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ARC Review: Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Release date:  2 April 2024

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis:  A sharp and scintillating summer novel that will make readers laugh out loud and cry happy tears from the New York Times bestselling author of Yours Truly.

Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it's now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They'll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn't planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It's supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma's toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they're suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected–including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?



What a nearly flawless execution of romantic comedy.  I immediately fell in love with the two main characters and laughed so much I thought I was at a comedy show.  The drama in this was terribly hard hitting for me—I’ve read one of Jimenez’s books (Yours Truly), and it had some heavy subplotting as well—Emma’s mother is nearly identical to mine, and it was really hard to read.  The romance and comedy really provided a lovely cushion of safety for me, and I enjoyed the book so much I stayed up WAAAAYY too late to function the next day.  I haven’t done that but for maybe 2 or 3 books this whole year.  Year.  Pick this up when it comes out (or sooner, if you can get a hold of an ARC).  You will not regret it.  

The basic premise of this book comes from a couple of folks who seem to be cursed when it comes to dating.  They date someone, break up with the person, and the person immediately goes on to marry the next person in the dating line.  For starters, it’s an awesome premise.  It's also executed masterfully.  I’ve never read more hilarious banter than what Jimenez writes.  Even in the fantasy novels I’ve read with some pretty awesome banter, none of them touch Abby’s.  So, right on the first page, we have hilarity.  If I laugh, I will not put a book down.

But Just for the Summer, as with the other Jimenez romcom I’ve read, also depicts issues behind the characters who fall in love that are incredibly complex and eerily insightful.  Justin and Emma both have issues with their moms, and Emma’s mom just completely floored me with how startlingly similar she acts and treated Emma in comparison with my own mother.  It really felt like a mirror for my own childhood.  I’ll admit, I experienced a bit of anxiety reading this one, and I’m usually pretty impervious to content in books (unless it’s horror—then I’m a ninny).  

Every character in this book was well-fleshed, multi-dimensional, utterly likeable (except for Emma’s mom; I’m with Maddy on that one), and wonderful to read.  The plot felt so well paced that when I finished the book, it was 1 in the morning, and I didn’t realize the time was so far gone.  It takes really great writing to coax such emotions from me when I read; I laughed so much and nearly cried more than once.  I can’t believe how much I loved this book despite it not being fantasy.  

I’m starting to learn about what I love in a good romcom, as it’s a genre I don’t read often (I’m reading more and more of it, though!)  Though Jimenez’s books are spicier than Katherine Center’s, they pack the same emotional punch for me and are quickly becoming go-to comfort reads.  No one needs a recommendation for either author anyway, though—they’re both incredibly popular authors and I’m pretty much preaching to the choir when I sing their praises.

My thanks to a good bookish friend for loaning me the ARC from Forever Publishing (Hachette), for which I willingly give my own, honest opinion.

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