ONE SUMMER in the French countryside, among sun-kissed fields of lavender . . . ANOTHER SUMMER in upstate New York, along familiar roads that lead to surprises . . . When Summer Everett makes a split-second decision, her summer divides into two parallel worlds. In one, she travels to France, where she's dreamed of going: a land of chocolate croissants, handsome boys, and art museums. In the other, she remains home, in her ordinary suburb, where she expects her ordinary life to continue — but nothing is as it seems. In both summers, she will fall in love and discover new sides of herself. What may break her, though, is a terrible family secret, one she can't hide from anywhere. In the end, it might just be the truth she needs the most. From New York Times bestselling author Aimee Friedman comes an irresistible, inventive novel that takes readers around the world and back again, and asks us what matters more: the journey or the destination.
Friedman (Sea Change) imagines two possible summers for Summer Everett, both of which depend on a single phone call one that gets answered, and one that goes ignored. In the summer of the unanswered call, nearly-16-year-old Summer heads to a charming town in the South of France to spend time with her artist father; he turns out not to be there, leaving Summer with a mysterious woman and her mean daughter instead. In the other potential reality, Summer's father disappoints her yet again and cancels her trip, which forces her to make spontaneous plans (a photography class) and reckon with an unpleasant new reality involving her best friend. Friedman breaks her narrative into seven sizable sections, alternating between Summer's divergent experiences, which include boys, new romance, a healthy dose of self-discovery, and significant family drama and trauma. The effect is like reading two novellas about the same girl that eventually converge into similar outcomes. It's a sweetly satisfying story about how even the smallest choices can affect one's destiny. Ages 12 up.