Review: The Summer I Learned to Fly
Book by: Dana Reinhardt
Review by: Willa Smith
Published: July 12th, 2011 (ARC)
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Drew has kind-of friends, a pet rat, a mother who owns a cheese shop, her dead father's Book of Lists, and a crush on the boy who operates the pasta machine at The Cheese Shop, but not a real friend. One night when she misplaces her Rat, Hum, and goes back to the shop after closing, she meets a boy named Emmett Crane in the alley behind the shop. As they become friends Drew learns things about Emmett that not many know, and she enters the first true friendship of her life - one that if an interesting and unique one. Both of them are looking for a miracle, but the question is: Will the miracle be each other?
The Summer I Learned to Fly is unique in so many ways. First of all, there is a rat! A rat! Hum is the true reason Drew and Emmett meet, and then the reason that they stay together, which is a something so simple, but so perfect. Drew's character is cautious, but other than that, she is pretty one-dimensional. Emmett is much more of developed character - he has depth, secrets, reasons, and courage. The beginning was a bit slow, simply because I'm wondering When will she meet Emmett? WHEN? and because of this, I felt very tempted to skip ahead. I didn't though - but almost.
Let's talk about the ending: I felt it was a bit rushed. I feel like the author had so many things she wanted out of the book, she made an epilogue of sorts (I didn't really need one, but okay) because she wanted us all to know what happens to her characters. Also, she just smashed a lot of good material that could have been some awesome scenes into just telling us what happens. Not crazy about that. The last page was great though, and had a fantastic very, very end. Overall, a 2.6 ish read. Great material, great preface, wish-washy end and beginning, and okay characters.