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Summer of Seventeen by [Harvey-Berrick, Jane]
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Summer of Seventeen Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 944 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Harvey Berrick Publishing (22 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MWC9H5S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,334 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First off, YA is not usually my thing. I'm 41 and just too bloody ancient to empathise with a 17-year-old. And my son is 14 so I really don't want to be reading anything that even hints at a mere pup of 17 getting all sorts of jiggy. That's just all wrong. *closes eyes and shudders* But, that said, I love the way Jane Harvey-Berrick writes so I put my prejudices aside, pulled on my big (old) girl panties and dived right in.

Happily,my fears proved unfounded. Although this is billed as a YA story and the central character, Nick is 17, it's not frivolous or silly. The narrative really works in this - it takes you right inside Nick's head and makes you feel the confusion and frustration he's feeling as he tries to come to terms with the recent death of his mum. His age didn't matter; his observations on grief really resonated with me. It's beautifully understated:

"I never used to notice stuff before. Now I noticed everything, even when it made no sense.
I've been like that since Mom died. I don't know how to describe it - it was kinda like I was looking for the clue, the sign that would tell me, this person is going to die on Tuesday. Like Mom. Shouldn't I have known? Shouldn't there have been some sign the day before, something that told us to say everything we needed to say? To say goodbye?
But it doesn't work like that."

Nick's sensitive and bright, but he's still a typical teen boy- so he surfs as much and as often as he can then comes home when he feels like it and ditches his wet towels on the floor; he parties hard but loves making out with his girl Yansi at every chance he gets.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was gifted a copy of this book for an honest review. I love the books I have read so far by Jane and this one is no different. It is a different story to what I have read from Jane so far, but different in a very good way!
It is a coming of age story, Nick is only 17, has lost his mum to cancer and now lives with his sister, who in her own way is trying to look out for him, bring him up but their relationship is quite 'rocky' as brother/sister relationships can be.
Nick loves to surf, he dabbles in drink and drugs a bit too and is basically a 'normal' 17 year old that doesn't really know what he wants to do, as well as suffering the loss of his mum and not knowing who his dad is.
Him and his best friend Sean surf and 'hang out' as much as possible. Although you can feel the unhappiness in Sean from alot of what he says and how he acts.
Nick has a girlfriend Yansi too, but because her parents, especially her Dad, are very tough and protective of her their relationship is not always easy either.
This story shows Nick coming of age, all the things he has to face, no matter how difficult, he copes with it all.
Towards the end it is very sad, I kind of saw it coming but it still had me welling up, again Jane has made me cry! Which to me shows how totally into the story I am and how great the writing is!
One quote towards the end after everything that Nick went through, I really felt and just loved it...
'Give me a lifetime of feeling this. Give me now and then and soon and when, and give me a future, give me life, give me hope.'
I love Jane's writing, loved this book and highly recommend it!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
So whilst the subject matter will change, I can pretty much guarantee now when I read a book by Jane that it will have/be the following:

Be wonderfully crafted, pure poetic words laced throughout to weave a story that will sink into your soul
Be amazingly well researched - in this case, I now know an amazing amount about surfing that I would have never found out without reading this book
Cover hugely sensitive issues - always handled in a wonderfully sensitive, thought provoking manner

Summer of Seventeen covers all of the boxes. It’s much more than a coming of age book. It’s a book about a boy who has had more thrown at him in life at 17, than most people get in a lifetime. It’s about prejudice coming at you from all sides of life, finding out where you fit in the world and the people who are worth holding on to.

You’re taken through a maelstrom of emotions whilst reading the book. Everything is handled in a beautifully sensitive way.

My heart broke for this wonderful boy, who had had to endure so much more than anyone should at that stage of his life. When his biggest issues should have been worrying about the stupid stuff that we all thought was important at that age, Nick has a weight of responsibilities that someone his age shouldn’t have to deal with. But life does deal people lemons, and those who overcome adversity from such a young age certainly deserve to have their story told.

There is a huge issue tackled in this book and I commend Jane for putting in her book, a very real, often ignored problem. Maybe if more people tackled the taboo, we might start making inroads into helping those around us.

As always, i’m left feeling like my life is that much richer for reading this book. My poet Jane writes words that sing to your soul, make you grateful for what you have in life, and make you want to make the world a better place for others. Pure class.
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