Katelyn’s Book Shelf: The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
I have a stack of books I have been reading this summer. A book I finsished reading today was the Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson, which I heard about here on Buzznet! The book is about a young artist named June, who lives in the Brazilian, high tech city of Palmares Tres. When June falls for the city’s new Summer Prince, Enki, the two stage exciting, dramatic, art projects that the city will never forget. When everything seems like it’s going to be perfect for June, it all must end since the Summer Prince, each year, is destined to die.
When I first read the book’s description, I was instantly excited to read the book because it sounded very interesting and exciting! The beautiful, shiny cover caught my attention immedietly. The beginning of the book was very interesting and explained the ritual of the Summer Prince. After you pass the beginning, the book starts to become some what boring and weird, leaving the reader to wonder where the story line is going. At first, the main character, June Costa, seems very whiney and is always trying to get attention ,but the more and more the story began to progress, the more I really started to become attached to June and the other characters. After you get through the boring and weird bits, towards the beginning and middle, the story really starts to pick up and get very interesting.
Alaya Dawn Johnson has a very different, unique writing style from any other author. She really did a great job of emphasizing the close relationships between June and Enki, as well as June and her best friend Gil. There were some very deep, poetic, writing that I really loved in the story. Throughout the book, you start to learn more about the city of Palmares Tres and the back story of the characters. As I said before, some fictional parts of the story were very weird, and at first I couldn’t grasp some of the concepts. There are so many fictional aspects about the city of Palmares Tres that you can’t fully understand. The reason is that there isn’t enough detail given to back up each aspect of the city so that the reader will fully understand what the characters are talking about. The lack of detail and explaining, at first, makes it hard to visualize Palmares Tres. The farther I got into the story, the more I started to understand aspects about the city.
If you buy this book, I would recommend you buy the hardcover. copy of the book, I was very pleased with the layout of it. The cover, as I mentioned before, is very beautiful and the spine of the book outlines the black letters in a beautiful gold text. This book didn’t include chapters, but instead, it divided large parts of the book by seasons. I enjoyed this because it gave me the freedom to stop wherever I needed.
I was very pleased with the books ending because even in tragedy, there was some what of a happy ending. I also thought she wrote an ending that was some what expected and that made it a lot more interesting and shocking. The amount of trust the characters showed in each other towards the end was very touching. The ending was pretty short, but much was explained and relationships were resolved. Alaya has already stated that the Summer Prince is a stand alone bookis which would be hard to make into sequel, even though it would be interesting to read.
Overall, I really did enjoy the Summer Prince. Even though I had a few critiques, I am going to give this book a 3 1/2 out of 5 star rating.
If you are a fan of different cultures, action, and futuristic cities, then I recommend that you read this book. Go pick up a copy and tell me your thoughts on it. For more of my opinions on books, check out my Good Reads profile here.
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