Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Review: One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon

Title: One Perfect Summer
Author: Paige Toon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: May 10th 2012
Length: 464 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, chick lit, college, England, vacation, romance, first love
Source: Publisher

'And you still love him?'
'Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…'

While on holiday in Dorset one summer, Alice meets Joe, a guy working at the local pub. She's eighteen and on the brink of starting university, while Joe's life is seemingly going nowhere. But despite their differences, the pair fall hopelessly and desperately in love. And then summer comes to an end and they are dramatically torn apart.

Alice heads off to university in Cambridge where she gets a part-time job punting on the River Cam and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. One day Lukas - a gorgeous golden boy from Cambridge University - spies her and it's not long before Alice falls for his charms.

Months turns into years, but then Joe comes back into Alice's life again in a way that she could never have imagined. While Alice lives her ordinary life with Lukas, she has to watch from the sidelines as Joe's life becomes evermore extraordinary. She never stopped loving him, but he's out of her reach now, surely? And what about Lukas?

Summary by Goodreads

Before I started book blogging I had mostly been into chick lit. It always had to be something with a great romance and a ton of emotions. ONE PERFECT SUMMER reminded me of how much I had loved these books when I was younger. Reading ONE PERFECT SUMMER felt so gratifying that I didn't want it to end too soon. This book was a chick lit love revival on 464 pages! 

Eighteen-year-old Alice is set to spend her summer in Dorset with her parents, a vacation in a small and cosy cottage near the beach. From the beginning on the story conveyed a very idyllic, casual and summery feel. With the stunning Dorset background, the cliffs and wide plains, it wasn't difficult at all to dream myself into Alice's story of first love and become a part of it. She's still a teenager and the following weeks are some of the most important of her life. Alice meets Joe and they fall for each and hard. 

Alice's and Joe's first love is glowing and full of cheerful and guiltless feelings for each other. The first few chapters are pure feel-good material and one could live in this dream world forever, but at some point Alice needs to wake up and see that life is not easy, it is anything but. Life and people can be brutal and some scenes felt crushing in comparison to their innocent young love. Paige Toon made the story feel like a story cut out of a real person's life. Tragic and real. I enjoyed ONE PERFECT SUMMER especially because it was mostly about the simple and daily things in life. 

ONE PERFECT SUMMER is set over the course of several years and is focusing on Alice's pretty awesome college years. We see her make new friends and find another love in Lukas. While Joe isn't a physically present constant in her life anymore, Alice can't seem to get him out of her head. The boys her heart belongs to are very different. Lucas is from a rich family with high standards and he always feels the need to steer Alice's life in the right direction. Joe is a free spirit, brought up under diffcult family circumstances and just wanting to escape this world of hurt and neglect to find his own way. And I just have to admit that I wanted for Joe and Alice to find happiness again in the end.
I really liked the life Alice built for herself, living in a house with her best friends and always having a good time without overdoing it. 
Her new friends, Jessie and Emily, and her best friend Lizzy from before college are a homogenous part of the story and not just a means to prolong the storyline, to add characters because you have to fill pages. I always wanted to know what happened in their lives, too and if they'd find happiness in the end.

My only concern was the Hollywood factor entering the story at some point. One of our characters becomes famous and the story didn't feel so everyday anymore. It blew up the story to something bigger than it should have been, but it only slightly lost some of its original allurement. 
The ending was a tad fast and I would have wished for a longer epilogue and for that I wouldn't mind a sequel. But I already saw there is a short story following ONE PERFECT SUMMER named ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS. 


1) of a fun college experience
2) of two equally loving and caring boys
3) of a perfect vacation
4) it promises heart-break but also to chance to mend the brokes pieces back together in an even stronger and more beautiful constellation
5) of an adventurous punting job

4,5/5 ****/* ONE PERFECT SUMMER - A splendid summer read and not just a fling! 

ONE PERFECT SUMMER was indeed one nerarly perfect read. This was the first book by Paige Toon that I read and I can't wait to read all her other books in my next vacation. Set in London, Cambridge and Dorset the story fits exactly into that light summer read category, that uplifts your reading spirits and takes you to far away newfound places.

* Paige Toon's next book, THE LONGEST HOLIDAY, was released April 25th 2013.

* For an excerpt of ONE PERFECT SUMMER, click here

* ONE PERFECT SUMMER research photos.

* For further information about the author visit

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy for review!


  1. This sounds like a definite feel-good book. The Hollywood factor would probably bother me too (sometimes the simpler stories are easier to appreciate), but I think I'd like the rest well enough. I'm glad you had fun with this. Awesome review! :)

  2. I don't read much chick lit but I really like the sound of this one (even if the Hollywood factor comes in later) because the characters are college-aged and the fact that the secondary characters seem to be well-developed. It sounds like a fun story overall. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I had Lucy in The Sky for a few months but then I gave it to my friend. A long time ago I also liked chick-lit but I can't enjoy it now. I have no idea why but some things annoy me. Great review. i'm so happy you enjoyed this one :)

  4. This one sounds like a pretty perfect summer read. I like the sound of the romance, although the Hollywood factor would probably be a distraction for me too.

    Still, I'm going to add this one to my list!

  5. I haven't read much chick lit, but I feel like it's a genre I would really enjoy as something fun and different between all the dark and twisty YA books I typically read. This is a new-to-me author, so thank you for the recommendation!

  6. Aw, awesome review :D Sounds like a sweet book. I'm glad you loved it ;) Thank you for sharing. <3
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  7. This one is new to me. Probably because I've never been into chi-lit before, unlike you! But I will say I've dabbled a few times and enjoyed it a lot, so I don't know why I don't read it more. Because I love the sound of this feel-good romance! Perfect summer read, indeed!