The Summer of No Regrets
by Katherine Grace Bond
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: May 1, 2012
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she’s never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he’s Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie’s fantasy to be true.
As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can’t be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents’ death, her father’s sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, she isn’t sure of anything. What is the truth? More importantly, can she accept it? –(summary from Goodreads)
The Summer of No Regrets
by Katherine Grace Bond
My Thoughts: The Summer of No Regrets is a book that I went into without knowing what exactly to expect. I expected it to be a fun, quick, and easy read – and it was – but there is actually a ton of stuff packed in there.
1. The Characters. Brigitta is a quiet, shy girl that lives with her parents on a hippie-ish commune-sort of outreach owned by her parents out in the woods. She has spent the majority of her life being homeschooled and her parents are a little on the eccentric side. Brigitta is devastated over the loss of her Nonni, her grandmother, who is the one person in her life who appeared to be somewhat normal and the one person that understood her. As a result of Nonni’s death, Brigitta feels a bit isolated and alone. Even though she distances herself from her parents and sister, she still loves her family dearly.
Brigitta’s best friend Natalie is quite the opposite of her it seems, loud and impulsive and very into pop culture, including celebrity gossip, which is something that Brigitta is also secretly interested in. Brigitta and Natalie are out one day when the very clumsy Brigitta takes a fall straight onto some guy – he bears an uncanny resemblance to Trent Yves, a famous actor. Of course, Natalie is beside herself and believes at once that Trent is either visiting or has taken up residence in their town. Brigitta is much more skeptical, as is her nature, eventually learning that the boy’s name is Luke – disproving Natalie’s theory, of course. As it turns out, Luke is spending the summer at the mansion next door.
Luke is an interesting character – one of those mysterious guys. Brigitta spends a good deal of time with him, but he often disappears for days at a time or behaves strangely. He evades questions and doggone it, he does look exactly like that actor Trent Yves. So IS he? Or is it just coincidence?
2. The Other Story. Natalie works overtime trying to figure out if Luke is really Trent. It annoys Brigitta, because she is beginning to really like Luke as finds that they have some things in common. Soon Brigitta gets bitten by the bug of wanting-to-know too, so she secretly tries to find out as well. While all of this is going on, there are a couple of other stories being told. One is that the cougar that almost bites Luke in the beginning of the book (see the summary above) actually has cougar babies that Brigitta and Luke are raising secretly. As they learn about the growth and care and tending of baby cougars, the time the two spend together help the duo develop their relationship, and this is sort of a separate story line from is he/isn’t he Trent Yves.
Brigitta also spends some time thinking on different religions. What I mean is that she has a background rooted in Christianity because of her grandparents – and her father actually used to be a Christian before he became anti-organized religion – but now Brigitta spends her time paying attention to the tons of different types of religious groups that come into “The Center” that her parents operate on their property. There is a lot of religious talk in this book, but it is centered around Brigitta’s memories of her grandmother and learning about the people she comes in contact with through the her parents’ outreach center. I don’t foresee anyone being bothered by the religion in this book because it is not being preached to you.
3. The Setting. You guys, I love a beach. I’ve never been to the Western part of the United States, and that is a shame, but this book is set over there. There are rich forests that are described vividly and there is a beach that is also described well. If I’m being completely honest with everyone, I think the setting was my favorite part of the book because I want to visit there so much and because it was described so well.
The Summer of No Regrets is another book that I read fairly quickly while running on my treadmill. While I expected a quick, breezy summer read – and I got one – there were some big issues in there as well, which was totally okay. There was plenty of spiritual/religious talk that was not at all preachy – it was actually used more as detailing and I enjoyed Brigitta trying to explore this side of herself, by herself and for herself, even despite her strong roots. There is also a ton of environmental talk and talk of animal rights. Personally, I could have done with a little less of this on both counts, but I can see where it did lend itself to the story in several ways. The behavior of Hollywood celebrities was thrown in there as well as America’s fascination with these celebrities, which I thought was kind of funny and very true. And Brigitta struggles with the “How far is too far?” question with regard to Luke and “Should I or shouldn’t I?” with regard to sex, recalling conversations she has had in the past with her Nonni.
So…even though the book is short and romantic-sweet, it also has some issues on the inside. I think readers who enjoy their YA contemporary romances will like it regardless of whether or not it has these issues because the romance between Brigitta and Luke is really sweet. Fans of issue books may also enjoy it as a nice, light summer read.
The Summer of No Regrets will appeal to fans of:
Books Containing Issues: Religion,
the Environment, Animal Rights, etc.
The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
is currently available for purchase.
**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire & NetGalley!
Is The Summer of No Regrets on your wish-list?
Have you read it yet?
If you have, what did you think?
Look for my
Interview with Author Katherine Grace Bond
& a Giveaway of The Summer of No Regrets
in the following blog post!