Review by Madison Davis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Ace McAllister spends her summer in Cherokee, North Caroline in a Casino Hotel. Her father works there and would like to have his family together over the summer. Together with Ace’s family, her parents and her thirteen-year-old autistic brother, her mother’s newly divorced friend and her son Cameron live there as well to keep Ace’s mother company.
Cameron takes Ace to explore the area, and when they plan to go river-rafting, they meet John Spears, a young Cherokee-man. From there, things get into motion. Ace and John both feel that the day they met was life-changing. And they are right. Both already have problems at home, Ace probably a few more than John and the fateful day they met isn’t going to make it easier for them.
Cherokee Summer is a book covering controlling parents and other family members, a developmental disorder, addiction, cultural gaps, and racism. Hearing that one would think it’s impossible the author touches all these sensitive subjects and is not either horribly exaggerating or simply stays on a trivial superficiality. But in my opinion, neither one is the case. Susan Antony succeeds in interlacing all these thorny issues with the blossoming romance between two young people and the love between families and friends.
Of course, there is an unexpected danger coming up, and John and Ace are not only fighting for their dreams, their friends and their love, but also for their life.
I was impressed with the story and the plot. I loved the characters and their development during the story too. For a short while I considered the main characters not yet fully developed until I realized that they don’t need to be. They are late teenagers, and at their point of life, they, in fact, are still developing in who they’re going to be.
I also liked the writing style of the author who didn’t pick the past tense to tell us about Ace and John. She chose the present and switched between Ace and John to tell the story to us. This style gives the entire book vivid agility and places the reader right into the center of the story, much closer than expected.
Why am I giving the book ‘only’ 4.5 stars? I admit there were two characters who I thought were too predictable. One of them was Ace’s father; the other one was Cameron. To me personally, their characters were too easy to read. But they were the only slightly bitter drop in a pot of honey! Well done!
I enjoyed the book immensely, and even though I’m far beyond the age of a ‘Young Adult,’ I still recommend reading ‘Cherokee Summer’ to people who have no problems with soft romance, sensitive love, and some sweet kissing.