Title: Summer Unplugged & Unplugged Summer
Series: Summer Unplugged
Author: Amy Sparling
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: December 18 2013, February 14 2017
Pages: 128, 145
I received these books for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review
I’m doing a little something different and doing two mini reviews—one of Summer Unplugged and then one of Unplugged Summer, which is a special edition of Summer Unplugged told through the character Jace’s point of view. The first book is pretty old, but Unplugged Summer just came out this past February.
This is more of a novella really than a novel, a very short and quick read. I like Amy’s writing style and voice, it fits really well with the contemporary genre. The only thing I will say, is I feel like at least in this story the voice of the main character Bayleigh skews a bit younger on the young adult scale. She’s just slightly self-centered at times, naive, and just a bit juvenile. I don’t know maybe it’s that I was just pretty serious and mature as a high schooler, but even compared to other young adult contemporaries I’ve read it feels young.
The basic plot is that Bayleigh does something stupid for a guy and gets in some serious trouble with her mom, and is then sent to spend the summer in the middle of nowhere with her grandparents. She has no phone, no anything really, and thinks the summer will suck, that is until she sees the neighbor boy.
Just like I said, Bayleigh is a bit much and sometimes I just couldn’t deal with her. She’s super attached to her phone, gets in some serious and pretty stupid trouble because of a guy, and is kind of a brat to her mom. Like yes, it’s kind of believable, but I guess the tone just rubbed me wrong. I think that Amy might’ve done it purposefully though to show how she grows throughout the book.
Jace, the love interest, is pretty interesting. I like that he is involved in motocross, I love characters that have passions. He’s a bit removed, and I had a hard time reading him in the beginning, so it’s useful that he gets his own point of view book.
I feel like we end really without some huge rising action or climax, the book seems more serialized and like it just goes straight into the next one in the series. There’s no cliffhanger or anything really.
I think I actually liked this novella through Jace’s point of view more than Summer Unplugged through Bayleigh’s. This novella has the same exact events, just changed point of view. Jace just comes across as more mature and grounded, making his point of view a little less grating to read. He felt more real and even Bayleigh through his point of view felt a bit more appealing to me. She wasn’t whiney or desperate feeling.
I still think the consequences of his fight are a little much—people get in fights all the time over relationships and significant others (not talking about domestic violence here, but just like jealousy and cheating issues and taking it out on the person they are cheating with). And he’s still kind of a kid. But maybe he seriously hurt the guy and I just didn’t get it from the book, but the guy is still racing so IDK.