Cover Image: The First Magnificent Summer

The First Magnificent Summer

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Member Reviews

This book does some interesting things. It rejects the typical plot direction. We have a complex picture of life between these family members. It's mostly a girl ensnared in her misery and the ways that her father worsens the situation. It's mostly riding out terrible things. A hard one to recommend without a satisfying conclusion.
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It’s Tori and her siblings’ first summer with their father and his new family since he left their family over two years ago. Tori and her siblings soon realize that their father is still emotionally abusive. This heartwrenching, emotionally resonant book about dealing with difficult parents is told in intimate diary entries.
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A coming-of-age story told in journal entries and poetry, Victoria and her brother and sister are heading  to Ohio with their dad, whom they haven’t seen in two years, and his new family. Victoria finds that her overly critical and abusive dad hasn’t changed when he continues to belittle her and accuse her of pouting. On top of that, Victoria gets her first period and worries she won’t have enough Womanhood Products. Victoria finds the weeks with dad are full of broken promises and being ignored, and her dad hates it that she’s always writing in her journals. Is this really the magnificent summer she had hoped for? Something happens and when Victoria and her family are back together, Memaw tells her “don’t let someone tell you what you cannot do” and “don’t let them make you feel ashamed of your passions.” At home, Victoria realizes “you can’t control people but you can control you.”
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I found this one a little bit harder to get into at the beginning. I was really trying to figure out Victoria's voice. She seems very timid and nervous in the beginning. But we really see her come into her own throughout the book. 
Spending the summer with her dad, isn't going great and she is learning things about him that she definitely didn't know. 
Victoria has to figure out how to be who she is and show her dad how he is treating her, as a female, is not right. 
A good middle grade read.

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC.
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The First Magnificent Summer is a deeply absorbing story of a girl going to her dad for 30 days in the summer, facing verbal and emotional abuse and misogyny. She has to hold on to knowing her worth and not be made small …
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