3 out of 5 stars
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The Summer of In Betweens by Richard Read (Jose Saco) revolves around three main characters. Susan Myers, William Bill McCoy, and Maia Storm. Maia is new to town and needs a handyperson to work on her rental property for the summer. William’s principal recommends him for the job. Maia hires him because he's old enough, and she feels a strong connection with him despite his lack of the required skills. Susan received a letter from Congressman Roger Bentley's Columbus office, where she resumed as a summer intern. During this summer, many things happen in the lives of these three characters that remain memorable.
I must say that this book is full of surprises. In the beginning, this book appears to be a regular high school story, but later a more twisted intrigue is presented. Merely after I think I know so much about a particular character's personality, something else happens that makes me wonder, and I want to find out more. I would also like to commend the change in the different perspectives of the characters. Though I found it confusing initially, I eventually learned to appreciate the author. The perspective changes helped me to understand the thought process of some characters and the reasons behind specific actions.
Susan, my favorite character, is an innocent, determined, and intelligent young lady who suffers from victimization in this book. I admire her level of emotional intelligence. She showed a sense of calmness even in very hurtful situations. At first, her friendship with Danisha seemed promising, but racial prejudice led Danisha to believe Susan was against her. I learned a lot from Susan’s ordeal in this story. Even though I didn't understand her relationship with William, I liked that she had the quality of integrity. Maia is another strong character and a victim of domestic violence. I love that she held on to her sexual preferences.
Moreover, I observed a lack of depth in this story, and I found the author's narrative chaotic. The plot seemed out of sync because of the inconsistent use of character names. It would have been much more logical if the author had referenced every character with a specific name throughout the story. For instance, on page 57, I understand that the character’s name is Roger Bentley, but the constant switch from Roger to Bentley had me wondering if the author was talking about two different people. As a result, this affected my comprehension of the book. I would have also liked to see the relationships between the characters develop more. I loved Susan's friendship with Kyle. I was saddened to see the book come to a sudden conclusion. Likewise, I felt the author put in all the work but did not use effective techniques. Nonetheless, The Summer of In Betweens is an entertaining book that addresses crucial topics such as sexual abuse, racial prejudice, politics, and romance.
Due to the number of mistakes I encountered while reading this book, it is safe to say that it still needs professional editing. In light of my observations, I give this book three out of five stars. I recommend this book to romance lovers who like to spice things up and are not unnerved by heavier mature content. However, because of some distressing scenes, I advise those easily triggered against reading this book.
The Summer of In Betweens
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