Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: First There Was Forever
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Seventeen-year-old Sadie Bell has this summer all figured out: She’s going to befriend the cool girls at her school. She’s going to bond with her absentee father, a famous artist, and impress him with her photography skills. And she’s finally going to get over Noah, the swoony older guy who was her very first mistake. Sadie wasn’t counting on meeting Sam, a funny and free-thinking boy who makes her question all of her goals. But even after a summer of talking, touching, and sharing secrets, Sam says he just wants to be friends. And when those Sadie cares about most hurt her, Sam’s friendship may not be enough. Sadie can see the world through her camera, but can she see the people who have loved and supported her all along? Set against a glamorous New York City backdrop, this coming-of-age romance is a gorgeous summer read—one whose characters will stay with you long into the fall."
Sadie lives in Manhattan with her former ballerina turned yogi mom. She's got a best friend, Willa, but she wants to branch out a bit and spend time with the popular group of girls from her school. This summer that's all she has going on, that, and her photography course. Her father, whom she barely even knows, is a famous artist and he is coming back to New York City for a show. She plans on spending time with him and hopefully they will hit it off. This summer she also wants to get over her first crush, Noah, who simultaneously makes her feel some major regret as well as butterflies. However, one day she meets Sam, a boy who is very unlike the other NYC guys. At first they are just friends, but as time goes on, she starts to develop feelings for him. Can Sadie open herself up to this as well as all the new experiences this summer in the city? Juliana Romano's Summer in the Invisible City does a good job depicting a summer romance in the hot city, a girl trying to find her way, as well as the ups and downs of adolescence.
Sadie is an interesting character in Summer in the Invisible City. I felt that she needed her mother a bit more in her life as she seemed kind of hands off to me. She is on own a lot and trying to figure out adolescence. Thankfully, she has her photography which is her passion. She tries to use this as well as art in general to bond with her dad, but he is the ultimate deadbeat. This broke my heart for Sadie, but at times, he just didn't care about her. He cares more about his own art career despite the fact that Sadie has tried so hard to garner his attention throughout her life. I think her tumultuous relationship with her father stems into her relationship with young men as her first relationship with Noah didn't go swimmingly. She can't get over Noah and hopes to bump into him this summer, that is until she meets Sam.
Sam is one of my favorite characters in Summer in the Invisible City. He is new to Manhattan and is originally from a small town on the East Coast. He isn't like the other guys because of this and I really enjoyed him. His relationship with Sadie was merely a friendship at first and I love that it blossomed into something more.
I appreciate how Romano incorporates challenging relationships with parents as well as friends. Sadie's relationship with her dad was a focus from time to time in Summer in the Invisible City and I thought their complex relationship was well done as well as her unconventional relationship with her mother. Her relationship with her best friend, Willa, is also a complex one, because they are growing apart in a sense. Willa just wants to do what they have always done and Sadie wants to branch out a bit with the "popular" group. I like that Romano depicts how friendships can grow apart in adolescence.
Summer in the Invisible City is a bit grittier than the other young adult "beach reads" that I've read. Romano's last novel shared some of these same characteristics. There's a girl on her own a lot, an absentee parent(s), teenagers that have too much freedom, a superficial "popular crowd," rich people with lavish lifestyles, and a summer to remember. This was all present in her first novel First There Was Forever as well, so it felt a bit familiar to me. While I don't necessarily enjoy summer reads like this, I was still entertained, because who doesn't like a summer in Manhattan?Thanks to Penguin Teen, I am giving away my ARC of Summer in the Invisible City to one lucky US reader. The giveaway deadline is July 17th and please refer to my giveaway rules. Good luck!
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