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The Summer I Wasn't Me

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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...

342 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2014

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About the author

Jessica Verdi

7 books399 followers
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 jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jessverdi.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 363 reviews
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,363 followers
March 10, 2014
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 this enraged towards fictional characters - it's fiction after all - but knowing that camps like this really do exist makes me want to throw things. Now I'm not religious at all, so maybe that plays into it, but I honestly do not understand how this mindset towards homosexuality still exists. With a cost of 9,500$ (I'm truly hoping this is not accurate O_O), Lexi arrives at this camp where she's forced to wear only pink and girly things, where she's told that homosexuality is a disease (like alcoholism) that often originates from a traumatic childhood event, where she's taught the "correct" gender roles. They then go through extreme exercises that are all kinds of wrong, in addition to camp rules that basically change who they are so that they trained into "proper females". GAH! Can I punch someone now? The whole camp: the brainwashing, the manipulating, the charismatic and domineering leader; it all bears close resemblance to a religious cult, making the reading experience quite unnerving.

"If New Horizons is, like Kaylee said, the tool God gave me to create a better life, I'm pretty sure I'm using it wrong."

Lexi was, thankfully, realistic throughout this ordeal. She could discern between right and wrong and was not easily swayed by the ridiculous exercises. She did keep an open mind, though, and made a respectable effort, wondering if it could really work, which I completely respect. After her father's death she would do anything to keep her and her mother from falling apart. I loved how real she was as an individual. She knew her style, knew who she was, that she deserved to be happy, and took risks for what she wanted. The side characters were also compelling and diverse. We have the shy believer, the skeptic, and the atheist. Matthew was easily my favorite with his outspoken rants and sense of humor. I also adored Carolyn who brings in a fun-loving personality in addition to possible romantic developments. The amount of hate I still have towards the camp workers, especially the leader, is another sign of good character building if you ask me. The leader itself might have been written to extreme at times, though, with somewhat clichéd characteristics that made him predictable. Similarly, some plot devices used were not exactly necessary and more for shock value or dramatic effect.

Accepting yourself for who you are is not always easy as a teenager, and it can be particularly hard for some who find themselves in a confusing situation like Lexi. I love this book for approaching a delicate subject, and for putting into question a school of thought that is, unfortunately, still adopted by some. Verdi is clearly an author to watch out for!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
758 reviews2,350 followers
November 21, 2017
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 to save her relationship with her mom. The whole reason Lexi goes the to the anti-gay camp is to save her relationship with her mother and make her happy. Her mother is her only family and a Christian woman. Lexi is gay and when her mother finds out, Lexi is willing to go to the camp to "become straight." She's brave and selfless and willing to do anything to make her mother happy. Her only family better.

Lexi is ready to stop being gay and sacrifice her happiness and love for her mother. And that's very brave of her to do.

But obviously when she goes to the camp, it doesn't work out. She meets Carolyn. Dun dun dun. This is probably what I hated most about the book. The insta-love. The romance was cute, but the insta-love made me cringe.

Carolyn just entered the fucking room and "she is the most beautiful girl ever." I swear, Carolyn just entered the room and Lexi "has been hit by lightning." Carolyn sits down and Lexi already notices how "she chews her bottom lip" and "she's shy, but also strong." The romance was cute, but the way Lexi just fell so hard for her the second Carolyn enters the room just made me want to barf. I would have liked it if there was some slow burn romance, but the fact that they literally fall in love the minute they meet was just not cool for me.

Overall, this was a cute contemporary and despite the horrible insta-love I really enjoyed it. Even though towards the end, there were slightly uncomfortable scenes, it was a fun and fast read. I definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
July 24, 2016
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 relationships and fun, but I'm not a fan of putting in things like abusive behavior without dealing with the real, no-shit physical and emotional and legal consequences of that.

I did like that you saw different reasons for characters being at the de-gaying camp, including Lexi's (even if dream girl Carolyn's reason seemed pretty specious), and Matthew brought some much-needed humor and personality. My favorite part of the book is when they're all going around introducing themselves, and he says (paraphrasing here), "Hi! I'm Matthew, I'm 16, and I don't need a governess!" Sound of Music-style.

