Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana
Publication Date: June 17, 2014 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
[Special thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for the review copy!]
Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Haley’s summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.
Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday.
The year? 1982.
And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.
Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?
To be very honest, I didn’t expect much from this book. At first, this was just another book that I have to read and review. The first part of the book changed the way I felt towards it.
As I read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. (Yeah, I just used a TFIOS reference, because this book was almost as special as TFIOS. I mean it.)
When I requested this book, I read the Edelweiss and Goodreads summaries of it–but I kinda forgot the important detail: time travel. So when I reached the point when Haley realized that she actually did time travel, I was just as surprised as she was. And that made the story more interesting. Because I didn’t expect time travel. My mistake lead to something better. 🙂
This book had the most common family problem: separated parents and depressed children. (I actually noticed that the books that I have reviewed for June so far all have this problem. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Infinite Sky. Everything I Never Told You. (Although in EINTY, the parents were just falling apart–not yet separated.)
And because I’ve already talked about family problems past reviews (I kinda focused on them, actually.), I want to focus on the love story this time. Because the love story is the part that broke my heart and made this book so special.
Haley and Jason were really cute. Really, really cute. I love them, like, really, really, really love them. Jason is actually 32 years older than Haley. Imagine if they met in the present time. He’d be 51 years old, and she’d be 17 (turning 18). But the thing is, they fell in love in 1982–when Jason was 19 and Haley was 17. Part of me wishes that Haley just stayed in the past–and spent the rest of her life with Jason. But here’s the real thing about it, people. Things just don’t work like that. Haley has a life in the present, she has a family, and I can’t imagine what would happen if Haley never came back to the present. I also can’t imagine how Haley staying in the past would have affected the future (a.k.a. the present).
That, my friends, is the most heart-breaking part of the story. Me writing this review right now, rereading the quotes and some parts of the story, encoding my notes and all that, all this felt so nostalgic. It’s as if I have read this book a long time ago, and I was there with Haley and Jason. And everything was so real.
Haley and Jason were never meant to see each other again—and just typing that line makes me want to cry again.
If Okay? Okay is for TFIOS, Summer of Yesterday has it’s version–Haley-Haley and Jason-Jason. (When I sent an email to Gaby Triana, telling her how much I loved her book, she replied an addressed me as Fay-Fay. I almost cried.)
You see, this book may not be the best when it comes to writing or the structure or the whatever-it-is-that-makes-a-five-star-book. I’d understand if you guys won’t appreciate this book as much as I did.
“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”
– Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Summer of Yesterday did not only make me fall in love–it gave me hope as well. I always believed that an end is an end. But this book made me realize that in endings, we can find new beginnings. And even if it was so much of a heart-breaking story, I found myself smiling after reading it.
This book gave me similar feels as that of TFIOS. And if you’d ask why, I’m afraid that I can’t answer. This book got me in a way that I myself couldn’t understand. I just know that even if I used the word really so many times in this review (yes, the reallys weren’t typos or what), you’d understand. Because if you ever fell in love with a book, you know how I feel.
Plus, even if I haven’t read If I Stay yet, I somehow feel that it will give me similar feels as that of this book. Which reminds me, I’ve read a comment somewhere that If I Stay is the new TFIOS. Well, if that’s true, and if my prophecy for If I Stay is correct, then I can say that fans of TFIOS and If I Stay would appreciate Summer of Yesterday.
I hope you guys will love this book. I seriously do. ❤
“Young lady, as long as you act miserable, you will be. Try to have a good time.”
The first quote that I highlighted. Some good advice, isn’t it?
It’s not like I wanted love–love is for masochists who enjoy the pain of a mangled heart.
The story was in first person, so it was Haley who said this one. I highlighted this quote not because I agree, but because I totally don’t like it. Really. That was an awful definition of love. But I can’t blame Haley. How we define love would depend on how love made us feel.
Even if I kinda hate Haley for saying that, I was so happy to witness how she saw love–because on the latter part of the story, she’d realize that she had the wrong perspective. Because without expecting anything, love found her. (#TheFeels)
…what if I wake up in the present? And then I’ll never know. How this dream–this crazy time travel hallucination where I met a really sweet guy one summer on 1982–was ever supposed to end.
This already made my heart break a little.
“We think we know it all, but that’s because of our egos. Things are always happening to change everything we believed just minutes before. Life is challenging that way.”
Things are always happening to change everything we believed just minutes before. Things what we never expected to happen. Haley’s life was forever changed by what happened to her, and my life was forever changed by this story. (Yes, people.)
Live, and forget, if only temporarily, that I have another life. It’s the only way I will ever enjoy this moment. Because it’s perfect. And if I really am dreaming, then guess what? I don’t ever want to wake up.
Do you ever get this feeling? Because I remember that I felt this way too, once upon a dream.
“What if I stay? What if I want to stay here forever?”
This is the part that made me feel that If I Stay might give me similar feels as that of this book.
All I know is that I want to smile and cry at the same time. I don’t want to snap out of this dream and find him gone.
I totally felt the same way.
Should I be letting myself fall for a boy I can’t possibly have a future with?
The question that demands to be answered.
How can I go? But how can I stay?
There are times that we get torn apart by wanting two things that can’t be mixed to happen at once. Haley wants to go. She also wants to stay. And I know how that feels. I understand her situation.
[I actually want to add more quotes, but those would spoil the ending and we wouldn’t want that, would we?]
My favorite quote:
“Because I love you, Haley.”
That, is Jason’s answer to Haley’s question: “How can you let me go?”
‘Nuff said. I’m starting to cry again.
Cover: 4/5, Cute, but not as astonishing as other covers that I really love.
Title/Tagline: 4/5, Good enough to catch my attention.
First Part: 5/5, Very interesting. The first part gave me an idea on what to expect–something that I will like–or maybe, love.
Midpoint: 4.5/5, The midpoint was exciting, and from this moment on, I didn’t stop reading.
Ending: 5/5, Perfect. Tears were shed. (I can’t even. #TheFeels)
Lesson/s: 4/5, I can relate to the things that Haley learned from what happened to her. I like what I learned from this story.
Character Development: 4.5/5, The characters were great people. (I love them!)
Uniqueness of the Plot: 5/5, Time travel. There are a lot of stories about that, but this one is truly special.
Overall Impact: 10/5, I’m not even kidding. I mean, this is the best book that I’ve read so far in 2014. It made me cry. You know guys, the first book that made me cry while reading it was Allegiant by Veronica Roth. This is the second one. (This book hit me that hard.)
Bonus Points: 3/5, It ranked 8th on my “Books that Mean a Lot to Me” shelf on Goodreads. (TFIOS is the 7th, so yeah. Close fight.)
FINAL RATING: ∞
(You know what? Screw the ratings. I am giving this book an infinite rating for making me feel infinite. Yes, people. This book is that special. I am dying to have a physical copy of this book. Really.)
My bookish songs for Summer of Yesterday are:
Not About Angels by Birdy
Because the mood of the song represents what I was feeling when the tears started to come down.
“How unfair it’s just our luck? Found something real that’s out of touch. But if you’d searched the whole wide world, would you dare to let it go?”
Let Her Go by Passenger
The song is so heart-breaking and so full of love and so perfect. However, I sang Birdy’s version (because I can’t sing the original version, sorry). This song is for Jason and Haley.
“You only know you love her when you let her go…”
(Her can be replaced by him, you know. #Tears)
I’ve never read a fantasy book that felt this real. Really.