Cool for the Summer
by Dahlia Adler
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Pub Date 11 May 2021 | Archive Date 25 May 2021
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
"Witty, wise, and disarmingly tender. I am hopelessly devoted to this summer dream of a book." —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
The guy of her dreams... or the girl in her heart?
Lara's had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He's tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he's talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe...flirting, even? No, wait, he's definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara's wanted out of life.
Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.
Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?
Dahlia Adler's Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 623 members
Lara has spent the majority of her grade school years with a not-so-secret crush on the star football player, Chase Harding. However, a summer at the Outer Banks with her mom, her mom's boss, and his daughter makes her question everything she thought she knew about herself. Back at school after a dreamy summer, Lara hopes that Chase's newfound interest in her will blossom into something more only to be confronted by the very girl she is trying to forget. This story of new love and self-discovery won't disappoint.
My favorite thing about this book is that everything about it feels real. The main character struggles with real issues and handles them in a very real way. Dahlia Adler's supporting characters are just as full of life as her main characters and add such a level of depth to the narrative. I could feel the warmth of friendship and family love with every page I turned.
Larissa has spent her whole teenage life dreaming about dating Chase: handsome, football star, kind big brother, and all-around amazing guy. When she returns from a surprise summer trip to the Outer Banks in the fall with a new look and a new sense of confidence, she is surprised to find that Chase suddenly dreams of her right back. Soon, all of her hopes seem to be falling into place, but there’s just one problem: Jasmine. Larissa and Jasmine met over the summer and soon became very close friends, then more than friends. Larissa’s newfound confidence may in fact be due to Jasmine. But Larissa has only ever dreamed of Chase before, and has never had feelings for a girl...so doesn’t that mean that she is straight? When she finds out that Jasmine has moved to her town for their senior year of high school, Larissa is forced to confront her feelings for Chase, Jasmine, and most importantly -- her feelings about her own identity.
A fun, engaging romance, this book is also a clarion call for a wider variety of LGBTQ+ representation in media. When the whole world is selling only specific narratives, it can be incredibly invalidating for those of us who don’t fit into the major brands. This is a must buy for high school libraries!
A coming of age YA novel of a young woman who thinks she knows who she wants, but can’t quite forget the one who got away.
This is a Netgalley pick, and I want to thank the author and publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book.
Lara is popular, has a great group of friends, and finally catches the eye of her crush, football star Chase Harding. Life is good.
That is until a blast-from-the-recent-past strolls through the high school’s front door- Jasmine.
I enjoyed this journey of self-discovery. The characters are complex and well-written. The story is relevant and hits all the right notes.
A fun read!
This was quite honestly one of the best books it has ever been my pleasure to read. Lara's bicurious questioning really resonated with me, and her relationship with Jasmine was just so wonderfully written. I love that no one in the love triangle was written as "the bad guy", that biphobia does not go unchallenged or unquestioned. I loved the Outer Banks crew and Lara's friends back at school. I loved the twists and turns and misunderstandings. There was basically nothing about this book I didn't love, except that it needs a sequel so I can see the main couple get to be together even MORE.
I had such a good time reading this book! I don't read that much contemporary YA and wasn't sure it was what I was in the mood for, but the characters and story sucked me right in. Larissa is a very relatable narrator and her voice felt completely natural and realistic to me. I loved the chemistry between Lara and Jasmine and the realistic portrayal of that gray area in their relationship. I especially liked that "The Boy" was nice and that lara didn't need to be provoked or have external justification for breaking up with him when she knew she had feelings for Jasmine. Highly recommend!
Lara has had a crush on the same boy for years. But this last summer, everything she thought she knew threatened to change when she became friends—and maybe more? definitely more—with an extremely charismatic girl. The book switches between "Now" and "Then" segments as Lara flashes back to a summer she's trying to forget, some of the most effective use of split timelines I've seen in recent years. Of course, it's pretty difficult to forget the girl from last summer when she shows up at your school.
Lara's doubts and feelings and fears about her sexuality are incredibly poignant and relatable. Though she doesn't come to a specific label by the end of the book, her period of questioning (and her reasoning for how she *must* be straight) was deeply resonant with me, having recently come out to some as bisexual, and having used my own very similar reasoning.
Cool for the Summer is everything fun and clever, with snappy dialogue and both characters and emotions that feel incredibly real. Lara and Jasmine are both fully developed, and even side characters like Lara's friends and her longtime crush Chase get the attention they deserve and feel like they have a valid place in the story. Absolutely charming—already one of my favorite books of 2021, and I am now devoted to Dahlia Adler's writing for life.
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
OMG, this book was everything my little bi heart could have asked for. I have not read any of the author's works but will be remedying that shortly. I loved the two timelines and the journey Lara takes along the way. Watching her grown into herself in the short time we are together is a chef's kiss. I will be buying a physical copy to add to my library so I can read it over and over again like Lara reads her favorite author.
Cool for the Summer is Dahlia Adler's spin on (idk if I can say this bc I haven't seen Adler herself say this I don't think, but oh well) a loose Grease retelling -- "summer fling transfers to my school" and all the chaos that ensues. There are obvious differences to the musical which I couldn't be happier about but mostly it doesn't matter that much, so I'm just going to move on.
I loved this book.
It spoke in no uncertain terms about a lot of the same thoughts I've had in my own journey of self-identity with regards to sexuality and reading them is always so validating. Larissa struggles with the idea that perhaps she's just had a girl crush and sometimes that's just something girls do -- that constant effort (because it takes effort) to convince herself of her own straightness reminded me so achingly of my own high school years.