None of the characters are really that well fleshed out, though, we only know the barest minimum of backstory about all of them, including the main character. But overall, I really wish that the subjects that were introduced towards the end had been handled better. Or maybe not even included at all, as they seemed to be tonally pretty out of place from everything else that had happened until that point.

For a more mature, layered, emotional YA book that also follows a girl sent to a de-gaying camp, try out the beautiful The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
Profile Image for Yeva.
31 reviews11 followers
January 22, 2018
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 forced and I would have LOVED a slow build.

Another thing I want to talk about it about my relationship with religion. I'm a queer Christian (i'm still figuring out my identity but i'm 100% sure i'm not straight). I feel like every lgbt+ book that is related to religion, is either like,,, youre either lgbt+ or youre either christian and there is no in between! Like, NO!!! Lgbt+ people CAN FOLLOW RELIGION and be queer!!! Honestly it's their relationship with their religion and they don't need to stop believing in God just because they're queer! At the end of the day it's their relationship with God and none of your fucking business. Like I believe in Jesus and go to Church and I have a girlfriend. My Church and parents are accepting (though it was a struggle) and while I know it's hard for lgbt+ teens to come out to religious parents and question their relationship with God but, just know that you have a choice!!! I know i felt like I'd be judged (and I was) for being Christian by the lgbt+ community and judged for being queer by the church. It's very hurtful and plain fucked up to be told you're christian so you can't be queer, you're not a good supporter of the lgbt+ community and it's probably just a phase for you. And it's very hurtful and fucked up to be told you're not a good christian, you're sinning, you're going to hell, stop being gay. Like it's FUCKING horrible and really fucked me up. Being put in a situation like this where you can't be accepted by both communities is absolutely horrible because you can't be good enough for either one.

I'm not bashing anyone for being atheist and lgbt+ (like honestly you do you!!) I just wanted to share my situation and many other religious queer people problems!! You don't have to be on a side or either side!! I know I struggled with religion to please others and to all the people facing a situation like this just be you and do what you want, beautiful people. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Don't let anyone pressure you for anything and stay happy. 💕💕💕💕

My Jesus loves all! 💙💚💛💜💞
589 reviews1,031 followers
March 22, 2014
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 by sending her off to a de-gaying camp for the summer. I know that a lot of people who are highly supportive of GLBTQ have decided to avoid this book, but I think it is a real eye-opener to how these issues are dealt with by different people. At the camp, teens are taken through activities which were supposed to help them 'become straight' and understand that having same sex attraction is absolutely not okay. Most of the activities were enraging. They were agonizing to read. For example: Mr Martin was talking about Father Flaws and how everyone has one that made them turn gay at one point in their life, and he claims that Lexi's mother was the reason why Lexi became gay because her mother wasn't feminine enough. Is it a crime to not wear pink and dresses and frills and not have long hair? Is that now the definition of feminine?

As for the characters, I didn't really feel emotionally attached to any of them. We only get a little backstory when they are being confronted by Mr Martin in front of everyone else but I didn't feel like much got resolved at the end of the book. Moreover, many issues were treated to lightly and simplistically. "Fixing" someone isn't as simple as 123, but it sure felt like it was in this novel. There's much more to it and I just did not feel that the author covered it entirely well in this novel. Though still commend Verdi because this topic is definitely a hard one to pull off well.

I thought The Summer  I Wasn't Me was still a readable novel--leaning towards lighthearted but still good attempt for a topic that only a few authors have touched into.

~Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this copy!~

Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews716 followers
January 22, 2014
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 of it that I hated, but you're meant to hate them, so that didn't make me hate the book. The story is all about Lexi going to a camp to learn how to not be gay. That's absurd, right? Totally ridiculous! The camp is one of the most disgusting and terrible things I've ever read about.. which is the intent. Some of the things that go on there will shock you.

New Horizons isn't all about turning gays straight. It's also about laying out gender roles and ensuring that people stick within those roles. So men play sports and fix things around the house, whereas women cook, do laundry, and wear pink feminine clothing.

