Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly, by Dana Reinhardt

When you pick up a Dana Reinhardt book, you know you’re in for a realistic novel about teens who will grab your heart and make you feel like you are a part of their lives. The Summer I Learned to Fly is no exception.

Drew (or Robin, as she is sometimes called) has lost her father at a very young age. Her mom has just opened a gourmet food store called “The Cheese Shop” where Drew hangs out and helps out whenever she can. She is going to be in eighth grade this year and has a huge crush on Nick, a high school boy that works at the shop. Swoozie is the other employee – and she is Drew’s confidant.

Drew meets Emmett Crane one evening behind the cheese shop, and her life changes. Emmett becomes her only real friend, but there’s more to him than Drew can figure out. Emmett has a secret—he’s on a mission, and when Drew figures out what the mission is, she vows to help Emmett, even when she knows it will be risky and they will probably end up in a lot of trouble.

The plot doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the characters, and the growth of the characters that bring this story to life. There’s a pet rat named Hum, and a special “Book of Lists” that play big parts in the story too. Drew and her mom have always been close, but all of a sudden, Drew is keeping secrets from her mom—and her mom is keeping her own secrets.

There’s a nice epilogue written by Drew when she is 18, that is a great ending to the story. I’ll read anything Reinhardt writes. She writes such beautiful characters, that aren’t so horrible that you don’t believe in their pain. They are just real kids with real problems that they are trying to work through. I think middle school kids as well as older teens would like this book, if they enjoy realistic fiction.

Published by Wendy Lamb, July 12, 2011
ARC received from Random Buzzers
216 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. This is the first review for this book I have seen, and I am glad that it's a positive one. I love a character driven story, so it's great to hear that it's the characters that bring the book to life.

  2. I loved that the book had an epilogue. I think it gave me more closure about her and her life and Emmett's life:) Great review!

  3. Fantastic review :) The description doesn't sound like much but I take your word that there is much more to this one. I like this cover too.

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  6. Great review, friend. Thanks for giving the awesome description


    School Book

  7. This sounds like such a sweet/interesting story! I haven't really heard much about it, but it definitely sounds like something I would enjoy! I'll have to see about finding me a copy! :)


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