Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…
Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…
At least for this summer.
It’s going to be a summer like no other.
Suitable for fans of: Teen romance novels/novellas/short stories
This time, when I kiss her, I don’t hold anything back. We may only have one summer, but it’s going to be a summer like no other.
Firstly, I should acknowledge that I did not read the book before this one, One, Two, Three, so I don’t know how much I’m missing. And, when reading this book, it definitely felt like I or the book was missing something. However, the book prior to this did not circulate around Em and Nick – the protagonists in this novella – strengthening my concerns:
1) Too many events were implied, not explained. I would have loved a little more insight into the past of these two characters. I would have like to know Em’s previous story and experience relating to her adoption concerns, but instead we are thrown into her story with the assumption that we already know all about her life, which is not true.
2) The transitions between days were not clear enough. There were moments where I though Em had gone to the dance studio in the middle of the night, when the reality was that it was the next morning. This was the same with events: one chapter ends with Em sober, and the next begins with her drunk with no explanation as to how she got there, until a few pages on, leaving me very confused.
3) The character development in this novel was not good, and the progress of the book was not very apparent, either. Neither main character – Nick or Em – seemed to progress in their personality, nor did they progress in their story. Both ended the story with unanswered questions – just as they started it – and were smitten with one another, as was expected.
Personally, I feel as though this book filled already full space.
However, it does act as a good introduction to Em and Nick, before Always Second Best, the next novel for Nowodazkij to release in this series, which revolves around Em and Nick, instead of Natalya, the protagonist in book one. This novella offers insight into their lives and what their worries include, which will benefit the readers of Always Second Best phenomenally. What’s more, the book isn’t bad. Whilst there are many gaps and plot holes, the book was rather enjoyable. It was fast paced, and the chapters are short, providing a quick read.
Despite this, sometimes it was too fast paced. Nowodazkij has tried to fit an entire summer into very few pages, which, frankly, doesn’t work. Too many things are missed out and/or skipped, and the time scale is very unclear and, honestly, all over the place.
Also, I picked up on a few little things that annoyed me here and there, but there is one that really got to me. Em’s brother says, “What???”
Yes, three questions marks. What about italics? Or one question mark, and an acknowledgement to how he said it?
I don’t know, that was just one thing that got to me a little bit.
Also, there are moments when Em asks her parents a hard-hitting question, and her their reactions are so unrealistic. On one specific occasion, her father – who had been hiding the whole ordeal for what? 16 years – just caved in and told Em the truth after very little prodding. Simply, it came off as rushed.
Furthermore, but on another note, I did not like Nick. He was too horny, too stereotypical boy that I began to dislike him a lot. In my opinion, at some moments, it felt like Nowodazkij was forcing him to come across as romantic and sweet, but the juxtaposition of this with his horniness caused him to appear fake, instead. Actually, I didn’t really like some aspect of Em, either. She was too whiny, and too hard on herself, and halfway through the novel began to say “bullshit” way too often. So much so, she began to remind me of Violet Harmon in season 1 of American Horror Story.
Contrastingly, and despite these little faults, A Summer Like No Other is not bad book. Honestly, I would counter this. A Summer Like No Other is a good book, even with these flaws, even without reading the first book in the series, and even without going into it knowing of he characters. Elodie Nowodazkij has a very nice voice to read along to, which is why I gave this book a solid 2.5 out of 5 stars. Personally, I would say that this book is halfway there.
(Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to send a big thank you to NetGalley for this book, and also to everyone at Victory Editing, as well as Elodie Nowodazkij herself.)