Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Summer of No Regrets

I've never been to the Seattle area, nor have I lived on a commune. My father isn't a shaman, my parents didn't build an "Earthship" that functions as a center where people can spiritually enhance themselves. I'm also not a vegetarian.

But yet I related to sweet Brigitta Schopenhauer in Katherine Grace Bond's The Summer of No Regrets. This is an utterly sweet, captivating book that will charm you, make you think, and maybe even make you shed a tear.

Sixteen-year-old Brigitta has been homeschooled for all but one year of her life, and between the shaman father and hippie-type existence, she hasn't gotten out much. She only watches television shows when her best friend, Natalie, shows them on a computer. Yet for a girl who appears to be so innocent and untouched, she is, as her older sister Mallory observes, one who hides a lot of herself. For instance, Brigitta has a blog about celebrities, and she is addicted to the National Enquirer.

So when Luke Geoffrey, a doppelganger for hot young star Trent Yves, come to town, Brigitta isn't sure what to make of him. Is he Luke? Is he Trent? Who is he? The two quickly bond over orphaned cougar cubs, and their friendship takes off. Brigitta finds herself contemplating just where this relationship might lead.
I thought of his lips on me, his hands under my shirt. My insides felt strange. Mallory wouldn't have thought twice about going farther. Had I stopped him because I was too immature? Mom had always said that I should wait until I was eighteen, but I didn't know if she'd have been that shocked - just freaked out that I didn't have condoms like Mallory insisted.
I'd have been freaked out, too. Getting pregnant would be a definite glitch in my plans. But it wasn't just that. In the back of my mind, I could hear Nonni's voice. "Treasure your virginity, Brigitta. It's a gift you can only give once."

Brigitta still feels a strong bond with her deceased grandmother, Nonni, and grandfather, Opa. They gave her unconditional, spiritual love, and visiting them may have been the only carefree, happy times of Brigitta's life.

For, you see, The Summer of No Regrets is not just a YA novel about a girl meeting a boy - possibly a Hollywood superstar boy - but it's also a book about spirituality. What causes us to need a higher power? How do we know what we believe in?

When you read this book, you undoubtedly will fall in love with Brigitta. She is, as Luke tells her, a very unique girl. She is true to herself, yet has normal teenaged insecurities. She is impetuous and overwhelmed. She is lovely and wonderful, and she deserves for you to read her story.

Published by Sourcebooks Fire and available on Amazon.com.
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.

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