The Summer Remains by Seth King
Book hangover. It’s a real thing. Believe me. It’s when the book you’ve just read is so amazing, so heartbreaking, and so beautiful that you are emotionally devastated…It’s when the book you’ve just finished has rendered you emotionally devastated and utterly broken. The Summer Remains by Seth King is that book. As an avid reader I can devour a few books in a week without blinking. Heck, I can devour a few books a day some days. With that said, let me tell you why I feel the way I do about this book.
At first, I honestly wasn’t sure this book was my cup of tea, but I could feel the bones of a good storyteller in there so I continued to read…and I am eternally grateful that I did. This book tells the beautiful story of 24 year old Summer Johnson who was born with a grave medical condition. Scarred emotionally and physically, Summer has lived her life as fully as can be expected but she feels that she has missed out on a lot of what life has to offer due to her limiting medical condition. The story goes on to explain that she was nearing the end of her journey on this earth.
When approached about her last wish, she said the thing she wanted most was “to fall in love”. You can feel the tension as everyone around her is thinking the same thing. That she was dying and her time here was almost over. But then she met Cooper Nichols. Beautiful, suntanned, surfer Cooper Nichols. He was everything Summer wasn’t. But behind the beauty he hid the turmoil in both his life and his soul. As the unlikely pair form a friendship and then more, you fall in love with them both. They are complicated and troubled. Hilarious and sincere.
I literally laughed out loud and cried into my pillow…multiple times. This book ruined me in the best way possible. After reading The Summer Remains I was emotionally devastated. There are no other words to describe it. When I reached the end of the book I grabbed my pillow and cried my eyes out…not a little bit. A lot. Gut wrenching sobs, snot running down my face into my pillow sobs. It was the middle of the night and I had to try to stifle my sobs so as not to wake my family.
If you are looking for a book that’s going to draw you in, make you fall in love with the characters, and allow you the gift of smiling through your tears, you’ll want to check this book out. I know I will read this again and again. But not yet. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to get my hands on everything this beautiful soul has ever written. But after I’d purchased my next favorite book, I took a moment to reflect and realized that I wasn’t ready to let go of Summer and Cooper’s story yet. It had made a place in my heart and I was not ready to replace them quite yet. Yes, it was that beautiful.
With that said, Seth King has absolutely moved to the top of my favorite author list. He spills his soul out onto the page for us to read, and for that, we should all thank him. I know I do. I will forever be changed by the beauty of his words. The stories in his head. And the gift that his gift of writing has given us and will hopefully continue to give us for years to come.