My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My true rating for this book is 3.5 stars. It falls short of 4 because I feel as though the story is written with a building momentum that is never fulfilled. I kept waiting for something, what I'm not sure, but whatever it was, it never came. Or maybe it was the transient nature of the gender neutral-no last name characters that didn't fully ground me. Now that I'm finished, I don't feel sated. However, it tasted good as I went through each chapter.
While the transient nature of the characters was a little off putting, anything more would not have worked for this story. It's about the nature of summer, that unpredictable time of transition where anything goes and usually does, and it's rarely the same from one to the next. School age kids live for summer, so telling the story from Kid's perspective is perfect. At that tender age of 15 to 16 he's trying to figure out who he is, and even though it would be easier if an adult would just tell him he'll be wondering that for the rest of his life, they let him think he's on his own. Except he's not.
I liked how Steve Brezenoff shows you both Kid's love of Felix and his for Scout, because it allows you to see the difference from his own mind as he remembers it. He was enamored with Felix, his talent, what he represented, this "thing" that Felix had. Superficial, transient, like Summer. With Scout, it meant more. Kid loved Scout and she loved him in return. A mutual love that grew out of the nestled haze of Summer, that will linger long after the sun sets. To me, it was more evident in the way they shared the music together than anything. They flowed so perfectly without effort, like a natural team. No shyness or hesitation. It could be no other way.
I'm willing to admit that my expectation of something more probably comes from years of reading over-dramatic fiction, because I have no other valid reason for giving this book less than 4 stars. I liked that there was no pretty epilogue tying it all up in a nice bow, I didn't need to see them as college sweethearts or doing a Eurotour. I appreciate that things were left chaste between them, it was sweet and respectful, because it's never been about that. And I'm glad Kid can walk away with a clear conscience about the fire at the warehouse.
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