Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Summer I Learned to Fly

The Summer I Learned to Fly
by Dana Reinhardt

Drew's a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad's Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese from working at her mom's cheese shop, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It's the summer before eighth grade and Drew's days seem like business as usual, until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley named Emmett Crane. Who he is, why he's there, where the cut on his cheek came from, and his bottomless knowledge of rats are all mysteries Drew will untangle as they are drawn closer together, and Drew enters into the first true friendship, and adventure, of her life. (description from
This was a cute, easy read. I thought that Drew was very easy to relate to as a main character.  Though I couldn't quite pick out when the book was set, timewise, the themes of relating to your parents, trying to grow up, having your first crushes, and wanting independence transcend across the generations. 

I loved how devoted Drew was to her pet rat, Hum, though I could not imagine carrying a pet rat around with me everywhere.  I'm amazed that she never got caught with him somewhere he shouldn't be!  I thought it was really cute how she bonded with Emmett through his knowledge of pet rats. 

I thought that Drew's reactions to Emmett were very cute and felt true to life, though when she finds out more about him, I felt that some of her impulsive actions were a little unrealistic.  It was more that this book seemed to follow the sweet emotional side of Drew's relationships and her remembrances of growing up much more realistically than making sure that the actions of the book were thoroughly possible. 

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