"What is the role of a woman?" she asks.
"The role of a woman is exactly the same as anyone else's," I say with a shrug. "To live and learn and love and be happy."
The counselor just clears her throat and repeats her quesetion. "What is the role of a woman?"
Clearly this isn't a very feminist bunch. I sigh and repeat my last answer, since that seemed to work last time. "To have children."

The camp had the balls to tell Lexi that the reason she's gay is because her parents set a bad example. Her father acted like her friend instead of the disciplinary figure of the household, and that's unacceptable. Her mother wore casual clothes and worked out of the home, and that's unacceptable. Her parents set bad examples and caused Lexi to misinterpret gender roles, which is why she's now gay. WHAT THE BLOODY HELL! It was so infuriating! And the parts that come after... so many devastating feels.

"The only reason I'm even at New Horizons is to fix my family. And now Mr. Martin is saying that for the de-gayifying to work, I have to reject everything that my family was and is. So what, then, is the point of all this?"

I think this is the reason why the book is so hard to "review". This book is so sad, frustrating, aggravating, and horrifying, but not in the bad "I hate this book" kind of way. It's all those things in the "powerful" kind of way; the way that will shock and stun you as you read it. But that kind of feeling and reaction cannot possibly be put into words! It has to be experienced for yourself.

The best part of this book came as a surprise to me. At first, Lexi was open to the idea of "de-gaying". Initially, I was mad. I wanted Lexi to be firmly against this because the whole idea is just absurd! But she tried to go in with an open mind. But I think that ended up making the story even more powerful. She was able to discover for herself how ridiculous and impossible it was, and we got to be with her for the journey.

But that was one of the reasons I loved Matthew. He filled the "rebel against the idea of the camp" role that I needed. So although Lexi wasn't exactly rebelling, Matthew was, and that satisfied me. He was also one of my favourite characters just because of how damn fun and sweet he was!

The love story in The Summer I Wasn't Me was sooo sweet! It was soft and tender and totally slow-brewing. It was everything I hoped it would be, and it completely captured my heart! I was so eager and giddy, and maybe the "forbidden" aspect made it even more fun!

If I had one criticism, it would be that I wish the end was a tad more drawn out. There are some intense things that happen towards the end, and it's implied that people will face the consequences of their actions, but we never actually get to see it first hand. I think I would have been a bit more satisfied if I actually got to see those consequences for myself.

But this book will make you FEEL. It may even make you sob uncontrollably. But most importantly, I think it will shock you. It will shock you into wondering if the "de-gaying" camps that exist are truly like this.. and if they are, it will make you want to do something about it. Because holy shit, it'd DISGUSTING! It will anger you to no end! And I love that The Summer I Wasn't Me pulled all these crazy emotions out of me. It made me love and hate and get pissed and want to cry happy tears! ALL OF THE EMOTIONS HAPPENED!

Jessica Verdi rocked my world again with this one. She's definitely on my auto-buy list.
Profile Image for Isamlq.
1,578 reviews710 followers
February 3, 2014
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 eventually happens. I cannot fathom, why in the midst of that… nothing was done, neither for that matter was anything done immediately after; instead we had the romance between other protagonists FINALLY coming to fruition. In fact, “the dealing with” came almost moments before the end, like an afterthought. There’s no denying that things like this happen… yet, here it’s laid out as an “it happened/ it happens” manner.

Sadly, that’s not the only oversimplified aspect here. The “treatment” and the people behind it both felt false in depiction. The depiction in how others attempt to “fix” things felt unreal in how stupid things are allowed to play out. Worse though is where only some saw through it, there was the majority that didn’t. The question then became WHY… why some and not others? Considering not one character had a corner on the market for stupid (The protagonists in this were just as likely as the next to do the dumb thing) ‘Oversimplifcation?’ perhaps not... stupidly simple may be the better descriptive here.

