This summer, Summer's saying goodbye to her best friend, her secret crush and her single mom and is off on a trip of a lifetime to visit her estranged artist father in France. But right before she's about to board, her phone rings. Should she answer it? Either way, it's going to be a summer Summer will never forget.
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.