Title: Cherokee Summer
Author: Susan Antony
Review: The opening of Cherokee Summer introduces us to Ace McAllister, a young girl who is living in a casino because of her father’s job but is also dealing with what seems like an emotionally unstable mother who drinks quite a lot. We then jump to the perspective of John Spears, who is a native American boy trying to save money for his education, but an alcoholic mother means he was raised by his grandmother after his father’s death. The first time Ace and John meet it isn’t a good experience as her boyfriend Cameron is horrible especially to her autistic brother Zack, but he takes a liking to John. Both teens have very hard lives filled with pressures but very little escape.
When Ace unexpectedly becomes friends with John’s twin sister Stella Rae, Ace has to spend more time with John and while she isn’t happy about this in the beginning, she soon realises that they have a lot more in common than they first thought. However, John really liked Ace, but the cultural difference might be an issue in pursuing a relationship as well as the fact Ace is only there for the summer, plus her family seems to be falling apart and she’s the only one even trying to hold it together. John seems to also have his own demons when it comes to dining which makes everything harder especially with Jasmine and her friends piling on the peer pressure.
As we approach the halfway mark in the novel, we see the relationship between John and Ace develop further with both even going as far as admitting they might be falling in love with the other which I loved despite Cameron’s forced attempts at gaining Ace’s affection. However, we do see the cultural differences getting between them as John’s grandmother won’t accept Ace because she is white, and Ace knows her family have prejudices against Natives and won’t accept John. But when she does get caught coming home after a night out with John, she forces her father to keep her secret as she is keeping his secret.
There is so much that happens into the second half of Cherokee Summer that I can’t talk about it without giving away so many spoilers. All I can say is despite the slow start this turned out to be one of the best contemporary romance novels I have read in years. This is something very different to a lot of contemporary romance novels that are out at the moment and I highly recommend if you haven’t read Cherokee Summer then definitely give it a go, I loved it.
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I received this review copy from YA Bound Book Tours.