Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.
Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.
Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song.
Publishes in US: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Bloomsbury via netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
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I wanted to read Song of Summer because I am drawn to teens with illnesses or disabilities, and ASL has always interested me. I tried to learn it at one point, but only remember a bit. I also liked the tension that comes about with her passion for music and that she is falling for a boy who can't hear it.
The romance is sweet, and I loved their instant connection. I thought it was hilarious that she thought he was gay at first because he came into the diner with a guy friend, and he just texted his order, and said friend did all the ordering and talking. Without knowing he's deaf, I probably would have assumed the same thing. But they flirt and he comes back again to the diner, and they have conversations written on her ordering pad.
I liked Robin and her best friend, but I didn't like that her ex Trent who broke up with her because he didn't want to be tied down senior year. He is everywhere, and they play music together at the same church, and he is still flirty with her and acts like he didn't hurt her. Which obviously is fine because I liked her connection and how she tried with Carter where some people discovered he was deaf and act all weird or condescending.
I like the unique family situation with Carter. He is adopted by his deaf father and his mom knows sign language because one of her parents were deaf. They have adopted him and two other deaf children, and I love their culture, and the fact that his parents were open to adoption and could bring the kids up in a household that understood and could communicate with them.
There was some drama that I felt was unnecessary, but I suppose that it did serve some purposes to let us know some of the history and decisions that were made.
The ending managed to leave a hint of possibility but it was pretty realistic and also felt pretty open in some ways. I wanted a more wrapped up HEA, but there were so many things that were on the way to fixing, and there was some maturity needed as well as perspective on how the other was dealing with. And there was also the fact of the distance between them, it felt like a nice summer romance, but it hinted throughout that they were dreaming up ways to make it work past then.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you know any sign language?