Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Book Review: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 10, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.  They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart. Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without. For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart. When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.  Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever."


Percy Fraser's parents bought a cottage by the lake in Ontario and at thirteen years old, her first summer there, she meets her next door neighbors, the Floreks.  The Floreks own a restaurant in town and the two Florek brothers, Charlie and Sam, live at Barry's Bay year round.  Percy and Sam are the same age and hit it off immediately.  They become best friends and Percy looks forward to seeing Sam every summer.  As the years progress, Percy and Sam start to have romantic feelings for one another and for awhile, Percy thought it might last forever. They spend many glorious summers together watching scary movies, reading Percy's latest short story, swimming in the lake, helping Sam study, working at the family restaurant, and more. Their time together is so special to both of them, but as college approaches, things fall apart.  Fast forward many years later and Sam and Charlie's mother has died and Charlie called Percy with the hope that she would attend the funeral and return to Barry's Bay as she hasn't been back in years.  Obviously something happened between Sam and Percy, and slowly Fortune teases us with flashbacks back to that one fateful summer.  Meanwhile in present day, Percy must face her past at Barry's Bay and her first love, Sam.  Carley Fortune's Every Summer After is a brilliant debut that tugged on my heartstrings. It has everything I could want in a summertime read--a beautiful lakeside setting, a friends-to-something more romance, and flashbacks to incredible summers over the years.

I really enjoyed Percy from the start of Every Summer After.  I immediately felt her connection to Sam, but loved that they formed a strong friendship first.  I appreciated that she was a complex person with her own dreams, anxieties, and strong feelings.  She is trying to find her way socially when she meets Sam and as the years go on, he provides her with a strong friendship to lean on, vice versa.  The school year separates them for sometime, but they always have summer to fall back on. I absolutely loved how Fortune told the story though flashbacks and that helped me piece together what exactly happened to between Percy and Sam. Presently, Percy hasn't been back to Barry's Bay or talked to Sam in twelve years.  Their friendship was previously so tight, it's almost unimaginable that this could have happened, but slowly Fortune provides us with all the details.

Sam is such a swoon-worthy protagonist. I really enjoyed him in Every Summer After. He has dealt with his own trauma, as his dad unexpectedly died before he met Percy.  He is also a multi-faceted character and I loved how was a genuinely good guy.  It was an absolute treat to watch their friendship bloom as he is such a good guy, how could you not root for him? He has so many dreams that pertain to him becoming a doctor, and I really enjoyed how Percy supported him just as he supported her dream of becoming a writer. They were the perfect couple, until things fell apart and it broke my heart. Nonetheless, I adored Sam and I loved his relationship with his older brother, Charlie, too. Charlie, is also a gem of a character whom I really adored. Fortune did an expert job creating "real" characters that I truly got attached to.

If you love summertime stories filled with a lot of heart, a gorgeous setting, and a romance that will make you swoon, look no further. Every Summer After is a hit and I think it will be one of the best beach reads of the summer.  It was like stepping into an adult version of Jenny Han's Summer series or an adult Sarah Dessen novel. I adored it!

So, is Every Summer After on your TBR list? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 



  1. It is on my TBR now! Love this review and really looking forward to this one.

  2. I love stories that use flashbacks. It's such a great way of making the story unfold.


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