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Book Review: #Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana

A couple of weeks ago I did a blog post on "Disney Themed YA and Middle Grade Books" which you can find here and while doing so I actually came across many amazing sounding books that I'd never heard of before, some of which I didn't even have space to include in my post.

One of those books was Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana, and I literally squealed when I read the description. I mean a YA contemporary summer romance read about time travel that takes place in Disney World? Lol it literally felt like they were marketing this book especially for me, and I knew I had to get my hands on it.

Unfortunately, as you all know, I'm still on a book buying ban, and so thank goodness for our amazing local library.

I went ahead and requested this one from our library, and I literally inhaled it in a couple of sittings. I completely loved it, and since it was a book that I'd never personally heard of before, and I'm a huge Disney person, I wanted to review it today to give this hidden gem the proper attention it deserves.

Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: June 17th, 2014


Back To The Future meets Fast Times At Ridgemont High when Haley's summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.

Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley's stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney's Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she's never before experienced-time travel-and she ends up in River Country, the campground's long abandoned water park, during its heyday.

The year? 1982.

And there-with it's amusing fashion, "oldies" music, and primitive technology-she runs into familiar faces: teenage mom and dad before they'd even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she's met Jason, one of the park's summer residents and employees who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing.

Seizures aside, Haley's used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can't share?

Synopsis from goodreads**

My Review:

Summer of Yesterday was one of those books that you fall in love with right from the first page, and dread seeing it ever come to an end. I think that for any Disney fan who never had the pleasure of visiting either River Country or Discovery Island, there's something that intrigues us about them, and makes us wonder what we've missed. These were two places that Gaby Triana had the pleasure of visiting, and her love for both of these beloved retro Disney World attractions definitely shines through in the pages of this beautiful novel.

In a lot of ways Haley is a typical female teenage protagonist. She's bored at the prospect of a family vacation, she'd rather be at summer camp with her friends, and her biggest concern is getting her crush to notice her in time for a summer fling before the popular girl swoops in on and him, and leaves Haley in the dust. However, there's a lot more to her story than what's initially shown, and the reader soon realizes that Haley is having a hard time fitting in with her dad's new family, is tired of the constant bickering between her parents over her upbringing, and worst of all, she's experienced a seizure in the last few months that leaves her independence definitely in jeopardy.

Fort Wilderness was a place that was special to both of her parents, but Haley doesn't understand what it could possibly mean to her. Stuck in Disney World for a whole week with her dad who keeps her on a tight leash, her stepmom who can barely tolerate her, and her two pre school stepsiblings, Haley doesn't see how anything could possibly get any worse. Surprisingly, she meets some fellow teens at Fort Wilderness, who promise to show her a much better time than what she's currently experiencing. Unfortunately, a scavenger hunt takes a difficult turn for Haley when she attempts to sneak into the abandoned River Country water park, and ends up on the receiving end of another seizure. Soon after waking up, she realizes her life has definitely taken a turn for the bizarre when she wakes up in River Country during it's hey day in 1982!

Haley's risque fashion choices, lack of parental supervision, and knowledge of the future soon have her sticking out like a sore thumb, and thank goodness for Jason, the cute River Country cast member who's attempting to help her keep her cover. Unfortunately, Jason's older brother knows there's something up with her, and he's not willing to stop until he knows the truth. On top of that, Haley realizes two teenagers she meets at the water park are none other than her own parents, before they've even gotten together, and she's left worrying that she might end up doing something to sacrifice her own future.

Summer of Yesterday is a beautifully written contemporary romance that had me hooked from page to page. It was a dream come true getting to read a fictional novel set in Disney World, especially one set in Disney's yesteryear. I loved how Gaby Triana used the time travel setting to showcase the tough times Haley's going through, and her quest to find a place she belongs in her family. I also loved Haley's numerous realizations that things were simpler in the past, and everyone was happier back then. Her relationship with Jason never felt tiresome, or rushed, and instead it felt like the reader was watching a beautiful friendship develop into something more.

While the ending definitely had me tearing up, I'm so glad that the author chose to end it the way she did, as I felt it fit the story perfectly, and it didn't seem implausible or sickeningly sweet. 

All in all, I've definitely discovered a new favorite in this one, and I rated it five out of five stars. I will definitely be adding a copy of it to my personal collection ASAP, and I can't recommend this book enough. If you're big Disney fan, like myself, then you'll probably love the unique park facts throughout the novel, and the setting of Disney World before Epcot had even opened. And if you're a fan of YA contemporary novels, then I definitely recommend it for you as well, as the setting, romance, and story telling made this one a huge win in my eyes.

I thank you guys all so much for reading, and I'll see you in my next post.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


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