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Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler Review

Title: Cool for the Summer

Author: Dahlia Adler

First published May 11, 2021

272 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781250765826 (ISBN10: 125076582X)

Rating: 3.79


Maggie has always been fascinated by the beach town of Bell Cove. With the summer approaching, she can’t wait to spend her vacation there with her best friends.

But things get complicated when she meets the enigmatic and charming Bella. Maggie can’t help but be drawn to her, and soon finds herself falling hard.

But Bella has secrets – secrets that threaten to ruin everything. As Maggie tries to navigate her feelings, she’s forced to confront her past and the memory of a summer romance that she thought she had left behind.

Will Maggie be able to choose between the boy she’s always wanted and the girl she can’t resist? Cool for the Summer is a captivating story about first love, self-discovery, and the complexities of desire.

About the Author

By day, Dahlia Adler works as an editor, and by night, she’s a freelance writer. In her free time, she writes Contemporary Young Adult and New Adult novels.

Her published works include the Daylight Falls series, Just Visiting, the Radleigh University series, Cool for the Summer, Home Field Advantage, and the upcoming Going Bicoastal. Dahlia has also contributed to anthologies such as All Out, The Radical Element, and It’s a Whole Spiel.

She has edited several anthologies, including His Hideous Heart, That Way Madness Lies, At Midnight, and (2024) with Jennifer Iacopelli. You may know her as @MissDahlELama on Twitter, where she has crafted over five billion tweets.

Dahlia resides in New York with her family and their extensive book collection.

Editoral Review

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler is a triumphant novel that explores the nuances of sexual identity, first love, and coming of age. The author masterfully crafts a story that skillfully navigates the themes while offering a relatable and entertaining read.

It was first published on May 11, 2021. Adler’s work is categorized as a contemporary young adult novel, with a focus on LGBTQ+ themes.

The style and tone of the book feel fresh and contemporary, evidenced through the use of social media references and a relatable, sarcastic narration style. The book is centered on the character of Lara, a high school senior who is living a sheltered and privileged life.

However, when she reunites with an old summer camp crush, things start to change. The story follows the pair as they navigate their relationship and the societal expectations around them.

One of the strengths of this book is the character development. Lara is a complex and relatable protagonist, and the supporting cast of characters is equally layered and nuanced.

The author expertly crafts characters that are authentic and believable, which adds to the impact of the story. Additionally, the pacing and plot structure are well-balanced, keeping the reader engaged throughout the book.

Adler’s work is particularly significant because it highlights current issues surrounding sexual identity and gender expression, while also offering a story that is both uplifting and honest. The book is relatable for readers, both within and beyond the LGBTQ+ community, as it explores the universal themes around love, identity, and coming of age.

If there is any limitation to this book, it comes in the form of character arcs that feel a bit predictable. However, this is a small complaint, as the overall narrative is compelling, entertaining, and emotionally resonant.

Overall, I would recommend Cool for the Summer to any reader looking for a well-written, character-driven young adult novel. It is particularly recommended for those interested in LGBTQ+ themes or looking for a heartfelt coming-of-age story.

It is rated 4 out of 5, based on its excellent writing, character development, pacing, and relevance.