Hey everyone! I’m here today to share a really awesome graphic novel called All Summer Long by Hope Larson. With only about a month left of summer, now is a good time to grab a copy of All Summer Long for your shelves!
All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.
Review: All Summer Long is a middle grade novel, but I think it would appeal to older readers too. It’s kind of interesting looking back on this time in one’s life when suddenly you aren’t a little kid anymore, but you’re not quite an adult either. This is usually people’s least favorite years because middle school can be so awkward, but don’t worry, All Summer Long takes place…well…in the summer. There is still a lot of character growth, but it takes place outside a school setting, which I enjoyed.
Bina’s best friend Austin is headed to soccer camp, and she’s not sure how she’s going to get through a month of summer without him. I felt bad for Bina because it was obvious she didn’t really have anyone else to hang out with – the graphic novel shows her lazing around and watching TV for days until her mom demands she find something else to do. This leads her to hanging out with Austin’s older sister, who I really liked – at first. She didn’t treat Bina like a little kid, but it soon becomes clear that she’s not exactly treating Bina all that well either.All Summer Long - a MG graphic novel perfect for all ages! #graphicnovel #bookbloggers Click To Tweet
By the time Austin comes back, Bina is back to being on her own, so she’s excited to see her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s still acting strange and doesn’t seem all that excited to hang out with her anymore. I started to wonder if the book was going to go in a certain direction – I won’t say anything due to spoilers- but it didn’t, and I was happy about that! Let’s just say it would have been a bit of a “bookish cliche.” I think Bina’s relationship with Austin really showed how things change as you get older, but that you can still make it work if you just talk to one other.
Finally, I’d like to note that Bina is a huge fan of music and I loved that aspect in the book. It’s a prevalent theme throughout, and Bina is even teaching herself to play guitar. As for the book’s illustrations, they were done really well. I love Larson’s drawing style. They aren’t full of color, but they aren’t just black and white either, so I think it worked well. It still makes you stop and focus on the artwork while you read, which is a good thing!