Cover Image: The Summer Love Strategy

The Summer Love Strategy

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Having a romcom that features a trans girl so prominently is a gift. And it's friends-to-lovers, with messy feelings and it's sapphic? Yeah, this book is special.

While the writing style wasn't particularly to my taste, I still think this book is needed. I hope others fall helplessly in love with it, because it really is cute as heck.

Was this review helpful?

this writing definitely isn’t for me unfortunately which is upsetting because it really seemed like a book i would enjoy. the diversity and representation was definitely there but it felt very forced and baseline, a lot of the characters only plot points and storylines were just that they happened to be queer. the real plot wasn’t prominent, at points it didn’t even feel like there was a plot, just that the author wanted to encorporate as many different representations as possible. it wasn’t enjoyable unfortunately

Was this review helpful?

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc copy in exchange for an honest review.*

I'll preface this by saying, I didn't realize how young the characters in this book would be. It is very YA and I probably am not the intended audience, but I still had fun with the story.

The main character did get on my nerves from time to time, but that's really only because she was written so well and I could really tell she was 15 and experiencing puppy love. I'm not ashamed to say that I probably acted exactly like this, if not worse, when I had crushes in high school.

This would be the perfect book for younger readers. There's so much inclusivity and representation which is important to be exposed to young. Younger queer readers deserve a story like this where being queer is normalized and not seen as something taboo.

💕 LGBTQIA+ romance
💕 Trans and nonbinary rep
💕 Demi-sexual/romantic and bi rep
💕 POC rep
💕 Friends to lovers
💕 Anxiety, autism, ADHD rep

There is a part in this book where one of the main character's siblings reveals something and the parents are so proud and happy and supportive and it made my heart hurt and happy at the same time.

This book had a good pacing and it was realistic. It really took me back to high school and had me reminiscing. It's a really quick and short read, but it'll give you what you're looking for in a queer read.

This is definitely a book I will be recommending to younger readers looking for queer reads, but it is probably too juvenile for adults.

Was this review helpful?

The "Summer Love Strategy" follows Hayley and Talia over the course of a high school summer. Hayley and Talia have been best friends forever, they were even born at the same hospital on the same day! However, after a crushed heartbreak, Hayley, along with Talia, devise a "summer love strategy" for finding new girlfriends. After a double date, things crumble and Hayley has to admit her real feelings to her friends, family, and Talia. 

This book is definitely a Gen Z YA book. It has a bunch of different queer and neurodivergent representations, which I enjoyed. It is easily readable, and at times I felt it was juvenile, even for a YA book. Overall an easy read. 3/5 stars. I would recommend this book to students in our district's high school.

Was this review helpful?

Unfortunately I DNF’d this one at 20%
I really wasn’t enjoying the writing style at all. There were far too many instances of stopping to state someones sexuality or neurodivergence or skin colour or gender identity and while these are important things to include and I love the effort at diversity, there are better ways to SHOW these things and naturally weave these things into the story rather than just stopping the narrative to inform the reader. The writing style felt very choppy and under-developed, perhaps because of this

Was this review helpful?

What a lovely coming-of-age story with a friends-to-lovers romance! Ray Stoeve painted such a fun picture of their summer to-dos, and this book honestly took me back to my own high school summer breaks, and imbued this with a balance of delight and nerves!

representation:
-lesbian cis MC
-trans girl MC
-cast of queer SC too
-demisexual rep
-neurodivergent rep: autism, anxiety

This would make a fun movie :)

Was this review helpful?

i'm struggling with this one.

when i heard that this book featured a femme lesbian and her trans best friend making a pact to find love during their summer on the beach, pride, and especially at a MUNA concert, i was in.

unfortunately, for as much this book did making sure you knew the very specific identity of every single character that walked through a page, a very real person, Naomi McPherson from MUNA, was misgendered around the halfway mark.

i do not know if this was the author or an editor that didn't do research but Naomi McPherson has been using they/them pronouns for years and for a book that's supposed to be queer and joyful i kinda think that's inexcusable.

i very much hope that this will be corrected in the final copy, which i will check out upon release and edit my review accordingly.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so wholesome and precious! I loved the diversity and representation in this book. Talia and Hayley come up with a strategy to find girlfriends over the summer; just like the romcoms they see on TV. This romcom was so cute and I really loved how quickly I read it because I enjoyed it so much!

Was this review helpful?

Trans Rights Readathon book 4/7, review 7/10✨

This book and I got off to a rough start, but after a few chapters I found myself enjoying it more than I initially thought!

First off take a look at the cover and tell me how old you think the MCs are? My thoughts were 17-20. So when I started the book and it was reading very young I was a bit put off, then a couple chapters in they mention the characters are 15. This isn’t inherently a problem but it does change the whole vibe of the book and I was disappointed it was going to be diffirent than I expected.

But once I adjusted to the appropriate age I started to enjoy it a lot! It’s such a happy younger queer teen story with so much inclusivity. My HS experience never would’ve been like this, so it was nice to know some teens now could have normal joyful queer HS experiences like these.

I wasn’t expecting autistic representation but loved that it was included with many characters💜 I also liked seeing the MC grapple a bit with looking queer enough but also acknowledging they are a lesbian so however they look is queer. I feel like that’s a stage in a lot of queer journeys and it was nice to see on page.

My only other issue with the book was the writing had a bit too much telling, not enough showing. Some paragraphs felt like a series of statements that read like a list. It that made it hard for me to feel immersed in the story at times.

