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The Summer I Wasn't Me

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,962 ratings  ·  346 reviews
Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she's afraid that what's left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there's nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path...
Paperback, 342 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,962 ratings  ·  346 reviews

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Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
The Summer I Wasn't Me takes us into a religious de-gaying camp where Lexi is sent after her mother finds her journal. Not only is this story an important one in this day and age, especially for teenagers, but it's written with wonderfully crafted characters that bring just the right amount of heart to the book.

"The activity for the day is Avoiding Satanic Influences."

I found myself amused at times, frustrated at others, and utterly pissed off at this camp's cult-like methods. I rarely feel
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
2 1/2 stars

The Summer I wasn't me is about 17 years old Lexi who is sent away to a "de-gayifying" camp after her Christian mother finds out about her attraction to girls.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a fast paced cute contemporary that deals with topics about coming out, accepting yourself, religion view on sexuality, religious parents dealing with their children's same sex attraction, and rape.

In my opinion, Lexi was a strong character. I liked how she was willing to do anything
Wendy Darling
On principle, I support books with LGBT content because there's just not enough of them. And for the first 2/3s of the book, I thought this book was a cute, if lightweight, take on figuring out your identity and standing up for yourself.

A couple of really serious things happened in the last third of the book that threw everything off, though, and I couldn't get past such traumatic subjects being handled so easily and swiftly and simplistically. It's fine to take TV-style shortcuts with relation
Jessica Verdi
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Obviously I'm biased. ;) ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia-plus, f-f
This book is so important. LGBT+ and religion are VERY important topics and honestly I think we need more books about it.

Lexi is gay and is sent to a de-gayifying camper after her Christian mother finds out about her attraction to girls. There she's taught about how same sex attraction is a sin and they need to stop being queer (which is horrible). But Lexi doesn't care about religion and she can't just STOP being gay, like what the actual fuck.

The romance was cute but very insta love. It felt
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Mini Review:

I'm feeling rather conflicted on how I feel about The Summer I Wasn't Me. You see, throughout the entire time I was reading this, I was a ball of rage. Yet at the same time, I found it interesting to take a look at a perspective that I find absolutely foul.

The book opens up with Lexi and her mum on their way to a heavily religious influenced de-gaying camp. After her father died, Lexi's mother discovered Lexi's secret and immediately took action b
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, e-arc
Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips

4.5 Stars

I'm still trying to fully absorb this book. Normally I write my reviews immediately after I finish reading, but not with The Summer I Wasn't Me . This book was so powerful, so intense, so horrifying, that I had to sit and absorb it all before I could put some words together. And I still don't feel like I'm ready to do that, but I had to get started, so here we go!

The Summer I Wasn't Me is a curious book, because there are certain elements
Krista Regester
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was truly a roller coaster of emotions. I found myself tearing up, laughing aloud, angry, and sometimes annoyed. One of my favorite things about this book was how so many different perspectives and people were portrayed. How Lexi processed her surroundings throughout the story was genuine and easy to relate to.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
The Summer I Wasn’t Me is to put it simply: problematic. First, there’s a lack of urgency in certain matters. Second, there’s an oversimplification in certain other things -and not just who was cast in the role of “baddy” or in what the same was capable of. And finally, there’s a lack of depth in the lot of them; you’d think depth would be present in at least one of them considering the place they all found themselves. But, NO.

To the first: there’s an almost blasé way things are treated in what
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer
♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤
short review:
I would definitely give this a trigger warning, as it goes into detail about physical and psychological abuse in LGBT corrective facilities. The book seems like a sweet read on the surface, but is really quite gritty, and talks about a serious issue- as long as you can handle the darker elements to the book, that is. Also a cute wlw side-romance, and story of friendship and overcoming bigotry and hate.

Now, my more in-depth review, again, possible trigger warning, this might include
I adored this book. After really enjoying MY LIFE AFTER NOW, and being incredibly impressed by the premise Verdi chose to tackle there, I was immensely curious what her next would be. This book did not disappoint :) I am also admittedly a little biased because though I read quite a bit of LGBTQ YA lit, I've found that for one reason or another, this was the first f/f that did not possess unbearable pacing, a boundary-disrespecting love interest, or a completely half-ass story. So, bonus points r ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young teens who are struggling with accepting their sexuality or who are having trouble coming out.
This is probably a case of me not being the intended audience for the book. However, I think the margin of people who this book would appeal to might be on the smaller side.

It's not a bad message about learning to love yourself. Not at all! That said, the delivery is probably going to appeal mostly to very young teens and readers with little to no love and/or sexual experience. If you've already been through a heartbreak or two, this probably won't be the book to pick you up and make you feel b
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Take "But I'm a Cheerleader", replace comedy with drama, keep the happy ending.

Very satisfying as a quick read, but I'm not sure how the last quarter holds up at closer scrutiny. There were things I felt were glossed over towards the end, not rushed, just that the events became really serious and I felt they weren't properly dealt with.
Oct 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbt
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a decent book about a girl who semi-voluntarily checks herself into a de-gayifying camp for the summer in the hope that she can be convinced to not fancy girls so much.

I've never really understood how this would work, why anyone would really want to try it and how anyone could possibly think that getting a bunch of lesbian girls to all sleep in the same room together for a whole summer would be an effective plan of action for un-gaying them, but despite these reservations I could see wh
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars.

