Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review of 'Seasons in the Sun' by Kristen Strassel


Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha's Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie's sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn't show anyone else. She's determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she's the one who's wrong about him. He's beyond her help. But it's too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

Read the first chapter:
CH 1
My bike skidded into the alley beside the café. I knew I was late. I leaned it up against the building, pulled my damp braid away from my neck, and fanned out my shirt.
“Where have you been, Callie? Your shift starts at nine. No excuses. I’m not going to treat you differently than anyone else on the staff. It sets a bad example.” My mom was rolling out dough on the table. There was flour on her apron and in her hair. It had obviously been a busy morning. She barely looked up from her work as she acknowledged me.
I looked at the clock on the wall. 9:15. “Sorry.” I mumbled as I grabbed my apron. “Where do you want me today?”
Mom sighed, pausing for a minute to think strategy. “Barista station.”
Not so bad. I figured she’d give me something I hated to punish me for being late. My mom ran a tight ship. The Magnolia Café was her dream in action and she wasn’t about to let anyone, including me, screw it up. But I loved making the coffee. It was what we were known for. I liked helping the island wake up. The regular faces became more recognizable each day.
This was my first summer as an official employee. I’d worked behind the scenes for years. I was thrilled to be old enough to be a real part of the team. Even if it I was working for my mom, I wanted to make a good impression.
“Guess what? I met the twins.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Caroline’s niece and nephew. Taryn and Tristan.” We rented the guest house on Caroline’s sprawling property. I’d been hearing stories about Caroline’s family my whole life. Her sister was a model, married to a movie star. Did it get any more glamorous than that?
“Oh.” Recall was written all over her face. My mother found Caroline’s family less impressive than I did. We didn’t even have a TV in the house, that’s how much she cared about Hollywood. “Were their parents there as well?”
“I don’t know. I just saw the twins.”
“Did Caroline say anything about the party?”
“What party?” I had no idea what my mother was talking about.
“Never mind. She wouldn’t say anything to you, anyway.” I felt like a little kid for the second time this morning.
I headed out front to relieve Olga, the early morning barista. Keisha, my cousin, was tidying up behind the counter and restocking the muffins and bagels. She came every summer from Jamaica to work with us at the Magnolia.
“What’s going on, girl? You’re late.” She hip checked me playfully as I walked passed her to the coffee station.
“So I hear. Good morning to you, too.”
“Ha! You were fired, you know.”
“Yeah I’m sure.” Where else was my mother going to find such willing, well trained, underpaid labor?
“You missed the hot Australian dude. That man can eat his croissant in my bed any day….”
I giggled and swatted at Keisha. “Oh! That reminds me. I met the twins.”
“What twins?”
Apparently I was the only person who was excited about this. I was starting to feel a little foolish telling everyone so enthusiastically about my meeting. “Caroline’s niece and nephew. Tristan and Taryn. From California.”
Oooooh, the movie star kids.” Now I had Keisha’s attention.
“Tell me all about them.”
“I don’t know, it was quick. We didn’t say much. But Tristan is really good looking.”
“Oh yeah? How old are they?”
“Gosh, I don’t know…Caroline said they weren’t much older than me, but they looked like they were about twenty five.”
“All those famous people have botox and nose jobs and boob jobs…did the girl have a boob job?”
“I didn’t know I was supposed to check out her chest for you.”
“God, I’d love a boob job. Instead I got a big ass. So how good looking are you talking?”
I blushed a little bit as I started making a nonfat caramel latte for Janis, one of the regulars. “Really good looking. Like I didn’t know it was possible to be that good looking.”
I could still feel where Tristan squeezed my hand while he looked me right in the eyes, making my knees knock. I could still smell the spiciness of his cologne.
“He must be gay then.” I was a little mortified by that. I shot a quick look at Janis, who wassmirking at our conversation. I added her extra whipped cream before she even asked.
“Anyone from California who’s that good looking has got to be gay, girl. Get used to it.”
“How many people have you met from California?”
“None. But I know. I read Perez Hilton.”
Who? “Is he on NPR? Because that’s all I ever get to listen to and you know it.” My mom ran a tight ship at home too. We didn’t have cable and I got homeschooled. My pop culture knowledge was embarrassingly nonexistent.
“Oh yeah, I forgot I was back in the stone ages for a minute.” Keisha rolled her eyes. “I’m just saying, that’s how it is.”
It was just easier to agree with her. “Whatever. He didn’t seem gay. Not like I’d know if he was anyway. But I don’t think so.”
“I guess between the two of us, we’ll find out, right?”

**My thoughts**

Callie is extremely sheltered by her parents. She isn't allowed to do much, other than to help out her mother's cafe and to hang out with her older cousin Keisha. So, when Tristan and his twin sister come to the island and he shows a lot of interest in her, of course she is flattered. He encourages her to be true to herself. He also has a bit of a bad influence on her from time to time. Despite all of that, he is finally relaxed and lets his guard down with her, being his true self. Unfortunately, he has a lot of problems, so most people haven't seen that side of him and have given up on him. Callie doesn't want to, though.

She is a mere fourteen years old, but as I was reading, I kept picturing Callie as someone more like sixteen years of age. I also didn't quite picture her as the cover shows. To me, that looks more like how I pictured Tristan's twin.

I could appreciate her struggle between being good as expected by her parents, and trying to show the world that this troubled young man was actually still worthy. I could understand her attraction to him. I cringed at her naivety and sheltered state, but also found her to be somewhat mature for her years.

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick one, which was perfect for a freezing cold day wrapped up in blankets. The ending, though, threw me for quite a loop, as I never would have seen that coming. I had a feeling something would happen to cause this book to lead into a sequel, but not that incident. It was way out of left field. Nevertheless, I am curious about the continuation of the story and will watch for the sequel.

Buy links


Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross. She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are. She's worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world's worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and author. Kristen is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.


Twitter @kristenstrassel Goodreads 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment