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    3 Stars

    Soon-to-be step-siblings fall in love when spending their summer vacation together at their respective parents home in Florida. Both main characters have difficulties to overcome. After a near sexual assault, Chloe is rightly traumatized and skittish around the opposite gender, while Landon has a somewhat debilitating learning disorder that he rarely shares with others. While falling for each other, they help each other overcome stigmas and fear. After previously choosing not to read this title, I was bolstered by some positive reviews when I had a second opportunity. Unfortunately, while not being a terrible book, there were some things I didn't care for. 1.) While I really liked Landon, I felt that Chloe needed some more development or "oomph" to her character. To me, she lacked personality that would have drawn me to her. 2.) Not usually an issue with me, but I didn't care for the dual first-person POV's. I liked having the two perspectives, but first person didn't work well here. 3.) I'm not always bothered by insta-love if it makes sense to the story and with teens, insta-love is sometimes a given. In The Summer Before Forever, within a matter of a few weeks, Landon and Chloe fell in love and slept together (non-explicit.) While I don't particularly care for sex in YA books, I really didn't like how fast everything progressed in this one. It didn't really feel right for the story or characters. In spite of the three issues, there were also some redeeming qualities to the story. I liked how the sexual assault issue and Landon's discalculia was handled - sensitive and empowering. If Landon and Chloe's relationship had progressed more moderately rather than the speed it had, I would have cared for their romance more. While not a completely unenjoyable book, at times it felt too unrealistic. (I voluntarily read a review copy of The Summer Before Forever. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.)
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