But thank you, Net Galley!
Profile Image for disco.
560 reviews221 followers
October 8, 2017
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.
October 1, 2016
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 descriptions of abuse.
I am lucky enough to be raised in an accepting-enough family. When I came out to my parents as a lesbian, my mum was fine with it, and my dad's only word was to be careful who I told. They would rather other family members not know about it, but it's a lot better than some other LGBT kids get.
Corrective therapy (there's an acronym of some kind mentioned in the book but I can't remember it) is not therapy. It is a form of abuse, both mental and physical. One scene of this book, where the story climaxes, details a preacher attempting an excorsism on a teenager, and another shows the leader of the camp attempting to sexually assault a teenage boy. These teenagers are preached at, not only with words from the bible, but what the leader claims is called a "father wound," or, the thing that "caused" the teenagers' homosexuality. As far as I'm aware, there are still many camps doing this, though many have thankfully been shut down.
Another element in the story that I could relate to more, that I think many queer teenagers can relate to, is being outed before they are ready to come out, and rejection from peers.
Lexi has a crush on a friend who she kissed at a party, but once she tells her, her friend immediately acts repulsed and abandons Lexi.
Something many young wlw face is this kind of thing, and how difficult it is to figure out "is she just being nice or is she hitting on me?"
Girls tend to form close friendships, which are lovely and important, but can become confusing for queer girls after time.
Lexi's mother finds out that Lexi is gay on accident, and Lexi is immediately ripped bare, her identity shown to everyone before she is ready for it to be.
I have dealt with being outed, and no doubt many other young LGBT people have or will deal with it, too.
The romance in this book is sweet and beautiful, without distracting from the other key elements, and Lexi is the kind of character you love instantly.
This book is not just another title in an LGBT book list, or another flimsy YA attempt at realism. The Summer I Wasn't Me leaves an impact, as I write this review over a year after reading the book. I have no doubt that this book will be known for years to come, and hope that many young wlw find this. I would be hestitant about reading it had I been through conversion therapy, or any kind of abuse, however, as it is quite graphic and upsetting.
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 18 books2,332 followers
September 11, 2014
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 right there.

I think a lot of what works about THE SUMMER I WASN'T ME is that Lexi isn't a snarky heroine, going into de-gay-ification camp with a bad attitude about its absurdity. That would be easy, and obvious, and given that presumably most readers of this book are going in with that attitude for her (present company included), it was cool to see her have a legit reason for wanting it to work. In general, I appreciated the variety of reasons people were there, and that not every one was a result of a combination of parental force and religious guilt. And I love books about groups of friends, rather than just one girl and her frenemy BFF, so I loved the aspect of the camp that split them into groups of four and gave us time with other characters, too.

This is a book I not only enjoyed but am simply glad exists. For all that it may wrap up too neatly for some, so much is wonderfully thought-provoking, at times really fun, and at times really difficult. Exactly as it should be.
Profile Image for Lisa Eastham.
43 reviews1 follower
July 20, 2014

Oh wait, that's not a good enough review? Fine. So.


I honestly don't know if Jessica Verdi knew what she wanted this book to me. Is it a lighthearted romance (that happens to take place at a reparative therapy camp for gay teens)? Is it a drama about the abuses heaped on to these teenagers? Is it both? I think she wants it to be both but the execution is so terrible that it just doesn't work. She glosses over the dark parts like they are barely anything and it left me with SO many terrible questions by the end of it. You are writing about teens who have been terribly abused, both at home and in the camp, but oh no, it's way more important that these two girls fall in love while reading The Great Gatsby (ugh).

I just. No. The tone was so off for the subject matter. The characters were sometimes just walking stereotypes. And the dialogue was mostly pretty atrocious.

This concept in the hands of a better writer could have been great. But this was just not good at all.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,947 followers
August 22, 2014
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 better about yourself.

Young love is grand. Self discovery is grand. Unfortunately, this just wasn't my favorite book for 'coming out' or 'accepting yourself.'

There were some cute moments though. The method of using The Great Gatsby as a means to communicate messages was lovely. It made me look at the story in a whole new light.

Profile Image for Alex.
585 reviews134 followers
May 11, 2014



I am BEYOND enraged.

