Sweet with a Side of Heat

Every Summer After is the debut novel from Canadian book editor-turned-author Carley Fortune and I simply loved it.

This perfect-for-summer story centres around Sam and Percy (aka Persephone) who meet at the tender age of 13 when their families own cottages next to each other. Over the course of six summers, readers follow their ups, downs, emotions, sweet successes and mistakes as their relationship evolves from friends to ‘more-than-friends’. But something happened between Sam and Percy 12 years ago and through flashbacks and checking in on their current situations, readers are made privy to what happened to put a wedge between these two who once seemed fated for each other.

Much of the story takes place in the past but despite the story focusing on teenagers, I would not consider this a Teen read. I think it will give a strong sense of nostalgia for those of us who spent summers at cottages (or camps as we called them on Lake Nippissing) swimming, making friendship bracelets and hanging out at campfires. 

The story is well-written and filled with authentic dialogue, humour, saucy love scenes and is a realistic portrayal of the bliss and messiness of friendship and romantic love. I also appreciate how Fortune respectfully and genuinely explored issues of anxiety and the long-term effects of loss.

This character-driven story will run readers through the emotional gauntlet. You will laugh, cry and be shocked at some of Sam and Percy’s decisions, but you cannot help but root for this perfectly imperfect couple as they go from teenage friends to more-than-friends within a handful of summers in northeastern Ontario. Don’t miss this sweet with a side of heat story that is a must-read while you’re sunning yourself on the dock at your own cottage. 

Put your holds on this book today at WPL.ca.

Photograph of Carley Fortune by Kayla Rocca