not for me. thank you Netgalley and Wednesday Books for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review

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