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Two Summers

Two Summers

4.8 5
by Aimee Friedman

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ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .

ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .

When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she's dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants,


ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . .

ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . .

When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she's dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue - but nothing is as it seems.

In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. In the end, it might just be the truth she needs the most.

From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Advance praise for Two Summers:

"A lovely and whip-smart meditation on love and chance and how every choice we make can create a new world of possibility." -- Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

"Romantic and full of charm, taking readers on a journey that explores that all-important question: what if?" -- Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Publishers Weekly
Friedman (Sea Change) imagines two possible summers for Summer Everett, both of which depend on a single phone call—one that gets answered, and one that goes ignored. In the summer of the unanswered call, nearly-16-year-old Summer heads to a charming town in the South of France to spend time with her artist father; he turns out not to be there, leaving Summer with a mysterious woman and her mean daughter instead. In the other potential reality, Summer’s father disappoints her yet again and cancels her trip, which forces her to make spontaneous plans (a photography class) and reckon with an unpleasant new reality involving her best friend. Friedman breaks her narrative into seven sizable sections, alternating between Summer’s divergent experiences, which include boys, new romance, a healthy dose of self-discovery, and significant family drama and trauma. The effect is like reading two novellas about the same girl that eventually converge into similar outcomes. It’s a sweetly satisfying story about how even the smallest choices can affect one’s destiny. Ages 12–up. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group. (Apr.)
VOYA, April 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 1) - Kate Neff
Can one choice change a life, or are some things fated to happen no matter what? These are two of the main questions readers ponder as they follow one girl’s two very different, yet parallel, summer vacations leading up to her sixteenth birthday. In both time lines, Summer is about to embark on a trip to visit her mysterious artist father in France. Then, à la Sliding Doors, one choice splits her two summers. In one time line, she ignores an incoming phone call right before she boards the plane. In the other, she answers the phone call. What happens next shows how one choice, albeit seemingly small, can change the course of your life—but only maybe so much. In both time lines, Summer experiences romance, grows apart from her best friend, and discovers the secret her parents have been hiding from her her whole life. She also grows as a person through her very different-than-normal summer choices. Summer has been a creature of routine her whole life, and she finds herself very changed by the end of her vacation. The book is readable and engaging, and Summer is a relatable and likeable character. There are no offensive language or sexual situations, but there are emotionally mature issues involved. Fans of Jennifer Smith’s novels, Rachel Cohen and David Levithan’s Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, and other similar fun romances will enjoy this book. Reviewer: Kate Neff; Ages 12 to 15.
Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
People are always plagued with the question “What if?” and now readers can follow Summer Everett and the path her life will take after a making a split-decision. When we meet Summer, she is waiting at the airport to board a plane to France. As she stands in line, she receives a call from an unknown number and contemplates answering it. The novel begins and Summer chooses to silence her phone. She boards the plane and the reader is taken on a fascinating journey through Summer’s time in France. Just as you begin to fall in love with the scenery and her love interest Jacques, “Part Two” of the novel begins. Now, the reader gets to see what happens when Summer answers the call. When she answers the phone, her father tells her not to come to France. Readers will immediately feel her pain and disappointment. From here, the reader learns more about Summer through her hometown, her relationship with her mother, and her longtime crush Hugh. As the story flip-flops between the two parallel summers, we get an intimate and honest view of Summer’s life. This is an exciting, light-hearted read that captures true, honest emotion as Summer travels two very different paths. As she begins to discover more about herself, the one constant on both paths is her true passion for photography. Readers will fall in love with Summer, her friends, and her romantic relationships as they share in this exciting adventure. Reviewer: Lisette Baez; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Summer Everett is boarding a plane headed to Marseilles for a summer of culture, food, and reconnection with her distant father—until her cell phone rings with a drastic change of plans. In this Sliding Doors-style story, readers see two possibilities for Summer's vacation and the ripple effects that follow. Parallel time lines explore Summer's attempts at first love; her loving but claustrophobic relationship with her best friend, Ruby; and a bombshell that further disrupts Summer's fractured family. Both time lines challenge the teen and her previously held beliefs about her life, and she evolves from a timid 15-year-old to a self-possessed 16-year-old who is a confident artist. Friedman maintains an optimistic tone throughout the book, without glossing over Summer's internal struggles. VERDICT This sunny and quick read will appeal to fans of Jennifer E. Smith, and its gentle portrayal of first crushes and high school parties make this suitable for all YA readers.—Susannah Goldstein, Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Are there infinite realities in which every possible permutation of our choices exists? It's the summer between sophomore and junior year, and Summer Everett's phone rings just as she's about to board a plane to France. The caller ID says "unknown," leaving the always-indecisive Summer with a dilemma: should she answer it? Here, the narrative splits into two possible realities. In the first, Summer silences the phone, shoves it into her pocket, and continues on her way to Les Deux Chemins—"The Two Paths"—in Provence, her famous artist father's vacation home. In the second reality, Summer answers the phone; it's her father, telling her not to come to France, and consequently, she spends the summer at home in sleepy Hudsonville, New York. Although the settings are vastly different, both Summers find romance (sadly, they both judge their worth by what boys think of them), discover their burgeoning talent for photography, and gather the courage to accept change and stop wondering "What if…." Experienced and observant readers will solve a devastating, long-kept family secret far ahead of Summer's discovery of same. The Provençal location is a refreshing change from the Parisian setting of so many other teen-abroad novels. Many teen readers who have visited France will relate to Summer's bemusement over hand-held showering, iceless drinking water, and cheek kissing. Summer is white, but her Hudsonville friends are pleasingly diverse. A lightly philosophical summer romance for any time of year. (Fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Aimee Friedman is the New York Times bestselling author of Sea Change, The Year My Sister Got Lucky, South Beach, French Kiss, Hollywood Hills, A Novel Idea, and Breaking Up. Born and raised in Queens, Aimee now lives in Manhattan.