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4.5 out of 5 stars
One Perfect Summer
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2013
Let me begin this review by saying I love this book. I'll say it again, I love this book.

This was my first book of Paige Toon's. I happened to pick it up on a multi buy offer at the supermarket so wasn't sure what to expect. I loved it so much, I literally read this book in a day, I couldn't get enough so was delighted when I read that Paige was writing a e-book sequel (which is also great!)

So why did I love this book so much? I loved the star crossed lovers element of Joe and Alice, I found the description of how they fell in love very moving and realistic and was rooting for them to get back together throughout the book. This book also made me cry; generally if a book makes me cry it means that I have connected with the book and that it is a keeper. I found the characters to be engaging, likeable and I really wanted to find out what was going to happen to them. Finally this book got me through a very tough personal time and so I know that I will love this book forever, and it will always have a special place in my heart.

I cannot recommend this book enough; it made me laugh, cry, and everything inbetween. If you haven't read a Paige Toon book you are missing out, I am genuinely delighted to have found a new author whose books are engaging, colourful and so very likeable. I also love how characters from her other books are woven in, a very clever touch. Paige Toon you are a very welcome addition to my bookshelf!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One Perfect Summer introduces us to the new character of Alice. Before she leaves home to go to University, she takes one last family holiday with her parents to a holiday cottage in Dorset. All set to have a relaxing break, she doesn't count on meeting a boy that will change her life forever - Joe. Despite only knowing each other a few weeks, they embark on a passionate love affair, but it quickly all goes wrong, and Joe disappears from Alice's life, leaving her heart-broken. At university, she meets German student Lukas, and is bowled over by his charm and affection towards her, and decides to settle down with him. But with Joe always at the back of her mind, will Alice ever be able to give 100% of herself to Lukas or is that one perfect summer going to ruin the rest of her future?

I loved Alice. I'll say that straight away because I think she's the perfect heroine for the book, and made me want to keep following the story and reading on to find out what Alice was going to do next. Toon writes her as such as believable character, you can't help but feel her pain when Joe disappears, and although I really disliked her relationship with Lukas who I believed to be a weasel from the very moment we meet him, you could see why she craved a steady relationship but I wish she had admitted her feelings for Joe more. She's a very realistic character though, and one I am sure the readers of this book will really like. Lukas on the other hand was horrible, and I really disliked how he controlled Alice quite subtly, but in a way that meant she was merely going through the motions of a relationship really.

Joe is just a fantastic character. He starts off as a shy young teenager working for his awful parents at their pub in Dorset, and comes alive when he meets Alice and falls in love. Now, as I was reading, I wondered if Toon would do as she normally does in her books and somehow reference one of the other characters from her books in here, and it took a while for me to twig this one, but when I did, I thought it was a fab connection! Anyone who has read Baby Be Mine, Toon's previous novel to this should recognise the character of Joseph Striker, the Hollywood heart-throb Meg befriends when trying to work things through with Johnny Jefferson... well....that's the connection! As I say it took me a while, but when I realised, I rushed upstairs to grab Baby Be Mine and check, and I was right! I really do love that aspect of Toon's books.

The story itself was fantastic to read, and I adored the setting of beautiful Cambridge. Toon's descriptions of the city, from the famous colleges of Cambridge to University, to Alice's job as a punter on the rivers was great, and it certainly makes me want to go back there again, it's written so beautifully it brings it alive in your mind with ease. The story has several time settings, at the beginning is pre-University for Alice, then we get back to Alice when she's at University, and then after a while it skips a few years on to when her and Lukas are moving on with their relationship, and then things really kick off. I loved the anticipation of waiting for Joe to show up again (revealed in the blurb, not a spoiler!), and was actually surprised it took as long as it did to happen. I've noticed people online complaining about the ending, but Paige has revealed that there will be a sequel to this book, most likely in 2014, so it'll be great to catch up on that ambiguous ending and find out what is going with Joe, Lukas and Alice!

