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The Summer I Wasn't Me Paperback – 1 Apr 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402277881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402277887
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 576,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Lexi is a likable protagonist with wide appeal. Many teens can relate...This title is recommended as a quality piece of fiction in a teen collection, and especially as part of an LGBTQ collection." - VOYA Magazine

"Lexi's earnest efforts to protect her mom from further grief...are poignant and powerfully conveyed... a sweet love story between two protagonists who both heartily deserve a break, and who manage to find one another even in the unlikeliest of settings...offers undeniable appeal to romance buffs." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book Reviews

""Lexi's...relationship develops in a satisfying way...a fine additional purchase for libraries looking to shore up their LGBT collection"" - Booklist

"Kids' doubts and misgivings about both identity and religious beliefs get a good airing here, and two books familiar to high school readers, The Great Gatsby and the "Harry Potter" series? provide an interesting backdrop for these discussions" - School Library Journal

About the Author

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have very dark taste in books – I can stomach almost anything that a writer can throw at me, but very occasionally a book comes along that feels fundamentally wrong to me – and The Summer I Wasn’t Me was exactly that kind of book. And it’s not that Jessica Verdi has written a book that offended me – it’s that this subject even exists that really gets my goat.

However, even though the subject matter had me fuming from the beginning, I’m very glad I pushed past my own anger and read The Summer I Wasn’t Me, exactly because of the reason I’ve outlined above – even if something is so against our own personal beliefs and morals, I’ve always believed it’s important to push my own personal boundaries.

Now enough about my own issues with the plot – what Jessica Verdi has created is a story about a group of GLBT teens who are forced, either by themselves or their families, to de-gay themselves. And although the camp has a Christian setting, there are also other tasks that the teens are forced to perform that are simultaneously horrifying and eye-rollingly-cliched.

As for the characters, I liked Lexi – she struggles with her own identity and sexuality, and New Horizons definitely pushes her to the limits of her endurance – her conflict is obvious and at times were almost overwhelming. I’m sure everyone has felt confused about who they are and what they want to be, but Lexi is being pulled in so many directions by so many different people, it’s a huge struggle for her both physically and emotionally.

My award for favourite character however, goes to Matthew – he’s outspoken, hilarious and exudes the confidence of someone who is so sure about who he is, and he doesn’t really care who knows it.
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Format: Paperback
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Lexi is going to an anti-gay camp for the summer because her mother found out that she was in love with another girl and didn’t like it.
When Lexi gets to camp she’s immediately attracted to another girl there called Carolyn, and though she tries to fight her feelings, it’s clear that Carolyn has wormed her way into her heart.
Will the anti-gay camp work? Or will things work out for Lexi and Carolyn?

This was a really cute story about a group of kids sent to an anti-gay Christian camp for the summer, to rid them of their SSA (same sex attraction).

I really liked the main characters in this book, they were all such good people!
Lexi was great. I totally got how she felt when her mother got upset with her for being gay; with her father dead it was difficult for her to feel like she had disappointed her mother, even to the point where she wondered if camp really could de-gay-ify her, just to please her mother.
Carolyn was so sweet! She was such a beautiful character, and it was easy to see how right Carolyn and Lexi were for each other. I really liked Carolyn.
Matthew was also a fave! He was so sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted, even if that went against what everyone else wanted him to want. The way he tried to get Carolyn and Lexi together, and the way he compared Jesus to Harry Potter was pretty awesome!

