The Summer of Everything
by Julian Winters
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Pub Date 08 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 16 Oct 2020
“Julian Winters always writes with tenderness and care and respect for teen readers. The Summer of Everything is a big-hearted romance that gives queer boys of color the happily ever after they deserve.”
— Kacen Callender, Bestselling author of Felix Ever After
"Winters does it again: a book about friendship, love, community, and the sometimes meandering path to adulthood, all in a great bear hug of a book that will keep your summer going."
—L.C. Rosen, author of Camp
"There's so much to love in Julian Winters' THE SUMMER OF EVERYTHING: A delightfully heartwarming, super-supportive, diverse group of friends, a beloved indie bookstore, and, of course, Wesley Hudson. Wes' struggles to figure out life and love were so incredibly relatable, and I cheered for him every step of the way. A must-have for every YA bookshelf!"
—Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author
"Wes’s problems are lifelike, and he’s surrounded by eccentric, supportive, and inspiring friends who challenge and encourage him. ...his coming of age is endearing."
"A sweet beach read"
— Kirkus Reviews
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Average rating from 78 members
The Summer of Everything is a beautiful exploration of the tricky period between teenhood and adulthood. It reinforces the message that it's ok to not have it all figured out and still be learning who you are.
Julian Winters is the king of adorable, fluffy contemporary romance. This was such an uplifting, heartwarming and, above all, nerdy and fun read. The main character is amazing - it's impossible to not love this gay nerd who's named after Wesley Crusher. And the setting? Most of the book is set in an indie bookstore! I feel like Julian Winters' writing gets exponentially better - this is perfect if you want to read something wholesome.
Rep: biracial gay MC, multi-gender attracted Mexican-American love interest, biracial side character, fat side character, Black side character, queer Hawaiian (Polynesian-Filippino-Japanese) side character, aroace side character, Black lesbian side character, non-binary side character
CWs: illness (cancer) of a side character, discussions of racism
This isn't my first Julian Winters book. Matter of fact, his fall releases are a spotlight of my year. Last year, we had How to Be Remy Cameron, which focused a lot on identity.
This year, we have The Summer of Everything a book that focuses a lot of on friendship, the future, and family.
I liked TsoE a lot and I feel it showcases Julian Winters' progress as a writer and a storyteller.
We have Wes, a recent high school graduate, who's coming back from a trip to Italy with restauranteur (is this a word?) father and author mother, who want to know what Wes is planning for his future, what his five years plan is, and what is going to major in. Wes knows none of the answers. And would rather spend his summer simply figuring out a way to confess his crush to his best friend Nico. My heart fluttered so badly whenever Wes and Nico interacted, how their chemistry as both best friends and a potential couple shined off the page. They had history, compassion for one another, and so much tenderness. Even from Wes's perspective alone, we can feel Nico's mutual pining. Hell, y'all will want to hug the guy. Because Nico deals with his own grief of losing his father 2 years ago (sophomore year) and has everything planned to be a future doctor so he can save many others like his dad.
There's also the matter of the bookstore where Wes sees a future. Except the bookstore itself might not have one. So, with the help of Anna (gentle), Elle (emo), Cooper (EXCITED), Nico (<3), Zay (chill), and Lucas (darling) they try and save it from being absorbed by the evil badly named coffee house.
You'll also love reading about Wes' brother Leo and his fiance Leeann. And her competing maids of honor. (Can't she have two?)
This book is queer, joyful, heartbreaking, and honestly, a must-read.
What it says on the tin. This is a big-hearted summer book with a diverse ensemble cast, a sweet teen romance, some excellent bops, and an indie bookstore. It's a foolproof recipe in Winters' capable hands. It owes a lot to teen classics like Empire Records, but also subverts some of the plot points and character beats that you'd typically expect. Although I sometimes found myself wishing for the immediacy of a first-person perspective, Winters writes about Wes with a tone that is both realistic and generous. A geeky, fun, contemporary read. If you're looking for more Big Summer Mood books featuring LGBT relationships, I would recommend the graphic novel "Bloom" by Kevin Panetta and "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
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