Is true love ever really lost, or does it just become harder to see? That’s the question Jasmine is trying to figure out in The Summer Place by Ann DeFee, a beautifully written contemporary romance novel.
The Summer Place begins during Jasmine’s last summer before college. She and her friends, Mary-Alice, Honey, and Misty are trying to find a way to make their last summer together the best it can possibly be. As they try to sort out their plans, Jasmine also tries to sort out her feelings for her best friend, Charlie. The friends engage in a plethora of activities, from cruising around the town, to playing petty pranks on their principal. However, the summer takes a turn when news about Honey and Charlie’s relationship comes to light. This sends Jasmine through a rollercoaster of emotions as she tries to work up the courage to tell Charlie how she feels before the summer ends. Fast-forward twenty years later, we find the characters living with the choices they had to make that summer. It’s now when Jasmine makes the choice of a lifetime and goes after her one true love.

The Summer Place is skillfully written, emotional, and truly unique. Its innovative plot makes it a standout novel in a genre that has become very repetitive. The story provides interesting insight into the mind of someone who feels like they’ve lost everything. Jasmine spends all of her time thinking about what could’ve been, which is a characteristic that young readers are sure to relate to. In the end, through her own actions, Jasmine is able to attain the life she has always wanted which is a strong reminder of the importance of fighting for your dreams, even when all seems lost. DeFee uses a style of writing that is very difficult to master, but she has done an incredible job. The youthful aura of the writing is clear from page 1 and doesn’t stop, it exhilarates the reader with an almost whimsical feeling. Overall, this book is recommended for young adult romance readers. This age group will love The Summer Place for its contemporary style, and realistic prose.

If you want to think, feel, and fall in love all over again, read The Summer Place.