Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: The Summer Prince

TITLE: The Summer Prince
Book 1 in a series?
AUTHOR: Alaya Dawn Johnson
PUBLISHED: March 2013 (look at me, reviewing a book the month it actually comes out ;so proud of self;)
GENRE: Dystopian, Romance, Fantasyish
PREMISE: A girl competes in a art competition as her world elects the new summer prince.
MY REVIEW: If someone were to ask me how to describe The Summer Prince, I honestly would draw a blank. Usually I have no problem telling people that this series is like so and so series so read it if that's your thing. Summer Prince honestly is like very little YA out there. This is a compliment to the author. I see influences of things/authors but it for sure is no look-alike series. I also have to give the author props on having a large cast of PoCs as well as having a world where people are mostly bisexual. Literally no one bats an eyelash when the hero of this story (I guess Enki counts as the hero?) kisses a boy and then later falls for a girl. Likewise June herself feels attraction to a girl as well as her attraction to Enki and it is no huge deal. It's kind of a interesting thing and great to see in a time when we're seriously debating whether gay couples should be allowed to marry (I'm personally still scratching my head over why gay couples marrying is such a huge deal to people when no one batted an eyelash at Britney Spears one day marriage).
If I could grade this book entirely on creativity of world, plot, and the fabulous set-up, this book would get a full five stars from me, because all of that is fabulous. However June...was frustrating for me, and I suspect she will be for a lot of readers. The author also jumps around a lot in the story which is great on shows like Lost, but not so great in books unless done really really well. It suffered from dragging in the middle, quite a bit. Plus, I wish June's life didn't revolve so much around Enki.
But this is definitely one of the more interesting debuts I've read in awhile. I put a question mark on the series part because the way it ended led me to believe the author is planning a sequel/continuation of sorts. But there's no news of one yet on places like Goodreads (usually there's an indicator in the title). Either way, I hope Johnson sticks around. She's definitely creative and I would love to see what other ideas she's got up her sleeve.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dystopian fans, LGBT book readers
MY RATING: Four out of Five not sure how to describe this plots

Thank you to the publisher for the Net Galley!

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