The storyline in this was pretty good, and didn’t go exactly the way I thought (which was good). He little twists and turns in the story were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed this book more because it wasn’t quite so straight-forward.
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I loved this book! Haven't really been in a reading mood for a few months (this happens with me every now and then!) but was unable to put this book down and finished it within two days. From reading other reviews, I kind of expected something bad to happen somewhere and when it did, it didn't take me out of the story as it has others. I really enjoyed the characters of Lexi, Matthew and Carolyn. The story takes us on Lexi's adventures to a Christian de-gaying 'summer camp' where she only wants to go through with it to please her mother. However, fate has other things in store for her ... I am really glad that there was a happy ending and I loved all the references to The Great Gatsby. I think I enjoyed it a little more than Jessica's previous book, which was also an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I'm glad I read this book. I'm not sure how accurate it is where the camp is concerned but I have a feeling it's pretty damn close. And pretty screwed up. Matthew was my favorite, the way he kept resisting. I kind of wish it had been longer, with an epilogue or something to see their lives a year later. I want to know what happened with Matthew and his dad.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 39 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific story that deserves a spot on library shelves 29 April 2014
By John Rogers ClarkIV - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lexi never got to tell her father her most important secret and now he's dead, a victim of pancreatic cancer. Her mother, a teacher, tumbled into a deep depression after her husband's death and Lexi would do anything to pull her mom back from the brink. When Mom finds a telling sketch in her notebook, one that opens up Lexi's sexuality, her mother goes completely off the deep end. In order to bring her mom back, she agrees to go to New Horizons Summer Camp, a christian camp that claims it can reprogram gay teens to be straight.
At first, Lexi has some hope. The director of the camp claims he's been straight and happy for ten years. Most of the counselors also say that the program worked for them. Lexi just wants her mother to be okay again and is willing to do whatever that takes. Her resolve is seriously weakened when she's placed in a group of four teens with Carolyn, a quiet and beautiful blonde from Connecticut. The two boys in the group, Matthew and Daniel are interesting opposites. Daniel is continually abused both verbally and physically by his dad who drinks. He'll do anything to feel normal and stop the abuse. Matthew is fine being gay and even has a long-term relationship back home. His father, however can't stand the thought of a gay son and has issued an ultimatum: Make it through the two month program, or don't come home.
The story takes you through the exercises designed to reprogram the teens as well as giving the reader an intimate look at how camper ticks and why. As the camp session goes on, Lexi begins to start questioning the methods, and more importantly, the supposed success of the program. When she can't hide her attraction for Caroline and Matthew steps over the line and is placed in a very frightening and dangerous situation, Lexi, Daniel and Caroline have to decide what's really important.
This is one heck of a book, but it has the potential to polarize people. Those who are of the mindset that homosexuality is a learned trait, will not like this book, those who are more open-minded may well like it as much as I did. Regardless of how you feel, this is a great book for creating a dialogue about an extremely important issue that many teens and their families face.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wasted potential, but still good. 30 April 2017
By Patricia Ruiz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story was good but I feel as though it could have been better. The characters were very hard to visualize because we got so little information to go on. They weren't exactly fleshed out either. Overall I'm giving this book 5 stars because it was entertaining to read and actually was pretty accurate in the way it portrayed the fundamentals of a conversion camp.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good 17 Nov. 2014
By Kate Rose Hayes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yeah, it was a pretty good read. I read it in one night. It definitely had the right idea on those de-gaying camps and the people that run and attend them. The only thing was it got real weird, real fast. What with the child abuse and the exorcism... I don't know, it was sort of strange, but good. The relationship was cute and it showed the good and the bad of being found out as gay by your parents, and it manages to work in the religious aspect of the people who believe homosexuality is "sinful" without all out bashing Christianity itself. So yeah, pretty good, a bit strange, but I liked it.
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a really great book and a different take on the traditional reparative ... 11 July 2014
By Jillian - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a really great book and a different take on the traditional reparative therapy novel as the girl was there mostly by choice and she herself very much wanted to change, typically the kids in these books are forced into it by parents/church leaders. I liked the take of 2 girls who very much both wanted it to work, for different reasons, and how they dealt with finding out it definitely wasn't possible to change despite their best efforts. I could of done without the drama of an evil minister running the camp, mostly cause that's been done many times, but, yea, still a great book that I totally suggest.
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought it two days ago and I just finished. 21 April 2014
By Deanna J. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am profoundly happy to have found this novel because until I had found it I had told people there was no good lesbian fiction out there. I denied it's existence but Jessica Verdi wrote a novel I enjoyed with a protagonist I deeply related to. It was funny, poignant and wise beyond it's pages. I will be giving it to my mom when I come out to her because I think it conveys all the struggles this journey encompasses and maybe it'll help her like it helped me. Read it. You won't regret it.
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