The Best Summer of Our Lives by Rachel Hauck ~ Book Review

June 29, 2023

About the Book 

Book: The Best Summer of Our Lives
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Christian Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: June 27, 2023

Twenty years ago, the summer of '77 was supposed to be the best summer of Summer Wilde's life. She and her best friends, Spring, Autumn, and Snow--the Four Seasons--had big plans.

But those plans never had a chance. After a teenage prank gone awry, the Seasons found themselves on a bus to Tumbleweed, "Nowhere," Oklahoma, to spend eight weeks as camp counselors. All four of them arrived with hidden secrets and buried fears, and the events that unfolded in those two months forever altered their friendships, their lives, and their futures.

Now, thirtysomething, Summer is at a crossroads. When her latest girl band leaves her in a motel outside Tulsa, she is forced to face the shadows of her past. Returning to the place where everything changed, she soon learns Tumbleweed is more than a town she never wanted to see again. It's a place for healing, for reconciling the past with the present, and for finally listening to love's voice.

My Thoughts 

The Best Summer of Our Lives is quite different than the other books I have read by Rachel Hauck. Although this is also a dual timeline like the previous books I have read by her, this one is told in multiple point of views which at first turned me off because when authors do this sometimes it gets confusing but I will say that she did a great job at making it easy to read and not get lost. 

The story follows these four best friends (named after the seasons) as they are sent to a camp out of state to do some community service. While this was not their plan for their summer before entering college, they are still determined to have the best summer of their lives. I don't want to give too much away from the story but let's just say that their plans did not go as they expected and life completely changed for them that summer. 

I must admit at the beginning of the story I was unsure where Ms. Hauck was going with the story. The characters, especially Summer grated on my nerves. I just thought she was a bit selfish but as we see the progression of the story and her character I must say I was laughing, cheering and getting teary with these characters and the change they go through. This book definitely has tons of character development so know that starting the book. There are also a lot of jumps between the POV of the characters but the chapters are clearly labeled and you won't get confused. I didn't have any issue following the story.  The story also remains mainly in the past as you get to know these girls so at times it does feel like you are reading a young adult novel which again I didn't mind. 

Ms. Hauck did make me wait for that faith element and boy when it shows up it definitely shows up and left me in a state of thought. Here is what I left with after this book: There is a season for everything. Some seasons are easy and fun, some are raw and leave you wondering where did God go?, other seasons He is telling you exactly what to do and you choose to follow another path but throughout all of that HE is always there no matter what. He doesn't leave you despite of what your season looks like. He will be there when we finally decide to call on Him. 

 There was some romance but it was light which fit the storyline as this was more about the girls lives  and I just wanted to note that there are mentions and happenings of premarital sex but keep in mind that this happened before the characters were believers so don't let it deter you from reading the book. We are all sinners saved by grace. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend you grab it especially if you enjoy this author and enjoy reading "coming to faith" stories. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, and Career Achievement Award, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, was made into an original Hallmark movie.

The Wedding Dress has been optioned for film by Brain Power Studio

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and is a retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Ryan Day.

Visit her web site to find out more and click on the icons to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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