Friday, April 26, 2024

Book Review: Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

 Pages: 432
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: April 2, 2024
Publisher: Grand Central
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Part of Your World,
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it's now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They'll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn't planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It's supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma's toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they're suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected–including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?"

Emma and Justin's lives are brought together through their bonding on a Reddit thread concerning their bad luck with relationships. After people date them, they go on to find their soulmates. After Emma messages Justin, they hit it off and Justin suggests they date one another - maybe they will find their soulmates after the relationship fizzles. Emma is a travel nurse and was supposed to go to Hawaii for work along with her best friend Maddy, but she has convinced Maddy to spend the summer in Minneapolis, where Justin lives, in order to explore their relationship a bit more. The story continues to be light, especially the Minnesota lake setting for the summer and as the romance blossoms between Emma and Justin; however, things start to get in the way. Emma's mother, who is toxic as Emma was in the foster system as a child, shows up to cause chaos. This triggers Emma who still hasn't healed completely from all the turmoil her mother put her through. Then Justin has to take care of his siblings because his mother is going to jail for embezzlement. So, things get dark quickly and it leaves readers wondering if Emma and Justin actually stand a chanceAbby Jimenez covers a lot of emotional topics in Just for the Summer which weighs down the book, but she covers all these difficult issues with sensitivity. Her trademark use of witty banter as well as the sweet romance helped alleviate some of the heaviness.

I really enjoyed Emma from the beginning. She is clearly a complex character dealing with a lot, especially when her mother shows up. Emma starts to question whether she is living for herself or making excuses for her mother. What about what Emma wants? Her best friend Maddy is there to support her and highlight her toxic relationship with her mother. There's a lot of triggers in this book - mental health issues, PTSD, toxic relationships, etc, so be forewarned! On the other hand, Emma's relationship with Justin is wonderful and as usual, Jimenez excels in this area. Justin also has baggage, but Jimenez handles it expertly. She makes her characters feel authentic and even though they have a lot going on, it never feels unrealistic. 

While I enjoyed Just for the Summer, it wasn't my favorite of Jimenez's romance novels. It was a bit too dark for my taste and heavy at times. I would have liked more summer vibes in it too, especially given the title and the cover! Nonetheless, Jimenez is so good at what she does and I enjoyed it overall. Throw this book in your beach bag if you want a romance with a lot of heart and protagonists who tackle real issues. 

So, are you a fan of Abby Jimenez? Have you read Just for the Summer? Let me know what you think and your favorite of Jimenez's novels in the comments below. 



  1. I love Abby Jimenez and I'm looking forward to this one! Thanks for the honest review regarding the heavy issues - I'll keep that in mind when I get to it!

    1. You'll have to let me know what you think, Angela. I enjoyed it, but it did seem much heavier than her last romance. Thanks for dropping by!


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