Review: Cool for the Summer
Cool for the Summer
by Dahlia Adler
Wednesday Books (imprint of St. Martins/Macmillian)
Category: Young Adult
Cool for the Summer follows Larissa “Lara” Bogdan, a high-school senior poised to at last date the boy she’s always had a crush on, only to find that she can’t stop thinking about the summer she spent with Jasmine Killary…who is now enrolled in her high school. Alternating between the present and flashbacks, we follow Lara as she reconsiders everything she had once thought so certain about who she is, and who she wants.
Adler builds a compelling, developed voice for Lara, and a world peppered with enough details to drop the reader straight into a summer in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. From cafes to parties to diners and long summer nights, the book offers a rich, immersive read that balances the lightness of a summer romance with the difficulties of questioning one’s sexuality, on top of all the other anxieties that high school throws in the way.
Lara’s internal struggle to make sense of her identity and properly communicate her feelings toward Jasmine is richly developed. Her doubts and discomforts with labels come across as authentic and nuanced. Despite the book’s high-concept hook, however, the main conflict hinges on a miscommunication, and throughout rather lacked the sense of stakes and tension I would have ordinarily expected from a high school love triangle. But readers looking to be swept up in the romance and drama of summer flings and the messiness of the fallout will undoubtedly love this book.