Aside from that -- this book was flimsy. Every character was flat. Carolyn, our resident MPDG, was boring as she was "mysterious". At no point did I even buy into the camp, which Cam Post actually manages to make you question, the marker of a truly wonderful book. I ended up rolling my eyes a lot until I got to...well.

Fuck this, basically.
Profile Image for Crim.
72 reviews
August 9, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Claire (Book Blog Bird).
1,052 reviews38 followers
October 2, 2018
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 why Lexi (the MC) wanted to try.

Spoiler Alert: Lexi doesn't get converted. Because you can't pray the gay away. It doesn't work like that.

I really quite enjoyed this book. I think people will inevitably compare it to The Miseducation of Cameron Post (which is an amazeballs book) but I think it stands alone as a good book in its own right. The stories are different, the institutions the MCs attend are different. So even if you've read Cameron Post, this one is still worth a go.
Profile Image for Dylan.
547 reviews228 followers
September 25, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Ella Zegarra.
605 reviews201 followers
March 18, 2014
Publicado Originalmente: El Extraño Gato del Cuento

Mi nivel de expectación por este libro me sorprendió antes de empezarlo a leer, no solo quería leerlo, necesitaba leerlo. Encontrar libros LGBT es muy complicado y en Young Adult aún más, se “cuida” mucho al adolescente (o jóvenes en general) que no lean este tipo de libro, hasta se vetan, ahora último no mucho, pero si hubo un tiempo dónde libros con protagonistas homosexuales eran un escándalo y eran del diablo. Y como me gusta molestar, decidí leer este libro (?)

Ahora que terminé el libro voy a decirles que no entiendo la portada. En serio, sé que es una cosa que no les interesa en lo más mínimo, pero me he quedado mirando la portada un buen rato, luego de terminar el libro, y sigo sin entenderla. Has ganado esta vez, diseñador de portadas, has ganado esta vez.

La única referencia que tenía del libro era lo LGBT, suficiente para emocionarme y vomitar arcoíris como cualquier gato que se respete, pero antes de empezar a leerlo hojee muy por encima la sinopsis, y la verdad es que me asusté un poco. ¿Por qué? Bueno, el libro trata sobre un campamento de de-gayifying (no puedo ni pronunciarlo en inglés no me pidan que lo traduzca, pero es algo así como “desgayficar”) y las pocas experiencias que he tenido con este tema han sido bastante complicados de llevar, si han visto Criminal Minds hay un capítulo con estos campamentos, entonces me veía un libro quizá no para todo el mundo.

He disfrutado mucho la lectura, los personajes me han encantado, sobre todo Matthew, todos deberíamos tener un Matthew en nuestras vidas, en serio, él se robó mi corazón en todo el libro. La historia de amor es tan bonita, pasan todas las etapas desde el rechazo, la negación y el embelesamiento en el otro de una manera bastante entretenida.

Sé que esperan el pero, y aquí viene. Esta es la cosa, no quiero decir que por tener personajes homosexuales el libro deba darte el ultra mega mensaje, no, es solo que hay temas en el transcurso de la historia que me hicieron pensar el “¿qué haría yo si me pasará esto a mí o alguien que conozco?” Es que es fácil como lector o tercero pensar en lo que supuestamente haríamos, sobre como seríamos héroes en nuestra imaginación. Les digo esto porque hubo muchas veces que Lexi me pareció demasiado pasiva sobre cosas que pasaban a su alrededor, quiero creer que yo sería más de ¿armas tomar? No sé si se dice así, pero no encuentro la frase que quiero. Eso fue lo que no me convenció de la historia, me gustan las protagonistas que son decididas, de las que mueren luchando, completamente diferentes a mí, quiero decir.

En general, disfruté un montón la lectura de The Summer I Wasn’t Me, ligero, un tanto cliché debo agregar, con un bonito mensaje, no entendí la portada (diseñadores que te hacen pensar ¬¬). Y de verdad, de verdad me gustaría que en algún momento lo publiquen en español, no todos los libros LGBT deben ser los mega dramones.

