Today I have for you an excerpt, a review and a giveaway to Phillip Overton’s contemporary YA novel, Last Wish of Summer. Ain’t it apt because I think summer has ended for those on the Northern Hemisphere. Anyway, sit tight and enjoy!
Title: Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton
Genre: contemporary YA
Date Published: January 18, 2012
As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.
Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed
up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?
Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot,
hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.
Johnno grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down. The letter caught in its neck. Then with a bit of prying using his car key, he was able to gently pull the letter from the bottle and let it fall onto the table. It lay there wrapped only with a small hair ribbon tied in the centre. Anton reached across to untie it as Johnno stood the now empty bottle back in the centre of the table.
“Well here goes.” Anton said as he uncurled the two pages and held them up for his friend to see.
The pages were cream in color, decorated with a border of flowers entwined along the edge of each page in black ink. At the top of the first page before the letter began, was a small turquoise colored love heart someone had painted, again in what appeared to be nail polish. It left a slightly oily stain around the edges which only added to the letter’s charm. Around them, the air filled with the scent of women’s perfume that wafted up from the page. With their curiosity now firmly aroused, Anton and Johnno huddled in closely and began to read.
To whoever finds this,
If I’ve washed up on your distant shore,
From a land far over the sea.
Please tread carefully on the morning sand,
And know you’ve set me free.
Wrapped in my mother’s ribbon,
This letter is but a token.
A plead to let her see the world,
From a young heart torn and broken.
A turquoise heart that was my Aunt,
Left footprints in the sand.
Her magic just a memory,
You now hold in your hand.
So I light a candle for my Dad,
But this gift I give to you.
He always told me to make a wish,
So today may all yours come true.
It’s time to live, to find true love.
Before the winter’s scorn.
Somewhere it’s always summer,
May my true love’s arms be warm.
P.S. Please return me to the sea at sunset.
This is not like your usual contemporary YA. It’s clean, no profanity or even sex scenes, and it is a Christian romance through and through. Well, it’s a pretty spiritual novel in my opinion as Tanya, the main character, is a Christian who prays. This novel tackles loss and faith and it is refreshing to read something like this, especially with the landscape full of hormonal, act-before-you-think teenagers. Okay, I’m not judging American culture but it’s just really different here in the Philippines. I think that’s why I related to Savannah in the show Hellcats because she’s a Christian and I am. I am not overly devoted and I don’t really like the Church or religion for that matter, but I do believe in God and I think that’s what’s important. And I’m getting preachy here so let’s get on with the review!
So the romance is kinda sappy but I like it. Maybe because I’m pretty saturated with all the jumping-on-your-bones love I’ve read lately so it’s kinda cute (even though it’s corny) right now. Any other day I might barf. Hahaha!
All of the characters here developed by the end of the novel and I am actually impressed by that. Usually, side characters just tend to be that, side characters, but here, everyone gets the resolution they need and grows up a bit. Like I said, how refreshing. I enjoyed reading this and I think it’s a quick read for a lazy afternoon by the sofa. So I suggest you try it out because I don’t think you’d get put off by the mini Christian themes here and there if you’re not a Christian. It’s still a feel-good book and that’s what’s important with this types, isn’t it?
Thank you to Reading Addiction Blog Tours and to Phillip Overton for the chance to be part of this book’s blog tour! :D
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
About Phillip Overton
Phillip Overton’s writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks, and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to spend a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.
Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.
Giveaway and Follow the Tour!
Click on the tour banner at the top of this post to see the tour schedule. Enjoy hopping!