Title: The Summer I Wasn't Me
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Lexi has a secret.
She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she's afraid that what's left of her family is going to fall apart for good.
Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there's nothing she wants more than to start over.
But sometimes love has its own path...
The Summer I Wasn’t Me was one of the best and most difficult to read books I’ve ever read.
Lexi likes girls.
The truth was, I had never felt sad about being gay. It was just another part of who I was, no different than my size-seven feet or 20/20 vision. The part I hated was the hiding; the pretending to be someone I wasn’t; the steady, tormenting harassment that came in the form of Bible scripture and church sermons; the constant fear that if people found out, they would hate me, ridicule me, possibly even hurt me. That stuff sucked.
When her mom finds out, Lexi is sent to New Horizons – a religious camp intended to “cure” her homosexuality.
Yes, it’s a loaded topic.
And it was, at times, unbearable to read.
At the camp, Lexi was forced to wear a uniform (white sweater with cap sleeves, pink tank top, pink skort with white pinstripes, and white heeled sandals) to ensure she always looked feminine. She was forced to wear a gold cross necklace at all times to prove she was following Jesus. She was forced to say that she liked girls because her parents didn’t raise her properly and she was made to role-play her final memory of her dead father – changing it to tell him she was forgetting the relationship they had (since it had “damaged” her). It was horrifying.
I wanted to stop reading so many times, because I so fundamentally and vehemently disagree with everything New Horizons stands for. I come from a community of people who believed as they did and mistreated people in many of the same ways. I left that community for a reason, and I didn’t want to relive it in the pages of this book.
But I found myself completely invested in Lexi’s journey. And in the journeys of her friends Matthew and Carolyn.
I won’t tell you what happens, because you need to discover it for yourself – but trust me when I say that this book is worth reading. Push through the hard parts and come out on the other side changed.
I wanted her to be okay. I wanted her to live. To be herself.
Need More Information?
- Book, Blog, Bake: The Summer I Wasn’t Me was such an impressive book. It was so hard to read about New Horizons, and to really read about the struggles of the characters, but it was so worth it. They all felt so real!
- Pinkindle: I loved The Summer I Wasn’t Me. It tackled a subject that I had never read about before, and starred a lesbian protagonist which I haven’t seen enough of in YA fiction. There’s also a really cute romance, and some sweet family revelations. I just really, really enjoyed it.
- The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhhhh: The book gets a B for not doing much to help the huge divide between the Christian community and the LGBT community, so I would warn readers to remember that not all Christians believe in ex-gay therapy.