The Summer of Letting Go By Gale Polisner
Published March 2014 By Algonquin Young Readers
"Just when everything seems to be going wrong, hope and love can appear in the most unexpected places."
Summer has begun, the beach beckons and Francesca Schnell is going nowhere. Four years ago, Francesca's little brother, Simon, drowned, and Francesca is the one who should have been watching. Now Francesca is about to turn sixteen, but guilt keeps her stuck in the past. Meanwhile, her best friend, Lisette, is moving on most recently with the boy Francesca wants but can't have. At loose ends, Francesca trails her father, who may be having an affair, to the local country club. There she meets four-year-old Frankie Sky, a little boy who bears an almost eerie resemblance to Simon, and Francesca begins to wonder if it's possible Frankie could be his reincarnation. Knowing Frankie leads Francesca to places she thought she'd never dare to go and it begins to seem possible to forgive herself, grow up, and even fall in love, whether or not she solves the riddle of Frankie Sky.
~ MY REVIEW ~
** Review copy received from the publisher [Algonquin Young Readers] in exchange for an honest review **
The Summer of Letting Go is the ultimate YA contemporary read. Full to the brim with hope and a story that will touch your heart. It brought tears to my eyes multiple times. A perfect journey of finding yourself amidst the confusion of adolescence and the daunting task of moving on from tragedy. I fell in love with Frankie Schnell, a girl who is haunted by the loss of her little brother. Frankie should be taking full advantage of the blooming summer, yet she remains somewhat in the shadows. Her family unit is strained and Frankie suspects her father might be less than loyal. To complicate life even more, she just happens to be in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Summer looks bleak until she meets and becomes the caretaker of a little boy, also named Frankie. Her relationship with him shows her just how wonderful the universe can be. Opening the doors for hope and love, and maybe even forgiveness. Man, I could honestly gush about these characters for good while. You are emersed in this story from chapter one, engulfed by how real it becomes. And the topic of reincarnation is such a unique addition. You [the reader] get to decide if you think Simon really is part of Frankie Sky, reaching out to his sister and helping her move on. I loved it. I always know a book is outstanding, when even after I close it, I feel like it's still open. Highly recommend The Summer of Letting Go. (To all fans of Sarah Dessen, you'll adore Gae Polisner)