“and sometimes is all i need, and more than i deserved. so i read into every sign. because sometimes, yes this time, sometimes brought me you.”kasie west
Release Date: May 4th 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Page Count: 320
Source: I received an advance reader’s copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in collaboration with TBR and Beyond Tours. Thank you!
Summary: A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined…and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!
After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.
But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.
Lighthearted, swoony, and filled with relatable characters, Sunkissed is the perfect young adult contemporary romance for this summer. Dirty Dancing vibes are all over this book and I was absolutely here for it. I had so much fun living vicariously through Avery, our main character, as she spent her summer before senior year at a swanky resort cabin with her parents and little sister, far away from the Internet and any hope of phone service. The various activities Avery got to participate in within the pages really brought such a fun summer camp vibe to the story and really immersed me in the writing. It was so refreshing considering that resorts like this aren’t possible to attend right now.
I loved going on Avery’s journey of self-discovery with her after her father’s comment about her predictable, easygoing nature to another guest. Her realization of how her parents and therefore the world sees her is something I think a lot of us can relate to. I’ve certainly felt differently about myself compared to how others see me before! Her struggle to find something she’s truly passionate about rings true for a lot of us in this generation as well. And Avery’s growth throughout the story and the way she conquers her fear in so many ways brings a lot of inspiration to her character. I also loved her corny, dry jokes!
And then Brooks, our main love interest. I really felt for him and his family situation. Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of readers who will be able to relate to the poor cards he’s been dealt in life and the way he’s trying to find his way through. His charisma and determination was one of my favorite parts of the book and I loved the sweetness to the romance. Seeing the two of them together made my heart speed up more than once and I definitely had a giddy smile on my face multiple times while reading this.
The supporting characters also added so much fun to the book. Getting to see Avery’s little sister Lauren work on making a documentary of the band headlining the resort brought so many fun pop culture references and I loved the contrast between Lauren’s go-getter attitude and determination for her passions compared to Avery’s uncertainty. Their sister relationship is portrayed so accurately and it was really nice to see an actual functional family in young adult fiction. I also loved Maricela and Tia, two of the other camp workers who made friends with Avery. It was so nice to read about healthy friendships in a book instead of the typical cattiness between women you often see.
Although not the fastest paced book, Sunkissed definitely kept me interested while reading and gave me tons of warm fuzzies inside. And the ending made me long for an epilogue so badly that I’m still wondering what happened to the characters even now, days after finishing it. West is known as one of the best clean teen romance writers and this book continues her cornerstone of that market. I’m eager to read more of her books in the future!
My Book-Inspired Playlist:
Listen to the full playlist on Spotify here!
- Someday by The Strokes
- Sink or Swim (feat. Daysi) by Bloom Line, Daysi
- West Coast by Phillip Larue
- One That I Want by PUBLIC
- Cloud Boy by Sabby Sousa
- I Was an Island by Allison Weiss
- Trouble by Cage the Elephant
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers
- Could Have Been Me by The Struts
- Favorite Record by Fall Out Boy
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About the Author:
Kasie West is the author of many YA novels, including The Fill-in Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, Lucky in Love, and Listen to Your Heart. Her books have been named ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, JLG selections, and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. When she’s not writing, she’s binge-watching television, devouring books, or bury-ing her toes in the sand of the Central Coast. Kasie lives in Fresno, California, with her family.