Berkley | 16 May 2023 | 480 pgs
Source: Library 

Samantha Gale travels back to her hometown in Martha's Vineyard to chaperon her 14-year-old half-brother,  Tyler, while their parents go on a vacation. Samantha has nothing to lose considering she left her job as a chef over a promotion pass and she thinks this temporary break might help her resurrect her career. On the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard, Sam accidentally knocks a good-looking stranger's book into the ocean. Sam is mortified but what're the chances that they might meet again? 

Turns out that Sam does meet that good-looking stranger against all odds, when she's bringing Tyler to the local library for the robotics competition. After learning that the hot-reader stranger is called Bennett Reynolds and that he's the library's interim director, Sam knows that she couldn't tell him that she has dyslexia, for she feels that people are judging her because of it (she lost her promotion due to this, which I find it ridiculous and unreasonable). 

But Ben is unlike other people, he doesn't judge or feel sorry for Sam after learning that she has dyslexia over an incident, on the contrary he encourages Sam and makes an effort to read stories to her. Although Ben tells himself he isn't interested in a relationship right now with his quest on finding his father (whose identity he's never known), yet he can't stop thinking about Sam the more they spend time together. 

Summer Reading has all the tropes that I love - friends or enemies-to-lovers, bookish theme, family bonding moments and most of all, the representation of dyslexia and/or neurodivergence which I rarely come across in fiction. I loved it that the author has chosen a font that is reading-friendly to the readers who have dyslexia, and to bold the words that's meant for italics. However, I didn't like it that Sam seemed to belittle herself for having dyslexia; using this as a reason for thinking her faults and not doing much to improve herself. This thing aside, I did enjoy her banter and her bonding with Tyler, as well as her blossoming relationship with Ben. Overall it was a heartwarming story which I think is perfect for Summer Reading
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6 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I really liked this one...I enjoyed reading about her struggles with dyslexia, and how she and her half-brother bonded. And her romance with Ben was cute, too. :D

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - It was a cute romcom. The author will feature Sam's friend for her next book so I might check that out as well. :)

  3. Greg Says:

    Looks like a nice summertime read.

  4. Melody Says:

    Greg - It sure was. :)

  5. I enjoy Jen McKinlay's romances and mysteries and am eager to read this one. I like that it features a character with dyslexia. Thank you for your insightful review, Melody!

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - This is my first Jen McKinlay book so I'll be sure to check out her other books.

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