Review | Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli

“I’ve got a hot date tonight – I see the excitement flash across Nona’s face – with a book.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: crosswords, ice cream carts, self-help books, empty passports, borrowed hoodies, boat rides, difficult hikes, bungee jump rides and a lot of deflecting.

I have to admit, the cover did it again. A cover made me buy a book. I know, I know… I shouldn’t buy a book only by it’s cover. But I did it and I’m not ashamed of that. The cover is gorgeous, colorful and screams summer read! Fortunately for me, that’s exactly what I got: a cutesy YA summer read! 

And even though I liked the book, there were some things that I wasn’t a fan of. I think overall the pacing was great, but for me the ending felt rushed. I just wish there was a better way to wrap up the story, because it felt very unrealistic the way things turned out. But I think my main problem with this book was the main character, Rachel, and her behaviour dealing with the boys. In case you don’t know, there is a pretty solid love triangle in this book – that for a second made me wonder who she would end up with, and I liked that – and what really bothered me was how she decided to date both guys AT THE SAME TIME. I mean… come on girl. She was very childish and immature at some points, and her behaviour made her a not likeable character for me. The thing that makes me kind of conflicted is that other than those characteristics, I also saw myself in her in other ways. For example, I loved the Marie Kondo references throughout the book! “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is one of my all time favorite self-development books and it was fun to see it being referenced in some chapters. She is an organizational freak like me, and I loved how she said that when she took tests she didn’t even think about possibly failing. She always did her best and that was her daily routine. Period.

But those weren’t the only things that made me relate to Rachel. What I really liked about this book is that even though it’s a summery, light read, it actually sends a powerful message. I was a “no” person for most of my life, and the last few years I’ve been trying to push my boundaries and trying new things because I felt like I wasn’t actually living. So, just like her, I started to say “yes” to opportunities and things that scared me. And to be completely honest, saying “yes” allowed me to have amazing experiences and memories that I will never forget nor regret. And well, this all sounds amazing and inspiring and all that, but the truth is that in reality there are some situations when you have to say “no”. And that was what really spoke to me in this book. I also tried to be a “yes” person just like Rachel, but I had to learn by myself that always saying “yes” is not always a good idea. You need to use your common sense and discover by yourself a healthy balance between what could be a “yes” and what is definitely a “no”. So yeah, I really appreciate the message of this book.

Like I said a million times by now: it’s a cute summer read with a good message. So if you’re looking for something to read at the beach – or indoors, because COVID-19 is still a thing -, this is a good option.

xoxo, Neide

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