Summer Haikus came on my radar after a fellow blogger brought it to my attention. This is just one thing I love about being a blogger -- finding new books, new authors and coming together to help promote their work, as I've said about a thousand times. That's not to say that I wouldn't have picked Summer Haikus otherwise -- I would have.
There is so much I want to discuss about this book! While it IS a romance, it has so much more to offer. I loved Isa and Halley's friendship. They supported each other through everything, and while Isa has always felt like she lived in Halley's shadow, Halley pushed Isa into coming into her own and helping her shine. The strong family too, is one I want to mention. There is tension for sure, and my heart broke for Isa on more than one occasion. But every family has issues and they bounced back quickly.
I loved the setting. I have always wanted to visit Japan, and Pajonas did a remarkable job with the descriptions. It's vivid and detailed; leaving me longing to see the beauty myself. Bonus -- I loved getting more details about Japanese culture, too.
By far though, Isa was my favorite part of Summer Haikus. For most of the book, Isa is put through many different situations that not only cause her to have her anxiety attacks, but forces her to come out of her shell. While she is strong through and through, she has a vulnerable side as well and I loved watching her come into her own and take charge of the Ryokan and ultimately, her life. She had to make MANY tough decisions, some weren't always handled well, but who's perfect?
The romance too, was super sweet! It takes a lot to sell me on best-friends to lovers scenario and boy, was I sold. Their relationship started out rocky, at best. Masa is sweet, caring, kind and hello! left America at the drop of a hat to be there for Isa in Japan. He too, is battling his own tough decisions and dealing with a rocky situation with his father, yet still is there for Isa. The back and forth between the two was KILLING ME, which made everything that fell into place that much sweeter.
Overall -- I loved Summer Haikus. Romance, strong friendships & family set in beautiful Japan, it's the perfect summer romance. Highly recommend!" - Tonyalee, Lilybloom Book Reviews