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A Girl Named Summer Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1998
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-In this light romance, 15-year-old Summer falls hard for athletic, preppy David; loses him to an unworthy, manipulative female foe; and then wins him back. The twist here is the dilemma that arises when Summer tries to impress David by overstating her running experience and is found out. With the encouragement of her grandfather, she trains for and competes in a major race even after her romance has soured. The plotting is predictable and the dialogue clich?d: Summer's rival bats "her eyelashes furiously." Other characters seem made-to-order, such as Summer's cute three-year-old brother and her eccentric but lovable grandfather. The teen males are easily manipulated and never seem to struggle with the issues of self-image faced by the other sex. But why quibble? Meaningful values are imparted: Summer learns the importance of honesty and effort while building self-esteem and confidence in her running ability. By the end of the novel, her ties with her family are reinforced and her relationship with David is secure. Though flawed, this is a respectable entry in a genre that is popular among female teen readers.
Mary Ann Carcich, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7^-9. A popular adult romance novelist tries her hand at writing for young adults. In this undemanding but engaging result, Summer falls in love with a boy she meets at a church hall where her grandfather plays bingo. Garwood uses lots of dialogue to keep things moving as the conflict develops. When David meets an attractive new girl, Summer becomes insecure and invents a lie about being a long-distance runner. Predictably, the lie leads to trouble: David registers himself and Summer for a six-mile charity race. The plot, which is filled with typical teenage circumstances, verges on the preposterous, but it is saved by Garwood's portrayal of the characters' caring relationships and the fact that she doesn't let Summer take the easy way out. Shelley Townsend-Hudson
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Top Customer Reviews
So, if you are a dedicated Garwood fan, or a young adult, this is a great, quick read.
Summer takes David to a pool party thrown by Ann, a classmate she can't stand, in order to show him off. But at the party her worst fears come to pass--Ann is interested in David, too, and immediately tries to steal away his attention. Meaning to be helpful, Summer's friend begins to talk about Summer's athletic ability and especially her love of distance running. David is thrilled--he is a runner, too, and he enters the two of them in a charity race being organized by Ann's father.
Summer is devastated. David is so concerned with people being truthful, she can't let him know she's lied about being a runner. But she's never run a step in her life and she is sure she won't be able to manage the race. She doesn't know what to do, until her grandfather has a wild idea--she can actually train for the race and run in it.
At first Summer is miserable running. She hates it and feels like she's no good at it. But then she starts to feel at peace out on the roads in the morning. Soon she can't imagine getting up in the morning and not running. But while she is developing her new love, her relationship with David is going sour. Will all of her training be worth it if she loses him?
I thought Summer's family was interesting, and I would have liked to have seen more of their interactions. However, this story seemed too unemotional. Even when Summer was devastated, it was hard to notice it in the way the story was told. I also found David's character annoying. There was too much focus on his flaws in an attempt to make him seem realistic.