As usual, Toon has written another absolute corker of a novel that will have you hooked from start to finish! I couldn't put it down once I'd started reading and honestly feel in love with Alice and Joe's story, it was so fantastically written you'll find yourself desperate for the happy ending they both deserve. Instead, we're left on a bit of a cliffhanger with a 2 year wait, but luckily, we all know it will be worth it! With a stunning setting, a fantastic set of characters and a great writing style that draws you in from the very first page, One Perfect Summer is one of those books that will be a 'keeper' on your bookshelf, and I know I'll be reading again. I especially loved the reference from Baby Be Mine but it really was a stunning read that I can't recommend highly enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I must admit I'm a HUGE Paige Toon fan, so I was VERY very excited about reading this. I was at the shop before the doors even opened because I was so keen to get my hands on a copy, in fact I nearly knocked the other novels off the shelf in all my enthusiasm!

Alice is 18 and about to start studying at university in Cambridge, however first there's a holiday in Devon to get through with her parents. After being let down by her best friend, Alice doesn't hold out much hope for a great time and pictures endless days of boredom. However, after a chance meeting with the attractive and cool bartender Joe, Alice is swept off her feet by an intense and exciting summer romance. Very drastically, their hopes and dreams of love are shattered and Joe disappears, leaving Alice to pick up the pieces of her broken heart in Cambridge with no chance of seeing him again. Here she meets the gorgeous, intelligent, wealthy Lucas, who charms her with gifts and ambitions for the future. As Alice settles into a life with Lucas, Joe makes an unexpected appearance in her life, their paths having taken a completely different direction, but what should Alice do? Should she stay with Lucas, or take the risk on what was a short summer romance with the possibility that her and Joe could be soulmates?

This book took no time at all to get in to, it gripped me from the very first pages and had me rooting for Joe and Alice from the start. Their initial romance was so believable and real, a wonderful teenage romance where things are new, breathtaking and exciting. I genuinely wanted the romance to last a lot longer because I was very much enjoying seeing their relationship develop. Suddenly it is snatched away, and I couldn't help but feel like I was Alice, I felt such a sense of loss and confusion in myself, Paige Toon has my utmost respect there for making me feel every emotion of Alice, I became so involved in the book and I was hooked.

I had different views on Lukas, my opinion of him changed constantly. One minute I thought he was devilishly charming and I wished I could have been speeding off in his flashy cars with him, then later in the book I had such a dislike for him, and I was almost screaming in my book in sheer frustration because I wanted Alice to see what his true colours were. There are a lot of humourous and touching moments provided by the wonderful friendship between Alice and her best friend Jessie, I laughed out loud at their adventures with each other, their funny nicknames for each other and their banter was fantastic.

The story leaves you hanging on Alice's decision, and what an ending it is! By this time you'll have made up your mind about the outcome you want for Alice, and in my mind, I have my own ideas of the outcome and I like to think she made the right decision. Paige has said there will be a sequel of One Perfect Summer, and I will definitely be one of the first in line for it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2013
I love all Paige toons books and this was no exception, can't help but fall in love with all the characters and lose yourself in the story. Once again a great read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 August 2013
A bit disappointing but still an ok read.
Started well, middle very long winded and a bit disappointed with ending but still a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I read this in a couple of days on the beach in Spain and it was the perfect light-hearted, easy read with an emotional ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2012
Like most of the people here, I've read all of Paige Toons books. She's great at easy, enjoyable reads. This book is no exception.
It got a little dull towards the end, and the ending was quite abrupt. The start of the book was a little darker than previous novels, but most certainly no worse for it - in fact I'd say it was the most interesting part! The main reason I didnt give it 5 stars is pretty soon after I started the book, I realised that the plot was very similar to 'Pictures of Lily' - about first loves. In both books the characters drift apart for 10 years or so, and then get back together.
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on 16 February 2014
One Perfect Summer was just an interesting book in the book store first. I read the blurb and decided to buy it and read it. This summer I finally had the time to do this and it was definitley worth every minute and every single page!!!

When I started reading I couldn’t put the book down, it was so gripping, full of emotions and depth. Paige’s style of writing really takes you into the story, you can image the pictures and you feel close the the characters.

Alice and Joe are perfect together, you can really feel their love for each other. It is a great story about first love and two soulmates who found eachother. However, there is always some drama in a love story. After their perfect summer everything changes. There is a lot of heartache and you might have tears in your eyes.
Alice eventually moves on, but it takes her very long and Joe is always in her mind. Lukas the handsome German comes into her life and after a while they start dating. You could say he’s to total opposite of Joe. Her life is okay until her wedding day, when she sees a DVD of a film, with an actor who she knows really really well. Joe has changed, but he’s back in her thoughts. But, she does get married!!!
We can read about her life with Lukas, but there is always Joe and then she finally sees him again!!! Does this change her life???