Reseña completa: El Extraño Gato del Cuento
Profile Image for Bee.
813 reviews209 followers
September 4, 2015

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 religious people, it's a sin. And I knew some of those people went pretty far when they find out their kid is gay, but I didn't know it could be this bad. The Summer I Wasn't Me is about Lexi. She's gay and her mother can't quite deal with that. They come from a town that's all about the bible and God and 'gay is wrong' and all that. So she sends her to a camp. A de-gaying camp. The idea alone is enough to make me cringe. But now that I know how far people go in those camps... God I cried my eyes out in this book. It's really bad and it's wrong. But I'll talk about other things now. Like I said, this could easily turn out as a major rant.

Basically this camp is for gays that 'need to learn how not to be gay'. That's ridiculous. And it's all about gender roles. Feminism doesn't exist there. The man is supposed to be the leader of the household, the woman is there to cook, clean and have kids. And I hated how they used their idea's against Lexi. And I would have loved to see Mr. Martin, the leader, getting what he deserved in the end. But anyway, the whole idea of that camp is stupid. You can't change who you are. Like Lady Gaga said, you were born this way baby.

I really like the romance in this book. It's so sweet and perfect even though I know some people don't think so. There aren't enough books like these in the YA world. And I just love Lexi and Carolyn and Matthew. I still want a gay best friend in my life because they are just awesome. And Matthew is not fooled by all the things they say in that camp and I love him for that. Even though he goes through quite a lot in this book. Lexi has her doubts and personal struggles with it all, but I'm glad she doesn't let them brainwash her. I'm not even going to talk about the camp leader Mr. Martin. He's an awful man and I hate his guts.

There's so much I would like to say about the camp, but I'm not going to. Just read this book. It's intense and it was hard for me to finish and to pull through, but you have to and I love this book. Like My Life After Now, this book sends out a strong message and I love Jessica for doing that. She's an amazing author and I can't wait to read her next book.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
April 5, 2014
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 work? Or will things work out for Lexi and Carolyn?

This was a really cute story about a group of kids sent to an anti-gay Christian camp for the summer, to rid them of their SSA (same sex attraction).

I really liked the main characters in this book, they were all such good people!
Lexi was great. I totally got how she felt when her mother got upset with her for being gay; with her father dead it was difficult for her to feel like she had disappointed her mother, even to the point where she wondered if camp really could de-gay-ify her, just to please her mother.
Carolyn was so sweet! She was such a beautiful character, and it was easy to see how right Carolyn and Lexi were for each other. I really liked Carolyn.
Matthew was also a fave! He was so sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted, even if that went against what everyone else wanted him to want. The way he tried to get Carolyn and Lexi together, and the way he compared Jesus to Harry Potter was pretty awesome!

The storyline in this was pretty good, and didn’t go exactly the way I thought (which was good). He little twists and turns in the story were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed this book more because it wasn’t quite so straight-forward. There were some really interesting details such as the fact that the people at the camp wore t-shirts that said - "Say good-bye to homosexuality; say hello to your new life!" (so bad!)
The romance in this was between two girls Lexi and Carolyn, and while I wouldn’t immediately pick a GBLT romance over a heterosexual romance story, I really liked this! Lexi and Carolyn really were so sweet together, and so right for each other that their gender really didn’t make a difference, which is really quite a beautiful thing.
The ending to this was also pretty good, and I was so glad that we got a happy ending! Yay!
Overall; sweet GBLT romance, with some twists and turns!
7 out of 10.
Profile Image for Brooke Fadeley.
8 reviews2 followers
February 23, 2021
TW: mentioned sexual assault, mentioned incest, ?attempted? pedophilia, homophobia (along with everything you could think about a conversion camp)

All I’m going to start off with is Jesus Christ. What the hell. This book is about a teenager, Lexi, being forced to attend a summer conversion camp. And I’m going to be honest, the only redeeming part was Matthew, that’s where the star comes from. In lieu of so much shit, we have an out and proud teen boy who is just as out with his personality, as he is with his sexuality.

The girlfriend is just as the main character, but the author gives little to no secret connotations that the girl is into her. But then as she opens up, she’s forced back into this straight bubble. But here’s the thing. She wasn’t forced here. SHE ENROLLED HERSELF INTO THE CAMP.

