Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler: A Review

“I officially look hot. No way Jasmine–er, Chase– isn’t gonna notice.”

What a fun little soap opera of a book this is.

Have you ever wanted a book that’s a bisexual love triangle? It’s here. It’s come, and it’s delivered all the drama, yearning, and confusion that would elicit with someone being torn between a boy and a girl.

This book centers around Lara, who spent the summer away in the Outer Banks, and her experiences both over the summer and returning afterward. I bet you Dahlia Adler wasn’t anticipating that the tv show would make this location suddenly more well known across the country, but it’s good for imagining the world Lara inhabits over the summer. The story switches between “then” and “now,” giving you a sort of suspense as you learn why Lara cared about Jasmine (and why you should care about her).

I think this story is a wonderful one about figuring out what you like, who you like, and how you feel, but that’s not all it is. It’s a romance, sure, but the central theme is one of all good YA- Lara figuring out herself.

There’s a moment where Lara is being complimented by Chase, the boy she’s always wanted, for being more fully herself. Lara acknowledges that her summer away, while also making her question the way she could feel for girls, also allowed her to figure out who she is without relying on others. She is still trying to figure out who that person is throughout the book, but she’s confident (when you read the book, you’ll appreciate my pun) about being herself, bold in the decisions she makes.

I could see how Lara’s waffling back and forth in her mind could be irritating, when it seems obvious, or at least it did to me, which one she’d prefer. I think that’s almost the beauty of it, though, you know she likes both, but there’s only one she really cares for, and it’s the one who brings out the best in herself.

I think what’s wonderful about this book is that Lara is really falling in love with herself. That’s something we all could use a little more of.

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