Monday, August 22, 2016

The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine

* * * 1/2

Cassidy Emmerich is determined to make this summer—the last before her boyfriend heads off to college—unforgettable. What she doesn’t count on is her boyfriend breaking up with her. Now, instead of being poolside with him, Cass is over a hundred miles away, spending the summer with her estranged father and his family at their bed-and-breakfast at the Jersey Shore and working as the newest counselor at Camp Manatee. 

Bryan Lakewood is sick of nevers. You’ll never walk. You’ll never surf. You’ll never slow dance with your date at prom. One miscalculated step and Bryan’s life changed forever—now he’s paralyzed and needs to use a wheelchair. This is the first summer he’s back at his former position at Camp Manatee and ready to reclaim some of his independence, in spite of those who question if he’s up for the job. 

Cass is expecting two months dealing with heartbreak.

Bryan is expecting a summer of tough adjustments.

Neither of them is expecting to fall in love.

Sometimes a broken heart leads to a decision that can take a person on a different course. That's what happens when Cassidy decides to escape for the summer after finding out that her college-bound boyfriend had cheated on her. Some part of her thinks she's running away but she's hoping that a change of scenery will help her forget about her ex and learn to adjust to being on her own. She heads to the Jersey Shore where her father and stepmother run a bed and breakfast. There she can make fresh new memories with her summer job as a camp counselor at Crest Haven and with her dad's family. At camp she meets Bryan who's a paraplegic. He, too, is learning to adjust after a life-changing accident. He has so much to prove to himself and others but his fears of not being as good at something he excelled at prior to his accident are holding him back. He and Cassidy get on well and end up working together often. He looks forward to seeing her because for him, it's nice to be with someone who isn't aware of his past history, and Cassidy enjoys their easygoing friendship. Until they figure out where they're headed, they'll just continue to enjoy each other's company.

"And in that moment, as she held out her hand to let the firefly loose, I realized that I didn't care whether she was in Crest Haven for four minutes, four hours, four days, or four weeks. I wanted to be in Cassidy's life, to know her, and whatever time we had, it would have to be enough."

I've read all three of Constantine's books and I've liked them all. Her coming-of-age stories feature amiable heroines along with other sensitive, sweet characters that I adore. Cassidy and Bryan are no exception. I enjoyed their flirtations and the precious moments where they confided in each other or egged each other on. Seeing how as an outsider, Cassidy started to fit in with a new group of friends who have their own history is something that every single one of us can relate to. Most importantly, family is always at the heart of Constantine's stories. There's always family to turn to; to root them, to guide them and to simply love them. 

"Mom looked dreamily up to the sky again, her face softened. 'Copping out of what? Cassidy, you're spending the summer with your father, you're not running away. You're changing the scenery. There's a difference. You're opening yourself up to new experiences. That's all, nothing wrong with that. This will be good for you.'"

The Season of You & Me, is perfect for you if you're looking for a friends-to-couple or a conquer-your-fears or a I-can-find-my-own-happiness story. It'll give you good vibes all around!

~ Bel

Here's are my reviews of Constantine's other books if you're interested, The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction.

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