when i was summerUgh, I feel like this plot is so overdone. Honestly, how many stories are out there about an adopted kid looking for their birth mother? And yeah, maybe it’s just my distaste for contemporary speaking here as I kind of cringe at the thought of reading When I Was Summer by J. B. Howard, but damn…nothing about this plot sounds interesting at all. Like, somehow I can just tell I’d be bored out of my mind if I picked this up. So, yeah…not on my TBR.

A relatable novel about unrequited love, rock ’n’ roll, and what you find when you go searching for yourself.

Sixteen-year-old Nora Wakelin has always felt like an outsider in her own family. Her parents and older sister love her, but they don’t understand anything about her: not her passion for music, not her all-encompassing crush on her bandmate Daniel (who is very much unavailable), not her recklessness and impulsiveness. Nora has always imagined that her biological mother might somehow provide the answer as to why she feels like such an outsider.

Through internet stalking and leaps of logic, Nora identifies three women living elsewhere in California who seem like they could be her mother. So she sets out to track them each down, one by one, under the pretense of a statewide tour with her rock band, Blue Miles. Three cities, three gigs, three possible birth mothers—it sounds so easy.

But once they’re on the road, of course, it’s anything but easy. Nora wants to be with Daniel, she wants to find her birth mother, she wants to keep her parents happy, she wants the band to stay together, and she wants to know why she is the way she is. But she won’t be the first musician to find out that, while you can’t always get what you want, sometimes you get what you need.

How do you feel about When I Was Summer? Is this a book you think you’d enjoy reading? What do you think about the fact that the MC is in a band and crushing on her bandmate? On your TBR or no? Let me know in the comments!

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