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Summer Bird Blue

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 ratings  ·  359 reviews
Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Simon Pulse
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,040 ratings  ·  359 reviews

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may ➹
4.5 stars

okay. I cried. and I rarely cry over any book

Akemi always writes the most beautiful, personal, meaningful, hard-hitting stories and this is just another one of them. this one in particular means a lot to me because I have a younger sister and seeing Rumi go through the loss of her sister made me so emotional

this is truly truly beautiful and I can’t wait for all of you to read it 💙💙

(note: Rumi is mainly questioning throughout the book. at the end, she figures that she would likely identi
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Wow, I am so glad to finally be posting this review! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC pretty far in advance and devoured it immediately, because I loved Starfish so much, but I gotta tell you guys, this book? It blows Starfish out of the water. This was one of the most heartbreaking, gorgeous stories I have ever read, and there is so much diversity I could honestly yell about it forever.

“I don’t want to hold hands, or flirt, or… kiss. And I don’t feel like I’m somehow less whole because I
C.G. Drews
It feels a bit too early for a review, soooo! Let's just have a quick list of what to expect:

☆ story about sisters!
☆ and very heavily features the grieving process
☆ not everyone is "nice / likeable" but they're complex and realistic
☆ set in Hawaii!
☆ asexual rep for the protagonist! (possibly #ownvoices?)
☆ Kai is so chill, he is just the absolute chillest (also lowkey picture him as David from Lilo & Stitch)
☆ Rumi is the "grandpa friend" and this is so funny s
Alice Oseman
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a crucial book on loss. Raw, real, and deeply hopeful, SUMMER BIRD BLUE follows Rumi Seto on her path to healing in idyllic Hawaii with the help of a grumpy old man and a bubbly new friend. This book has solidly secured Akemi as one of my favourite contemporary YA authors - I will read anything Akemi Dawn Bowman writes.

The stand-out element of this book for me was the aro-ace representation in Rumi, the likes of which I have never seen before (the only ace rep I've found in contemporary
I want to cut this lump out of my throats because what the fuck, Bowman, I didn't sign up. Actually I did but HDJJDDJFJF IM SAD.

this book is amazing and bye no review IM SAD

another buddy read with my fave, Maggie because Starfish made us cry and I know for a fact this one will too. Can't wait to have my heart ripped out and stomped on. 😔✊🏼
julianna ➹
pls be as good as Starfish

// canceled buddy read with the brit 💖 bc neither of us could access the file through our computers rip
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)

Thank you Simon Pulse for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Akemi Dawn Bowan wrote the most beautiful and heart wrenching book I think I have ever read. When I read the synopsis I immediately requested the book. I hardly ever read contemporary books but something about this one drew me. Probably the best decision of my life.

The most amazing story ever written. I felt so many emotions when I read this book. There was sadness, anger, pain and love. A book that manage
may ❀
book #9 done for the contemporary-a-thon under the challenge of: read the most recent contemporary book you purchased/acquired.

- rumi is an unlikable character, she is brash and blunt and i appreciated how unique her character is
- the writing is very easy to read through, it's captivating without being excessively wordy or prose-y
- the way the grief was expressed felt AUTHENTIC, it may have even hurt my heart to read sometimes
- i love the relationship between rumi and lea :(
- it takes p
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Video Review

Summer Bird Blue is an intense Contemporary novel that deals with grief in a way I've never seen before.

“Because to Lea and me, music wasn't only about sounds. Music was scenery and smells and tastes and magic, too. But it doesn't feel like magic anymore – it feels like I'm being haunted.”

Before I get into my thoughts and feelings (there's a lot of them) first something about the representation.
The main character, Rumi, is multiracial (Hawaiian, Japanese and white). There's
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
A wish is a wish after all.
Summer Bird Blue is an emotional journey of anger, grief, loss and healing. After unexpectedly losing her sister and best friend Lea, Rumi Seto is angry at the world and doesn’t know how to move on. Moving to Hawaii for the summer wasn’t part of the plan, but she’s determined to find a way to honor Lea’s memory and move on at the same time, so Rumi turns to their shared love of music and discovers a power she didn’t know existed.

Things I Liked
I loved Rumi. I love
✨    jamieson   ✨
Starfish is one one of the BEST books I've read in 2017 and I could not be more excited to see more from Akemi Dawn Bowman
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sorry in advance for the ramble. I’m still an emotional wreck from this book so this review may not be overly coherent.

I knew I’d have to read everything Akemi Dawn Bowman ever writes when I fell in love with Starfish, which I reviewed here. With Summer Bird Blue Akemi has confirmed her place as one of my favourite authors.

Rumi is one of the most acerbic characters I’ve loved in a long time. She’s angry, she’s confused, she’s mean, she feels guilty as hell. Lea, the goo
Wow. This book was stunning. It took my heart and shattered it into a million pieces, and then it healed it again. This book was gorgeous and amazing and I'm just completely blown away.

I don't even know how to review this book.

I don't think I am capable of reviewing this book.

Summer Bird Blue is a masterpiece. It's heartbreak, and it's healing. Its beautiful. Really truly beautiful.

