The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams | Rating: ★★★★☆
"I died one summer, or I almost did. Part of me did. I don’t say that to be dramatic, only because it’s true. It took me a couple years of sifting through memories and reading the journals I wrote while I was laid in bed after it happened to understand what I lost that summer — what we all lost. Also what we gained."
Kathryn Williams’ portrayal of the teenage mind in this coming of age story is genuinely one of the loveliest ones I’ve ever read. Sometimes when we browse through the shelves in the local bookstores Young Adult section we forget to look for those simplistic, but touching, coming of age stories that don’t feature several love triangles, supernatural creatures or abilities, or even ones that take place in the distant future.
The Lost Summer takes place during Helena Waite’s annual trip to her beloved summer camp, Southpoint, when she was seventeen years old. The story features all the elements that mix into the perfect telling of a young woman coming of age in this summery setting: love, friendship and the moment in which you must confront the fact that you are growing and your world is changing.
Williams captures Helena perfectly — penning this character with just the right amount of sweetness and confusion you’d come to expect from a teenage character as she makes the jump from regular camper to part of the “staff”. You get a close view of her struggles in keeping up with those she’s on staff with as she begins to let go of her early experiences with the camp and finds herself maturing into many different choices in how she’d spend her days that summer.
You’ll listen to the narrator as she grows up that summer, has her
first sexual experience and in the process, nearly loses her best friend
for good. Then, life happens even further — and everything changes once
more. I can’t give away too much of the plot, to be honest, and you’ll
definitely enjoy this if coming of age stories is something you wish to
see more of, in simple ways.
It’s a light read and definitely worth checking out.
And it’s perfect for the summer.