Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Source: Digital Copy
Buy It: Amazon
The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.
Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.
Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song. – Goodreads
I read this book in about 8 hours. Very quick, very simple, very easy to read. Robin is a musician and a singer. She plays for her church and sings in the choir. Music is her life. After high school, she wants to tour and play her guitar in coffee shops around the United States. Carter is different. He has the look of a model, is from New York City, and is deaf. Robin and Carter have a serendipitous meeting at the diner where Robin waitresses, and the rest is history. Except things aren’t so simple. These two fall in love quickly. Robin learns some American Sign Language and learns to speak Carter’s language. There is some strong insta-love, but as I get older, I accept that more because teenagers just feel everything so massively. For them, everything is huge. Whether or not it’s actually love will prove itself in the end, but for now, for the six weeks this story covers, it’s okay. It’s love.
I have issues with it, of course. Carter doesn’t seem to have any interests. He’s just The Deaf Kid, into Robin and his yellow Ducati motorcycle. He’s got a great family, but I’m not sure what Carter does on his own time. Robin is into music. It’s her whole world. And that’s it. I don’t know if either of them like to read, or what movies they like, or what they do with their friends. There wasn’t a lot of character development, but I don’t think that was the point. A six week span of time isn’t really enough for a big personality change. Robin has to do some growing up, and I was really very mad at her for how she treated Carter at the end.
This book has a very open-ended conclusion, which will be frustrating for a lot of people, but I liked it. These are kids. One is from rural New York and the other is from the big city. They were always going to be separated. They were never going to visit over spring break, or Skype all the time. They have their own lives, their own dreams, and they deserve to live them out. I think there are two kinds of relationships: ones that are meant to last, and ones that are meant to teach you something. This relationship was meant to teach. Carter learned that “hearing” people aren’t all bad and that he is capable of opening up to and loving one of them. Robin learned that she is not always right and to be more open-minded. And that’s okay. That’s good. These are good kids. They’ll survive, and they’ll remember this relationship forever.