Larissa herself was just such a fun interesting character -- I loved how at first she seemed like a vapid popular girl just as she seems to everyone else at her school but that as the book goes on we understand her more and more as she shows more of herself to her friends and her peers. I loved how much she loved Demi Lovato and how the song Cool for the Summer isn't just the namesake for this book but an actual plot point.
I've only read two of Adler's books so far but I fully intend to increase that number because both have been such delightful engaging reads! I highly recommend them to any who are interested.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the advanced review copy of this book!
I am pretty sure I have little cartoon hearts in my eyes after finishing this book. I can't wait until May to hold a finished copy in my hand because I am absolutely SMITTEN with this sexy and fun bi romance!
Larissa has always been in love with football star Chase, but when she spends a summer away from home with her mom, and her mom's boss...and the boss's daughter... Larissa learns a lot more about herself, and her story becomes different than she ever thought it would be.
This book is told from two different timelines: one during Larissa's summer in the Outer Banks with Jasmine, and one during the following year of High School, when she starts dating the boy of her dreams only to realize this summer changed everything in ways she won't be able to go back on.
I have no complaints about this book. Ig was perfect. I love it so much. I love the story, the character, the plot, the writing. I am obsessed and I need more.
This was honestly everything I need in a YA Contemporary!
I am so grateful to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for giving me the opportunity to read COOL FOR THE SUMMER in exchange for an honest review!
I can only recommend what is already one of my favorite 2021 releases. COOL FOR THE SUMMER was a sweet romance complicated by high school drama. It was quick to pick up the pace, making it both thoroughly enjoyable and thoroughly exciting. The two narrative timelines only served to enhance the story; the storylines develop in tandem, mirroring how far along Larissa (the MC) was in processing the events of her Hot Girl Summer. With her first-person POV, the writing style was the right fit for a high schooler navigating friend groups, school popularity, and teen introspection. It featured focused LGBTQ+ representation, but also casual representation woven throughout with great background characters. It was a successful lesson taught in normalization!
I really loved how honest the novel was! Some particularly raw moments I appreciated: the subtleties of Lara being less wealthy than her friends; the feeling of anticipated love remaining unfulfilled after you touch someone you’re not as into anymore; the complex jealousy of repressed gay crushes; the friendships we only keep because we’ve known someone forever, even if the relationship isn’t as positive as it used to be.
Don’t think that the plot is as predictable as any ‘ol teen romance book. The twists will surprise you, the representation will impress, and Lara’s experiences will resonate with any queer reader.
Cons: There were times when the narrative was cringey or when I was worried that the side-characters were flat/under-developed. However, both of these aspects improved as the book progressed.
Final note: Jasmine is my new favorite uncommunicative disaster💘
Wow. This was a great story about a girls enlightenment of her sexuality.I loved the way the author made Lara’s feelings be confused and unclear. She was at times jealous, unsure, and lost. As she continued on her journey she grows, matures and becomes more understanding of the diverse and wonderfully unique person she is or can be. It is not an easy journey but having people around you that love you can make the trip a lot easier.
I loved this book. Real life may not end as well as it did for Lara but let’s strive to make it so.
God, I was not expecting to love this book so much.
I've always struggled with my sexuality - I thought I was straight for years until a certain night led me to realize that I was, indeed, not - so reading this felt like coming home almost. Larissa was insanely relatable as a protagonist, to the point of where I felt so many of her struggles deep within my soul. I kind of adored the fact that she had what I'd say was my dream life for my senior year of high school that, due to corona, didn't work out the way I wanted it to. Minus the fact that I write horror/dark fantasy where she writes romance,
This book surprised me in so many ways - how Larissa never put an actual label on her sexuality and learned to not care about it, how supportive everyone around her was, how it expressed how confusing sexuality truly was. I'm truly amazed by it. I feel like reading something like this, around the time I realized I was into girls, would've helped me so much. Though I'm happy that kids who were my age when I was questioning myself will have this, because I'm sure it'll help them out a whole lot.
I will 100000% be buying a copy of this when it's released next year, I love it that much.
Thank you St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the arc of this book. All opinions are my own.
This review might as well just be a letter of gratitude to Dahlia for this book and a love letter to Larissa, because this book is something that I felt with every fiber of my being. Minus there being an actual girl, Larissa is me, ten years younger.
Honestly, I’ve never come across a book that’s depicted a bisexual MC who’s struggling with her identity. I’m sure there are some out there, but this book has given me everything I’ve ever wanted in book form to describe how I’ve felt probably since high school, but truly the last 3-4 years pretty heavily. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about my sexuality, much like Larissa is, after a fantastic summer with her mom’s bosses daughter Jasmine. It made me feel seen, heard and understood.
This book is so good I couldn’t put it down. Page after page I flew through this book. Watching Larissa discover and learn who she was and that her sexuality was fluid, not ready to put a label on it, was breathtaking. This is beautifully crafted journey of self love, self discovery, while also navigating coming out. The prose, diction and character arcs are weaved throughout the others, allowing each to become who their meant to be while getting by with a little help from their friends.
Stories with strong friend groups always draw me in because I adore my friends and the way Kiki (in particular), Gia and Shannon learned to love and be there for Larissa was similar to my friends and how they were with me when I came out.
Dahlia’s brilliance doesn’t just stop with the character arcs, in continues into the plot, the word choice and how heartbreakingly accurate it can be for someone struggling with their sexuality. The way she was able to also show how hard it is to choose between liking one gender or the other (in this particular case) and how even if you have friends who identify how you might, you may be oblivious to the signs for yourself.
Cool for the Summer gave me everything I’d been searching for in a book and more. My bisexual heart is overflowing with love, happiness and the ability to be seen. Go pre-order this book and devour it like I did when it comes out May 11,2021!