Monday, 7 May 2012

Bringing the Summer

Bringing the Summer by Julia Green
Paperback, 272 pages

Expected Publication: 22nd May 2012 by Bloomsbury

My shelves: arc-or-review, better-than-expected, books-i-own, drink-and-drugs, mental-health, read, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, really-good, young-adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
It’s the lazy end of summer and Freya is about to start her A levels. Her brother Joe died a year ago, but she is slowly coming to terms with his death. She is beginning to feel ready for something new – a change. And then a railway accident brings her into contact with the gorgeous Gabe. Freya is drawn not just to his blond good looks, but everything about him, including his large, shambolic, warm and loving family, which seems to Freya so different from her own.

And then Gabe’s clearly troubled older brother makes it clear he is interested in Freya – and Freya has some decisions to make about what she really wants.

My thanks go to Bloomsbury  for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest, I hadn't really heard of Julia Green before I received this book for review, but after reading it, I sincerely hope that this isn't the last that I hear of her! Bringing the Summer is a wonderfully written story that should appeal to teenagers and adults alike. On first examination, with its bright cover and shortish length, I thought that it was just going to be a quick, fun summer read, but it actually felt like so much more. Whilst the storyline is kept quite light and interesting, the characters also have some really quite dark issues.

Bringing the Summer is a story centring around Freya's life, at the start of her A-levels. She is still dealing with the loss of her brother when she witnesses a railway accident, which conjures up many questions in her mind. When at school, Freya meets Gabes, a friend of the girl who was killed during the accident, Bridie, and from thereon in, Freya gets to know more about Gabes, his large family including his enigmatic brother, Theo, and of course the mysterious Bridie.

Despite the relatively short length of this book, I was very pleasantly surprised with the depth behind it. I wasn't expecting to learn so much about the majority of characters, but I managed to connect with them very easily. It is clear that Freya has had a difficult and eventful past before Bringing the Summer. I believe that Freya's past is explored more in Breathing Underwater, but it wasn't actually necessary to know every detail - her relationship with her parents and her internal thoughts certainly helped us to learn about her and how she dealt with things. There were quite a lot of issues discussed in this book, but rather than feeling overwhelming, it just gave us a better ability to know what the characters were feeling.

I adored everything about the Fielding family - I thought that their house was extremely well described and the scenes that took place there were very vivid in my imagination. I was well immersed into the setting and the Christmas scenes felt magical. The Fielding family was pretty big, but it didn't get confusing and everyone was well developed. Each member of the family had their own thing going on and they were different, yet connected, personality wise. Green has made a fantastic job of personalising her characters. Gabe was just lovely, I would love to have a friend like him. Theo was explored in an interesting way and he was very intriguing. He was dark and mysterious. There was something about him that made me feel uncomfortable, yet wanting to know more about him - he certainly wasn't a flat or uncomplicated character. I thought that learning about the Fielding family's relationship with Bridie was interesting, but I actually thought that it was the good writing, the settings and the characters, rather than the plot, that stole the show.

There wasn't anything significant that I disliked about this book, it was well rounded. I loved the authenticity of the characters and the fact that they had realistic worries - everything was covered by Green. As you can tell, I was really impressed with this book and I would really recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great UK based, reasonably quick read. 


  1. Fantastic review, thanks for bringing this book onto my wishlist radar! X

  2. Hey Steph! I'd never heard of this book, then I saw an author review it on Goodreads and now your review! It sounds like a great read and I really love the cover!

    Mands xox

  3. Great review! A levels are such a nightmare... almost done with mine, luckily. Sounds like a really promising book - I think I'll try and get my hands on Breathing Underwater first!

  4. Fanastic review. This looked like a light read to me as well but it's great that it has a lot of depth and also covers serious issues. I definitely want to read this book!


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