Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer Bird Blue” as Want to Read:
Summer Bird Blue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer Bird Blue

by
4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,738 ratings  ·  550 reviews

"Raw, real and deeply hopeful" – ALICE OSEMAN


Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying. What to eat, where to go, who to love. But one thing she is sure of – she wants to spend her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.


Then Lea dies in a car accident, and Rumi is sent to live with her aunt in Hawaii. Now, miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of

...more
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published April 11th 2019 by Ink Road (first published September 11th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer Bird Blue, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Mary Grace Powers There IS some romance, both in the regular storyline and her flashbacks/memories. However, the author does a really good job of not making it just…moreThere IS some romance, both in the regular storyline and her flashbacks/memories. However, the author does a really good job of not making it just another teen-romance-in-a-beautiful-tropical-setting, and I think that it makes to book even better! (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,738 ratings  ·  550 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Summer Bird Blue
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
...more
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 identify
...more
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!
THE COVER IS GORGEOUS JUST LOOK
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 sometimes
...more
Alice Oseman
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Charlotte May
“Of course it’s dark. Life is dark. It doesn’t care about anyone. Yours just hasn’t gone to shit yet.”



This was an emotional read, but so full of love and hope.
Rumi and her sister Leah are best friends, they both love music and plan to spend their future forming a band and making music together.
Their plans are destroyed when Leah dies in a car accident. Suddenly Rumi is lost. Why Leah? She was so much more likeable than Rumi, what was the point?

Rumi’s mother can’t cope and she sends her away
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin


I strum my fingers, the familiar sound of Lea’s guitar filling the street like the scent of gardenias when I first landed in Hawaii. Mellow. Sweet. But with all the heart of an island.

I close my eyes and sing.


I woke up alone
abandoned in this space you left.
I tried to find you
and fill the hole inside my chest.
I wanted you to stay;
I tried to find a way,
and I did.
I trapped you here
with all my pain.
We became a monster
I couldn’t explain.
I needed you to stay;
I had to make you stay,
so I did.
...more
Hamad
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“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.”

I picked up this book as a recommendation by Noura for my 10 bloggers, 10 recommendations challenge. I should be honest that this is a review you may want to take with a grain of salt because I
...more
Gabby
This was a tragic and sad story about a teenage girl named Rumi who loses her sister Lea very suddenly in a car accident. Rumi and her sister were best friends and they often wrote songs together, and when her sister died they were in the middle of writing the song “Summer Bird Blue”. Over the summer as Rumi deals with an unimaginable amount of grief she makes it her mission to finish the song her sister would have wanted her to finish. Her Mom sends her away to Hawaii for the summer to stay ...more
Sana
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.
...more
julianna ➹
AKEMI DAWN BOWMAN DID NOT FAIL ME!
-
pls be as good as Starfish

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

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
...more
may ❀
book #9 done for the contemporary-a-thon under the challenge of: read the most recent contemporary book you purchased/acquired.

pros
- 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
...more
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
...more
✨    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
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 a
...more
R.F. Kuang
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Schizanthus Nerd
UGLY CRY ALERT!
description
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 good
...more
Iris
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
...more
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
...more
Kiera
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
...more
Rae
Summer Bird Blueby 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
...more
Silvia Díaz
1.5/2
I didn't like it, simple as that. I didn't connect with the story, especially because I hated Rumi so much... She is so angry at everything... ok girl, I get it, your world just turn upside down, but it was necessary to be that mean, selfish and asshole to everybody? And the worst is not that you can think "ok, she's grieving, she has right to be mad", NO, she was mean, angry, selfish and bad with everyone before the accident. And then she's "oh poor me, I was mean with my sister, I don't
...more
MyTimeOutShelf
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Emma
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Clara
Even though I am definitely not aromantic, this is the first time I saw my sexuality being *exactly* represented. And I am deeply grateful for that. (Also, I cried. A lot.)
Kathy - Books & Munches
As with Starfish, the writing was beautiful once again. Bowman writes in a way that draws me in immediately, which makes reading her work a feat. Of course.. We have to take in consideration the way her writing also succeeds at hitting me in the feels every single time. It's only the second book of hers I've read, but I can tell she has a knack for grabbing my heart and squeezing it, twisting it, turning it, breaking it in the best ways possible. The stories living in her head are ones that ...more
Rec-It Rachel
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
Jes Reads
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claudie Arseneault
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
...more
Lauren
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am quietly crying right now and covered in goosebumps.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Birthday
  • I Wish You All the Best
  • The Million Pieces of Neena Gill
  • The Meaning of Birds
  • With the Fire on High
  • Summer of Salt
  • The Starlight Watchmaker
  • The Paper & Hearts Society (The Paper & Hearts Society #1)
  • Going Off Script
  • Sawkill Girls
  • Our Year of Maybe
  • Don't Date Rosa Santos
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1)
  • Love From A to Z
  • I Was Born for This
  • The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali
  • Radio Silence
  • This Time Will Be Different
See similar books…
624 followers
Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of William C. Morris Award Finalist STARFISH, SUMMER BIRD BLUE, and HARLEY IN THE SKY. Her upcoming sci-fi series, THE INFINITY COURTS, is set to release in 2021, followed by her middle-grade debut, GENERATION MISFITS. A proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, she has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She currently lives in Scotland ...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.” 7 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.” 4 likes
More quotes…