August 17, 2018

Summer Constellations

Written by Alisha Sevigny
KCP Loft, an imprint of Kids Can Press
264 pp.
Ages 14+
May 2018
When you wish upon a star, you're a few million years too late. That star is dead, just like your dreams. (pg. 24)
Seventeen-year-old Julia Ducharme lives with her mom and nine-year-old brother Caleb at the campground they own and run. Even with all the work she does there, from carpentry to plumbing and sales at the Sugar Shack, Julia loves the Charming Pines Campground. But the past year has put an emotional and financial strain on the family after Caleb was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome from which he is just now recovering his strength and the use of his legs. No wonder Julia is looking forward to the return of Dan Schaeffer, her love interest from the previous summer. But when Dan and his parents arrive in their new and massive RV, he has a gorgeous girlfriend named Taylor in tow. Worse yet, Mom reveals that, because of expenses incurred over the past year, she is looking to get the campground appraised for possible sale to developer Mr. Constantine and his son Nick.

It doesn't take Julie long to fall for Nick, a former musician who is teaching Caleb to play guitar and helping them fix up their grandfather's old cabin in the woods. In fact, Nick is even trying to find a way to help Julia's family fundraise for the campground. Still Julia and Caleb feel that time is running out for the Pines and wonder if they can find a hidden treasure Gramps alluded to in his old journal. But will they find the means to save the campground before Julia falls completely in love with the young man whose intentions may not be as clear as he indicates?

There's still time for a summer YA romance and Summer Constellations will fit the bill nicely by taking you to the Charming Pines Campground for some swimming, star-gazing and new love. It's sweet summer fare perfect for the beach or camping or lounging in the heat with a cool drink. Just as she gave us in her YA novel Kissing Frogs (Fierce Ink Press, 2014), Alisha Sevigny knows the right balance of highs and lows to keep the story going and a happy ending worthy of the journey. Without drama that requires the reader to suspend disbelief, Alisha Sevigny gives us a light, but not lightweight, novel for teens reflecting their typical worries about relationships, home and the future but reassures that there will always be pinpricks of light that light up the darkness.

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