Was this review helpful?

When two best friends are unlucky in love they decide to make pact to find love over the summer. Hayley and Talia want to fall for someone who likes them back so they decide to go to the rom coms for help. They start putting themselves in situations similar to what they have seen in movies in order to find love. This is a cute little story with good representation. I enjoyed it!

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and Abrams Kids Amulet Books for the opportunity to read this egalley.

THE SUMMER LOVE STRATEGY by Ray Stoeve is such a fun concept; it sounds like a great queer read for an afternoon by the pool. It does depict queer joy and queer friends enjoying a summer. However, these aspects are overshadowing by Stoeve trying to pack in way too many issues and way too many different representations in one book. It does seem very feasible that a small group of friends who are queer *and* neurodiverse would connect and develop strong bonds. It's all the friends' siblings and the basketball team and the other characters that are too much. I could not keep up with all the characters; in fact, most of them were interchangeable. None of the secondary characters had a story or arch of their own, which was disappointing. The other complaint I have with the novel is that tears/crying/sobbing are overused far, far too much. It's not unique to YA writers by any means, but it seems to be happening more frequently these days. The overuse of crying takes away all its power and meaning.

One item that is outstanding in THE SUMMER LOVE STRATEGY is the portrayal of the adult characters, especially Hayley's parents and her coach. They feel grounded, supportive, and well-rounded. It's clear they have their own lives and interests, which makes their scenes with the teens more dynamic and interesting. These adult characters offer guidance without being overbearing and, even when they can't stop the kids from making a mistake, they are there to helpdeal with the blow.

Was this review helpful?

This was such a sweet book. As an aspec person I absolutely adore friends to lovers.

Full of teenage feelings and big emotions. Perfect for those looking for a Queer YA book full of Queer joy.

-Friends to Lovers
-Cis x Trans sapphic relationship
-Lesbian cis MC
-Trans girl MC / demisexual/romantic
-Neurodivergent cast (anxiety, autism)
-Queer cast
-Big Summer vibes

Rating: Great! = 4 stars

I received this eARC from the publisher (Abrams Kids, Amulet Books) with the intention of reading and sharing an honest review

Was this review helpful?

"the summer love strategy" is a sapphic YA romance about two best friends who come up with a plan to find girlfriends this summer, only to end up falling for each other instead. it's a really cute story and i would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes friends-to-lovers with a side of pining and miscommunication. my only issue with the book is that the author had a tendency to over-describe everything and i kept thinking, "show, don't tell. show, don't tell," over and over again. that being said, it was a fun read and i definitely enjoyed it!

Was this review helpful?

The inclusive representation of this book was absolutely fabulous!!

This was a cute sweet read that has you rooting for the characters!

This is absolutely teen/YA, so if you need a little more grown up, keep that in mind!

Was this review helpful?

This book was a joy! I really liked that everyone in it is just basically a good person trying to do a good job in the world. There were no villains--not that there was no conflict and no disappointment, because there was plenty of both, but it was happening between people who were just generally kind. The book pulled me through the story and it was just really easy to get into and to root for the characters.

This is very appropriate for high school, or even middle school, libraries, content-wise.

Was this review helpful?

Look......... This is a good book. But reading about characters that are like a year younger than me in books that take place in 2023/24 is not something that I can do. It's just a personal ick, but I think that a lot of other people will definitely enjoy this book about two girls who are obviously in love with each other and do not realize it.

Was this review helpful?

The Summer Love Strategy is a lighthearted LGBTQ+ teen romance. I love how inclusive this read is; I wish there were more books like this back when I was a teen. It depicts teenage angst in a humorous manner, making for a fun read!

Thank you NetGalley, Amulet Books, and Ray Stoeve for a free e-ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Summer Love Strategy is an easy book to read, with diverse characters and various themes. It reflects teenage worries, identity issues as well as queer joy. I enjoyed reading this book, simply based on what it tries to convey and the topics that were thrown back and forth. Nevertheless it sometimes felt flat, with “unnecessary additions”.

While the main character had a strong development, the others lacked one. None of them were interesting enough on their own, and could’ve easily been reduced or merged together. I enjoyed the fact that the narration came off as very teenager like, however I often found the descriptive manner of it tiring.

What I loved about this book was the way parental figures were portrayed. Always a guiding voice, a helping hand, exactly what’s needed from a child’s perspective. Perfect for those who are about to come out or recently did, viewing it as an example of support and comfort.

I’d recommend The Summer Love Strategy to anyone looking for a fun quick read. If you’re looking for a contemporary queer romance, this is definitely the book for you.

Thank you Netgalley for the e-ARC!

Was this review helpful?

The description of the book seemed interesting, so I wanted to check the story out. Unfortunately, it is not working for me right now. It is nothing against the story or the author, but I couldn't get into the story/characters. If I were the target audience, I would be loving this. I also think this will be great for teens and YA audiences with the LGBTQIA+ representation. I may try and find a physical copy to add the my library when it is released, though, because I think my readers could like it!

Was this review helpful?

There was a lot going on in this book - lots of LGBTQ representation, neurodiversity, racial diversity, etc. and at times it felt like the author tried to tackle too many things in one book. None of the characters felt developed enough to warrant caring about their problems, and there wasn't a lot of chemistry between the main character and her best friend/crush. The story was easy enough to get through, but it wasn't intriguing.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?