This has been on my radar for years and I'm so mad at myself for putting it off for so long. Heartbreaking, emotional, important, and well written. While its an obviously hard read, its incredibly important.

*tw for extreme homophobia and sexual assault.

Istyria book blog ~ B's world of enchanted books

Oh wow. I don't even know where to begin with this book. I'm going to try to talk about the book and I'm going to avoid the camp topic as much as possible because I'm afraid my review will be a major rant on that if I talk about it too much.

Like Jessica's other book, this one features quite a heavy topic. At least it is for a lot of people. Being gay. For me, it's just who you are and I don't care about that really. Love is love. But for a lot of
Sarah Elizabeth
3.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Lexi is going to an anti-gay camp for the summer because her mother found out that she was in love with another girl and didn’t like it.
When Lexi gets to camp she’s immediately attracted to another girl there called Carolyn, and though she tries to fight her feelings, it’s clear that Carolyn has wormed her way into her heart.
Will the anti-gay camp wor
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: If you like reading GLBT books
Provided by the publisher via NetGalley

Actual Rating: 4.5

To make her recently-widowed mother happy, Lexi agrees to take an 8-week de-gayifying program at a Christian camp. There, she, along with other campers, is "trained" suppress her SSA (Same-Sex Attraction.)

I have read several GLBT books and by far this is one of the best. I did enjoy it more than I had expected. The writing, the characters and the plots were excellent. I have always loved fast paced books and I had no complain about this b
This was my first time reading a book about a conversion camp, even though its a subject that both fascinates and horrifies me in equal measure. I was very intrigued by the book from the start, both curious about and dreading the camp's true nature. It was fairly horrific from the start, but for the main character the things that happened during the book built up (view spoiler)

It's not the heaviest book, despite its subject, but
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Gender is a sensitive topic and although I have never undergone any sort of gender identity crisis I was able to sympathize with the characters in this book. However, the Insta-love theme didn't work for me and I wanted to know more about Matthew and what would become of him. ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wishlist, 2014
The Summer I wasn't Me was my first read in the LGBT sub-genre and I only have good things about it. I read Jessica Verdi's debut last year and I remember saying that it was a simple, beautiful and a very educational read, and her second book made me feel the exact same way, which is not bad at all. I love when a message is delivered in a subtle yet smooth manner, where everything doesn't need to be written and can be felt as the story moves along. This type of storytelling is Verdi's specialty, ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
I love book challenges sometimes I end up with a dud but sometimes i find a gem that quickly becomes a MUST read. Verdi was chosen because I needed a V and now I read it for the subject matter. She spins a story that you get lost in while showcasing social issues in our society.

In this book Lexi is confronted by her mother about her sexuality and she admits she likes girls more than boys. Her mother is offended and decides Lexi must be fixed. She finds a summer camp that takes the gay out of yo
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
I believe this book, even though simple, wasn't an easy one to write, and it's honestly not an easy one to read. At least it wasn't for me. I just couldn't stay indifferent to all that was going on. And once you put yourself out there? Well, it's bound to hurt. They do say that reading is dangerous... and so it is. Whether it's good-dangerous or bad-dangerous? Now that's a choice left for the reader to make.

The Summer I Wasn't Me starts by introducing us to Lexi, the main character, as her mothe
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ex-gay camps are a controversial topic. It's been long proven that they aren't effective and that they often hurt people, but for some reason they still exist and have their supporters. THE SUMMER I WASN'T ME takes a surprisingly balanced take on a gay conversion camp, although it does take a turn for the melodramatic toward the end.

Lexi is a lesbian, and has known it for a long time. However, her mom just found out and didn't take it well. Lexi agrees to go to a conversion camp because her moth
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have very dark taste in books – I can stomach almost anything that a writer can throw at me, but very occasionally a book comes along that feels fundamentally wrong to me – and The Summer I Wasn’t Me was exactly that kind of book. And it’s not that Jessica Verdi has written a book that offended me – it’s that this subject even exists that really gets my goat.

However, even though the subject matter had me fuming from the beginning, I’m very glad I pushed past my own anger and read The Summer I
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
A story about staying true to who you are, The Summer I Wasn’t Me offers us a glimpse of the real meaning of being authentic. In a society where not many choose to “walk the talk”, I like that the story is not just about gender and perspective. Everyone can hold their own opinions but what’s essential is often not how well one can articulate their thoughts – it’s not difficult to say something that is totally meaningless or tell lies that sound like some sort of truth – but without love, moral i ...more
While I was definitely curious about The Summer I Wasn't Me, I didn't expect it to be so impressive. I started reading the book while I was in Italy last week. Let me break down my reading experience for you.

*announcement* "You now have four hours to yourself."

*sits down* *starts reading*

Person 1: "Hey, want to go to the Thermae with us?"

Me: "Can't."

Person 1: "Okay..."

Person 2: "What's so funny?"

Me: "You wouldn't understand."

Person 2: "OH RLY. Try me."

Me: "Shh!"

Person 2: *grumbles*

Person 3: "We'
Ashley Blake
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqiap
Similar to THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, this book was a great LGBT read. Set in a de-gaying camp, it explores elements of faith, friendship, sexuality, and acceptance and a whole lot of other stuff that comes with being human. Dramatic, sweet, and at time infuriating and heartbreaking, this is a great addition to YA lit.
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Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dogs. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jessverdi.

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