Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2409
Follow The Heart
(Updated: April 24, 2016)
Overall rating
Writing Style
YA Contemporary, Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods, is a wonderfully fresh take on the tried and true plot line, girl who has been unlucky in love is suddenly the sun and moon to a very cool and unattainable guy, or in this case, guys. Brothers, in fact. By creating this painful and disastrous love triangle, Woods breathes life into this structure while leaving the protagonist, Wilamena Carlisle, floundering as she attempts to navigate the right course with her beloved astrological charts. The question remains though, will Wilamena continue to be bound to what the stars tell her or will she ever learn to follow her heart?

What is especially great about this novel is that I felt all the confusion and angst that Wilamena did as she experienced it. Woods sets up both of Wilamena’s love interests, Seth and Grant, with ideal qualities. Seth is a sweet, considerate boy, a fan of grand romantic gestures, and hopelessly in love with Wilamena. Grant, on the other hand, is incredibly down to earth, always happy to lend a hand, and fiercely protective of women. However, with that being said, Seth and Grant are not perfect and each have their own faults; though none of them are bad enough to make Wilamena’s choice any easier.

While this book may be specifically targeted to young girls who enjoy romantic stories, women of all ages will respond to this material. Firstly, it is a sweet reminder of what falling in love for the first time is like. The way Woods describes Wilamena’s internal thoughts in the moments of sheer thrill and panic as she is talking to her crushes is spot on. Not only that, but anyone at war with the head and heart over an important decision will understand Wilamena’s search for enlightenment through outside sources. Also, for someone unfamiliar with astrology, I learned quite a bit!

However, having finished the book, I still am craving to know more about the dynamic in Seth and Grant’s family. Have the two of them ever liked the same girl before? What specific conversations have Seth and Grant had with one another about Wilamena? How will it all work out once Wilamena has made her final decision? While Woods does touch lightly on some of these questions, it is not in depth enough to give the full picture, making it harder to accept without a slight suspension of disbelief. Had Woods perhaps developed the brothers’ relationship more, it would have strengthened the story on a whole.

Despite this, Summer of Supernovas is a great coming of age tale that deals with love and loss in a clever and humorous way as the lead character learns the answer to all her reservations is happiness.

Rating: Four out of Five.
Good Points
Fun, sweet, and cute plot with interesting characters!
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