Now, I know: I shouldn’t wish for happiness and rainbows from a book with this topic. But it never seems as it is. The main character goes on to basically worship conversion therapy. Of course, the book starts with her reluctant and afraid, and ends with her having a girlfriend and a new gay friend, but there’s too much in between that is questionable. I guess you could say nothing is meant to be perfect or something, but the main character basically loved the idea of turning straight. She admires the pent up, obviously lost “ex-gays”. A lot of quotes are just jaw dropping. But, I guess it’s okay, because it all turns out okay, right? I guess I’m just confused. I turned this book into a speed run practice, seeing how many pages I could read in a single minute.

Sorry this was long, but holy moly this book was a mess. I guess the end was okay, with the sudden change up of the mom suddenly accepting her daughter, and now she has a girlfriend. Just seems like an unnecessary book with how quick and unnatural the ending seemed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Gisbelle.
770 reviews218 followers
April 14, 2014
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 book on that part.

It started out pretty simple. A little on a lighter side, if you ask me. I found myself laughing at several scenes featuring Matthew, one of the campers. Then as the story progressed, it became very emotional, and I was so furious at what they did to those kids. The most horrifying part was that it wasn't hard to believe it really did - and still does - happen in real life. Being told you are having a disease, an addiction, a demon inside just because you love someone of the same sex is brutal.

The belief that girls and boys should act certain ways was ridiculous. Not every girl likes pink, just as not all boys are sporty. At this de-gayifying camp, the campers were forced into these absurd gender roles and to deny their which irritated me way too much.

In short, this was a great read for me. I loved the characters, especially Matthew. It might not have been all rainbows and sunshine, and I really didn't mind the intense parts of this book. It was simply beautiful.

Blog: YA Obsession
Profile Image for Daphne.
963 reviews46 followers
September 10, 2019
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

It's not the heaviest book, despite its subject, but it definitely has some trigger warnings. It managed to both convey how utterly wrong these camps are and convey a definite sense of dread, while also keeping room for wonderful friendships and a cute relationship. Neither part of the story felt out of place.

I'd take a bullet for Matthew, he's easily my favorite character.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious about this subject and wants to read a fiction story that isn't too heavy, but still deals with the realities of these camps and doesn't excuse anything. There are some trigger warnings I wouldn't say everything about this book is light, but it balances the lighter and darker elements of the story very well.
Profile Image for Ellis.
445 reviews232 followers
August 2, 2016
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're getting lunch. Are you coming with us?"

Me: "Not hungry."

Person 4: "So you're reading, huh? I myself like to read quite some-"

Me: *death stare*

Person 4: "Never mind."

And so on.

Read the rest on Finding Bliss in Books.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,526 reviews
January 3, 2015
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.
347 reviews71 followers
August 24, 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, whether it's about being an HIV positive victim or someone embracing a lifestyle that is judged upon the most in today's society, the author know how to work her characters around and make their stories our story, how to make the readers feel their pain and understand their perspective on a deeper level, and that is why I love reading anything by this author. Her upcoming release, The Summer I wasn't Me (aka The Summer) is yet another a super hit that I won't stop recommending shamelessly throughout this year and the next.

Lexi comes from a small town where being a lesbian or gay is frown upon. After her mother accidentally finds out about her different sexual orientation, she wants Lexi to spend her summer in a "Degayfying Camp". At first, it was extremely difficult for me to understand why her mother was so close minded, but then I had to remind myself again and again that she came from a small town in South Carolina where things aren't the same as in a big city. The Summer made me feel a lot of emotions but the one I felt the most was anger, there were numerous events during Lexi's stay at the prejudiced camp where I just wanted to drop the book. The opinions of the people there was so degrading towards females, it wasn't even a degayfying camp (that in itself is a scam!), it was more about teaching these kids the "proper roles" of men and women in a society. Rubbish things like women run the household, men work hard, women sew clothes, men commands the family, parents don't have a close friendly relationship with kids, it sets the wrong example. Obviously, we have grown from this type of mentality, but it makes me so mad to think that there are people somewhere that instill these wrong beliefs in today's generation. So yes, I wanted to drop this book because it spoke against everything I've been taught (not including the lgbt family), but instead I continued the story because dropping it would've been weak and either ways, I wanted to see my character- whom I've come to love throughout the story - to have a different vision for their future and fight against the one they were taught at the camp.