Akemi Dawn Bowman is an amazing writer. The writing is spectacular! Really really spectacular.

And the characters we
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
I hope Akemi Dawn Bowman has a good life and her flowers are watered and the sun shines down on her, because she’s such a gorgeous writer. This book made me both smile and cry, and it was really wonderful. It’s about grief, but it’s not harrowing to a point of overall depression, and it’s got moments of beauty that make you smile.

The whole novel actually made me very nostalgic for Hawaii - the warm air and the scent of lingering flowers and the sand between your toes and the lapping waves. The
R.F. Kuang
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I read Akemi Dawn Bowman’s debut novel Starfish, I was blown away by the vivid imagery, the painfully accurate portrayals of mental illness and broken families, and the intense rollercoaster of emotions that had me riveted from start to finish. Bowman’s Summer Bird Blue is even better.

Summer Bird Blue is first and foremost novel about grief, loss, and healing. Rumi and Lea Seto are sisters with a beautiful relationship; they laugh, they fight, and they bond through their music. (My own sist
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman is an emotional story of loss, life, and music. When Rumi's sister, Lea, dies in a horrific car accident, Rumi is left to pick up the pieces of her life. Abandoned by her mother, Rumi spends her summer in Hawaii with her aunt, trying to figure out how to live without her sister. Along the way she befriends the neighbors--Kai, the boy next door, and Uncle George, an elderly man who has experienced his own share of losses. 

My goodness, what amazing piece of li
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary from Goodreads

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story deals a lot with grief and how to cope after a tragic death that occurs to someone close to you. I think Rumi's feelings were described perfectly and to me they felt extremely valid and realistic. Her grief process was totally understandable and I very much appreciated how it was developed throughout the whole novel.
Something else I appreciated was Rumi's friendship with Kai. He was a sweet boy who totally understood Rumi and respected her choices and every thing she had to endure.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! This one’s heavy but so wonderfully written. Starfish has a special place in my heart so this was an auto buy for me and I was not disappointed.

Rumi loses her sister/best friend in an instant and then is sent to her Aunts while her mother handles her own grief.

Rumi feels abandoned and she takes her anger out on everyone around her. Her anger and selfishness don’t always make her the most likable character but it felt like a realistic portrayal of how a hurting teenager would react to such a
Rachel Strolle
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a f*cking mess right now I cried so much reading this and cried even harder in the last fourth oh my heart
Charlotte May
Apr 23, 2019 marked it as library-loans
Library copy available for pick up
Claudie Arseneault
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asexual, aoc, aromantic, lgbt, ya
tw (which i forgot in my coffee-less state this morning) : car accident, sibling death, grief, panic attacks, drowning

This was fantastic. A bit of a slow start, but by the end I couldn't let go. I loved Rumi's relationships with her two neighbours, but especially with Mr. Watanabe. 💜 Oh and the descriptions of music are just amazing? Really nice.

Massive props for the asexual rep, too. It's woven throughout the story as an important part of Rumi (rather than 'mentioned one then never again'). At
Jes Reads
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I read this as part of Riveted Lit's 25 Days of December promotion!




Having read and loved Starfish by the same author, Summer Bird Blue is one of those books that will hit your emotions hard. My advice? Grab a box of tissues and have a hot drink handy. A powerful YA novel that tackles Grief and the sense of a teen struggling to make sense with the world after such a tragic loss. The main character Rumi had a sister called Lea, until she is killed in a horrific accident. Rumi's Mum the
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was heartbreaking and amazing and I think you should read it. This is a story about family and sisterhood and finding people and friends to help you exactly when you need them in your life.

I LOVED the old man neighbor and Rumi's relationship with him so so much. I didn't realize that I stan grumpy old men, but I 100% do????

The grief in this book is so so complicated and I think it did a great job of showing how everyone grieves differently. Some things are not easy to explain or understand
I've finally read the book and I had so many emotions????

This isn't an easy read. Rumi is angry and hurting and she lashes out a lot at people who love her. If you're not into "unlikable characters," you won't like Rumi. But this exploration of grief was really beautiful and honest - how often do we wonder why it THAT person had to die and get mad about it? And I loved the way she looked back on her relationship with her sister and the regrets we had, because don't we all? No matter how good a r
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am quietly crying right now and covered in goosebumps.

Kathy - Books & Munches
After reading and loving Starfish to pieces, I REALLY NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.
And the LGBT-aspect? Consider me done for.
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Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of William C. Morris Award Finalist STARFISH, SUMMER BIRD BLUE, HARLEY IN THE SKY (Spring 2020), THE INFINITY COURTS series (Spring 2021), and GENERATION MISFITS (Winter 2021). She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She currently lives in Scot ...more
“Some people are meant to be forever, like Lea and me. And other people come into your life for a reason— you help each other figure shit out and come to terms with complicated feelings that you can't process on your own.” 1 likes
“piece of paper falls out and floats to the ground. I pick it up carefully, studying the handwriting I don’t recognize but know is Mr. Watanabe’s. In neat, swooping letters written with black pen are the words: If you get lost in the darkness, remember to follow the music. Thanks for reminding me to do the same. Even though I’m crying, I’m smiling, too.” 0 likes
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