Review: “The Summer Remains” – Seth King

February 19, 2015 Book Review 2

Review: “The Summer Remains” – Seth KingThe Summer Remains by Seth King
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Published on: February 14th 2015
Published by: Self Published
Pages: 334
Series: The Summer Remains #1
Genre: NA Romance
Format: eARC

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This book is part of the Summer Remains series. You can find my reviews of the rest of the series below:
The Summer Remains (The Summer Remains #1)
Autumn Rising (The Summer Remains #1.5)
Invincible Summer (The Summer Remains #2)

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may or may not end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.

As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app – and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.

Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.

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Initial Reaction

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My Thoughts

This book deserves hugs, lots of them, and tears and just a whole lot of inspirational feelings. The message is conveys is one of love and acceptance and not taking the little things or moments for granted.

Getting to the end of this book and finding Seth’s author note really made this book all the more powerful for me. Seth’s bravery to take inspiration from something tragic that happened in his own life and to create something very beautiful from it shows how incredible an author he is. He totally ripped my heart apart and gave me one of my bigger book hangovers. Not a force to be reckoned with, this man has talent!

“Life’s supposed to be a little hard. If your life is too easy, you’re doing it wrong.”

This is not a cancer book! Firstly because Summer does not have cancer, something she makes sure to remind people throughout due to her frustration at the world assuming that because she is ill it must be cancer. But also it’s not a cancer book in the sense of it’s not just a book about somebody who is ill: it is about living life and about accepting people no matter what whether they be totally healthy or in a wheelchair or unable to eat..

“The love you left behind is so much greater than the regrets your departure created. You were more than worth the trouble. I pray I was too.”

Summer and Cooper were perfect: two scarred people who when brought together become something beautiful. Seth created an incredibly strong and likeable character in Summer and I was immediately drawn to her. Sure, she has her bad moments but she does not demand sympathy from us as readers, and I really liked that about her. Cooper is one of those special people who doesn’t realise how special he is. I felt a little bit like Seth had put a bit of himself into Cooper. It probably seems weird to say this as I have never even met Seth, so how do I know, but I don’t know, it’s just a feeling. I fell for Cooper from the first time he appeared on page and his selfless nature and his ability to make the little moments special made me fall for him over and over. I mean, come on; Summer wanted to glow, so he found glowing plankton. How amazing is that?!

“You know, we all have scars, Summer. If yours are only on the outside, you should consider yourself lucky.”

I really loved the addition of song lyrics in this book and it was nice that Seth wrote them himself, it made it more personal to the story. I found myself wishing that the songs were real because it would have been perfect to listen to the songs at the points of the book when they appeared. Music always makes everything even better and so much more powerful.

“If eyes are windows into the soul, books are rabbit holes into the imagination.”

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Seth King Interview
1) Your main character, Summer, has such a unique personality and I found myself laughing a lot at the things that she would come out with or think. Where did the inspiration for Summer come from?
Thanks! Summer’s personality is based off my late brother’s, who shared the same caustic wit, slightly cynical outlook on the world, and massive capacity for love and empathy. His life was the blueprint of the whole book, actually. My mother is reading the book now and said she could feel him on every page.
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2) You/Summer make it very clear throughout the entire book that this is not a cancer book. Instead Summer suffers from esophogeal intresia. What made you chose this specific medical condition for her?
The condition of EI, which I made up, is loosely based on a condition which someone in my family suffers from. That was another reason for writing the book –  if I could just make things one tenth of a percent easier for him, and make even one person in the world treat him with more dignity, my goal will have been fulfilled.
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3) What was your favourite moment/the moment that meant the most to you throughout the entire process of writing/publishing this book?
This was the most difficult book I have ever written. I had to rip this book out of my soul. There were real moments of joy during the writing process, but still, I will never be able to write about this subject again. It nearly pulled me under.
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4) Your favourite quote from The Summer Remains?
Probably “Float on” or “You were more than worth the trouble – I pray I was too” or “Dying is easy, but living is the grandest and most challenging adventure of all”
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5) If you could pick a song for Summer and Cooper, what would it be?
Probably any of the songs I wrote for the book that were “performed” by Saviour, the fake pop star I made up for the book. The title track, The Summer Remains, is a particular favorite
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6) Which book, not written by you, do you wish that you had written?
Any book that changed the world and made life for us humans down here on Earth just a little bit easier
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7) If somebody write a book based on your life so far what would it be called?
The Fighter
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8) If you were a superhero what would your superhero name and superpowers be?
The ability to go back in time to show my brother The Summer Remains and prove to him that his life was worth something.

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Final Thoughts

This book is incredible and very much deserves every single little bit of praise that it gets. Seth King is a new to me author, but this defiantly won’t be the last book of his that I will be reading!

Re-Readability: Of course.

I would recommend this book to fans of: romances involving illness, summer love, books with a strong message.

Check out my reviews for Seth King’s other books:
Honesty

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Love-a-thon 2014

Type of Love: Romance involving illness

Couple Status: Dependable and Accepting

Other Love Stories involving illness/disability: What I Didn’t Say (Keary Taylor), Before I Die (Jenny Downham), The Fault in Our Stars (John Green), The Summer I Found You (Jolene Perry), The Disappearing Girl (Heather Topham Wood), Sweet Fall (Tillie Cole)  
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What did you think? Like the sound of The Summer Remains?

What other book with romances involving illness/disability do you liked??

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