Lexi was a brilliant character. She always stayed true to herself; even if her mom wanted her to change, Lexi was such a good daughter that just to respect her mother's wish, she tried, but things like that can't be changed. Nevertheless, I loved that she put an effort. During the camp, she met Carolyn and Matthew, one who wants to change so that she can have a family and other who is happy with his gay self and is being pressured by his family. Matthew can be my bff anytime! I loved that dude so hardcore! He was funny, sarcastic, witty and overall, a great friend to Lexi! Carolyn was a sweet girl as well, I love the "love at first sight" sort of connection she had with Lexi. I was cheering for them the minute Lexi saw Carolyn and felt that zing! Pure, feel good romance - SWOON!

Like always, the ending was open in the sense that the characters moved on to the next step and gave us a subtle hint towards their possible future. I love my epilogues, but this ending really suited the story and I have a pretty good imagination, so I would say that everything ended at a great term for all my favorite characters. I fell in love with this book from the first page and I highly recommend fans of contemporary, specially someone who wants to try something new to consider this book for their next read (or whenever it comes out). Lexi's, Carolyn's and Matthew's story should not be missed!
801 reviews
January 4, 2019
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 you. Lexi is upset and confused but since her father just died and her mother is quite vulnerable she agrees to it. She doesn't want to lose her mother.

I have vaguely heard of these camps and am quite perplexed that people think they can force what they think is the wrong sexuality out of you. Verdi writes this story in a brutal yet compassionate tone. Lexi is teamed up with 3 other campers who stay together for the eight weeks. There are group therapies, exercises and activities to show you the correct male and female roles.

There are funny moments when the boys are forced to play baseball while the girls watch in the bleachers. This is suppose to show them the proper way to behave and choose to be Heterosexuals. I found it funny when the girls were told to do laundry while boys did household repairs. How do these tasks determine sexuality? On the otherside there is a darkness to this camp and they will do whatever is needed to beat the gay out of you, literally and . Figuratively. This ranges from brain washing to play acting to extreme measures.

I don't want to give examples and have spoilers here, this is a book you need to read to open your eyes to social issues in this world.

So far I have read three books by her and I totally lose myself in the story and feel everything the characters are feeling.
Profile Image for Maria.
612 reviews99 followers
November 26, 2015
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 mother drives her to the New Horizons summer camp. What's the purpose of said camp? Pray the gay away. Lead by Lexi and the other members of her assigned New Horizons group, Carolyn, Matthew and Daniel, we are taken through the activities that are supposed to change their so called lifestyle. I must say that I really like what Jessica Verdi did with these characters. They become real friends even though they have different views on the matter at hand. I find that to be wonderful. Even though they don't seem to agree on certain topics, they still stick together. I think that's one of the most important messages conveyed by this book. No matter how different we are, we can still inhabit this world together and in peace.

The activities though... it wasn't easy to go through them without feeling the need to just close the book for a minute and take a deep breath. The way gender roles are discussed, or better yet, imposed, is beyond terrifying, specially when one knows that this is still a reality for so many people.

“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

I absolutely adored the multiple roles The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald played in this novel. I think it was a rather lovely, and clever, touch.

As I said when I started this review, I found this book to be written in a simple way. I believe there was certainly a lot of space for more development, but I think Jessica Verdi's chosen path works perfectly.

The Summer I Wasn't Me is a novel about self-acceptance, I believe, and respect. It's not just about learning to love yourself for who you are, but also to see the other as an individual with the right to be whoever they choose to be and to believe in what they choose to believe. There are boundaries, yes, and I think that is one of the issues with today's world. We don't know how to navigate them. We are free, yes, but only to a certain point. Someone once said that our freedom ends where our neighbor's nose begins. That's a way of looking at it, I guess.
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