“Instead of reinvented, I’d be rearranged. All the pieces of myself I’d never acknowledged before this week now fit me so well they seemed like the entirety of my personhood.
It went so much deeper than my attraction to Stevie. My queerness shifted the lens through which I viewed my whole life. I could finally see how I had never actually been comfortable in the old molds I used to live inside.”
That Summer Feeling is a wonderful story about finding yourself.
Garland Moore used to believe in magic, the power of optimism, and signs from the universe. Then her husband surprised her with divorce papers over Valentine’s Day dinner. Now Garland isn’t sure what to believe anymore, except that she’s clearly never meant to love again. When new friends invite her to spend a week at their reopened sleepaway camp, she and her sister decide it’s an opportunity to enjoy the kind of summer getaway they never had as kids. If Garland still believed in signs, this would sure seem like one. Summer camp is a chance to let go of her past and start fresh.
Nestled into the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Carl Cove provides the exact escape Garland always dreamed of, until she runs into Mason–the man she had a premonition about after one brief meeting years ago. No matter how she tries to run, the universe appears determined to bring love back into Garland’s life. She even ends up rooming with Mason’s sister Stevie, a vibrant former park ranger who is as charming as she is competitive. The more time Garland spends with Stevie, the more the signs confuse her. The stars are aligning in a way Garland never could have predicted.
Amid camp tournaments and moonlit dances, Garland continues to be pulled toward the beautiful blonde outdoorswoman who makes her laugh and swoon. Summer camp doesn’t last forever, but if Garland can learn to trust her heart, the love she finds there just might.
Prepare yourself for some major gushing. This book is utter perfection. There is absolutely nothing about it I didn’t love. If I could, I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved the premise of this book. A summer sleep away camp for adults? Where do I sign up?
Bridget has managed to pack a lot into one book and she has done so masterfully. Although she has tackled some pretty hefty topics like growing up with less than ideal parents, the trauma of divorce, and coming out later in life, it is all done with such care and thoughtfulness that the book manages to feel like a warm hug. It is positive and uplifting and just the book I didn’t know I needed to read right now.
Garland is by far my favourite leading lady I’ve read so far this year. She is just terrific. A people pleaser by nature, she is the one always trying to smooth things over, always trying to make people feel more comfortable. And she’s funny. Her sense of humour is just awesome. I found myself laughing out loud many times. When she arrives at camp, she is in a bit of a slump. A year after the divorce she didn’t see coming, she’s still crashing at her sister’s house and driving people around for a living. She doesn’t know what her future holds. She thought she had it all figured out. And then she was served divorce papers over Valentine’s Day dinner. She knows she has to make a change, but she’s not sure what direction to travel in. I love the personal growth she finds at camp. Anyone who has been to a sleep away camp can attest that it is the perfect time for reinvention. And that is exactly what Garland does.
There are so many great characters in this book. Garland’s sister Dara is a standout for me. I just loved their relationship and how well they knew each other. How they could read each other without having to say things out loud. And the way they are there for each other and support each other is a beautiful thing.
And Stevie. Oh Stevie. She is definitely a swoon-worthy book girlfriend. Outdoorsy, hilarious, confident and kind. She is the kind of person that knows who she is and doesn’t apologise for it. I loved her. I loved how her and Garland bonded immediately. There was definite fireworks, but they took the time to be friends first. Their banter made my heart happy. The way they supported each other and just let each other be who they are was inspirational.
That Summer Feeling is the perfect, uplifting summer read.
Thank you, Berkeley Romance for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.