After reading this book I couldn’t wait to buy Paige’s other books and read them immediately!!!

Sweet, amazing and charming!!! A great summer-read.
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on 4 December 2012
Paige Toon is an amazing author, she delivers fantastic heroines, and loveable leading men consistently. If you're umming and erring over whether to start her books, I fully 100% recommend her. The one thing I adore about her writing is she brings her previous characters into her new novels, usually just a brief mention, though sometimes she makes them integral to the plot, but in-turn you get the feeling that it is one big fictional family and it's lovely to read.

Spoilers may be ahead:
Alice is a lovely character, she doesn't quite have the same appeal as some of Paige's other heroines, but I think this was the correct kind of character for the book. I'm glad we skipped the time directly after Joe left, as I would not liked to have seen the ghost of a character she become, I think it would have been too painful to read.

In this book, Joe takes the role of leading man, it took me a while to work it out, but this is actually the Joseph that Meg dates in Baby Be Mine, after she moves back to LA, when she's going through a difficult spat with Johnny. As soon as I realised I raced to my book shelf to do a double check, and there it was. It's a good insight into his time when he wasn't with Alice, and he was still 'making it' in LA.

Lukas is the second leading man, and I couldn't help but dis-like him, but I guess that was the point after Alice's mind was blown with Joe. I felt like his scenes just dragged out, and he was so controlling and mean to Alice.

I just feel like the whole book was off slightly, if it had been like Pictures of Lily where we skipped ahead to when she was 23-ish and we saw what became of her life, and she told the stories of how she met both Jesse and Lukas in flashback, it would have been more consistent I think, I felt the part of her in Uni was a bit too drawn out, also when she went to Germany to meet Lukas' parents just felt unnecessary, and took away from the other sections of the book.
On that note, it took, far, far, FAR too long for Joe to come back into the picture after he left. It was like there was a major hole in the book until he came back, but then it just felt like Paige had dragged out the part with Lukas, and had to squeeze Joe's section in, and I don't really feel like we got all the insight into their Christmas break as we should have done, I wanted more from it, what had Joe been up to, where had he lived, where had he been? It was kind of skipped - The reader hasn't seen 'Strike' it needed to be made more of a plot line. Joe is just a big of character in this book as Alice is and it just didn't feel like we got to re-know him as well as we should have done.

All in all thought it was a great book, thoroughly recommend it! Don't forget to read One Perfect Christmas, as it really does finish the book off in style (if not too short!)
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on 30 May 2012
Paige Toon never fails to deliver an impeccable and fabulous story. One Perfect Summer just proves how Toon reigns over the chick-lit world with her creation of Alice Simmons and her the trials and dilemma's she faces when it comes to her relationships with both Joe and Lukas.

Toon's books creates a life of their own, from rock star Johnny Jefferson to Luis Castro, she never fails to create memorable characters that stick with you long after you have read them. One Perfect Summer was no exception, I have completely fallen in love with the character Joe. They are simply larger than life. I love how Toon characterised him, with his troubled and rather gritty upbringing, if you could not feel sympathetic and not somehow fall in love with him too then you are stone cold I tell you. Stone cold! I just wanted to climb into the book and give him a good old hug, or seeing to. Whichever would have sufficed.

I loved how Alice represented the heartbreak of a first love and how it never really fades, often causing her to struggle with previous and future relationships. After reading one of Toon's books, I always feel kind of proud to be a fan of chick-lit. As some may stereotype the genre, they aren't sappy love stories, One Perfect Summer proves this rightly. I was often conflicted and saddened by Alice's heartache and her relationships with both Joe and Lukas. Love? Yes. Sappy? Hell no. Alice shows us how her relationship has sometimes defined her life but how she deals with them, sometimes not in the most proper way. But everyone makes the wrong decisions, we are not all perfect right? Alice sometimes being flawed doesn't make me feel I'm the only one and that's the point of chick-lit right? For that, I thank Paige Toon.

I was completely transfixed till the very last page, itching to find out and make sense of Alice's decision... Now I won't give any more away, I wouldn't want to spoil it. But does she ever find her way back to Joe? Or does she simply settle for Lukas? You will have to read that to find out! Which I highly recommend you do!

In all serious, why haven't Paige Toon's novels been made into film yet? It baffles me.
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