Cool for the Summer
by, Dahlia Adler
Review by Emelie
Rating: 4.5 stars
Trigger Warnings: biphobia, alcohol consumption (underage), parental divorce
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I was all for the bisexual representation it included! Going into this I wasn’t sure where the story would go, but I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this book! It’s definitely the perfect read for the summer and the beach (duh with a title like that).
Cool for the Summer follows Lara, who’s had a crush on Chase Harding; the star football player who’s tall, strong, sweet, and finally reciprocating her feelings. Everything seems to be going great until her summer fling, Jasmine turns up at her school for senior year and shakes things up. Lara must navigate her fling with Chase, and her changing relationship with Jasmine, as well as navigating her own identity/sexuality.
I’m really over the YA love triangle trope, but I can definitely appreciate it when the author writes a fleshed out love triangle where the main character clearly has feelings for both of the other people. Lara liked Chase and Jasmine for different reasons, both justified, and had a hard decision to make. The love triangle trope worked in this book because Lara not only had to choose between two people she clearly had feelings for, but also did some serious self-reflection on what she values in a partner, what she wants from a relationship, and figuring out her own sexuality. As a bi female teen, I related a lot to Lara and her struggle to put a label or name to who she was attracted to and made this book mean that much more to me.
Jasmine, the female love interest, was definitely my favorite character (besides our iconic mc). Her confidence and unabashed feelings for Lara was so fun to read. I also really loved all the friends that Lara made over the summer at the place she vacationed. They were all way better and more supportive than her home-town friends. Speaking of her hometown friends, I wasn’t expecting the aspect of female friendship to be highlighted in this book. Adler writes a convincing toxic high school friendship that I could’ve sworn I’ve witnessed in real life at school. The message of how important good friends are was such a delight and I loved that it was included.
Overall, I loved Cool for the Summer so much!! It’s a perfect read for the summer (duh), and a great book to pick up on a summer afternoon at the beach for some light reading!