Steve lovell's Reviews > Bringing the Summer

Bringing the Summer by Julia Green
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Aug 10, 12

Read in August, 2012

This book pushes all the correct buttons for the YA reader. Said reader would presumably be only of the female persuasion as no cool young man would go for such a cover as this title bears, mores the pity. This old male, though, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Green’s writing here is very accessible in terms of its language and flow, providing little to tax the pre-18s target audience. The ‘nasty business’ that commences the story is kept at arm’s length, as are the self-destructive reasons for the young person involved making the choice she did – and the story spirals onwards from that incident with it having a dramatic effect on the two main protagonists, Freya and Theo. The former, already having her life weighed down by a family death, becomes deeply curious about the reason for the sad incident on the railway line – an similar occurrences are getting some traction in our news bulletins these days. This eventually draws here into the world of Theo, a ‘much’ older lad. He has a more intimate connection with the victim.
Green’s novel handles, in a gentle manner, the issue of often troubled, or socially inept, twenty something males preying on vulnerable young fifteen/sixteen year old school girls, so naive as to be flattered by the attention of an ‘older man’. This leads many blossoming young ladies, with the world at their feet, to much narrower horizons. Five or so year’s difference in the adult world is nothing, but at this stage such relationships can be horribly destructive – many examples being witnessed over my long teaching career. Freya, though, seems a tad savvier than the average example of the above, but she is none the less drawn into Theo’s web. Will she pull back from total entanglement in time? ‘Bringing in the Summer’, as well, touches on the social problem that mental disease in young people is becoming, and the difficulties faced by having family members so afflicted. Green’s softly, softly approach is commendable as many try to attack the problem with sledgehammers, and in the end hers may be the way to go as the tougher manner can reek of preaching – and our teensters cannot abide that!
I really enjoyed Green’s projections of the ways the two families involved in her novel dealt with the respective ‘baggage’ they both carried, and I would certainly be interested in reading more of her oeuvre.
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