The Summer Prince - YA Review by Sophie D

Reader: Sophie D
Age: 17
Title: The Summer Prince
Author: Alaya Dawn Johnson
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Pub Date: 03/01/13
Galley: No
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This was a really fresh, original book. I really loved the setting. Palmares Tres was very futuristic, and very atmospheric, but the author spent a lot of effort making it into a real city. The characters all had strong connections to the city, amd it was a really nice element that the city actually "talked". I also really liked the characters, they all seemed very real and faced personal challenges as well as the bigger, political challenges. The technology was also a great touch. It seemed like a very realistic future-one where people no longer need a body, as their minds can be plugged into the internet. It is a scary thought, but a good way to reflect on our technology dependencies today.
Memorable or Forgettable: Again, this city was a great idea. A giant, pyramid shaped city in the middle of the jungle, ruled by a corrupt circle of Aunties? Such a great setting. This book was pretty fast paced in places, and when I finished, I found myslef wanting to read it again, to go back and pick out all the things I missed. This is usually a good sign for me, that the book was complex and well written.
Cover: I love the cover. It did reflect the contents, as it showed the glowing tree underneath June's skin. I also love the suggestion of the glowing algae in the background. It is a lovely, mysterious, and futuristic looking cover, so an overall win.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: June Costa's art always comes first. It is her art that allows her to communicate her feelings that would otherwise be taboo in Palmares Tres, her beautiful Brazilian city. But when Enki, the Summer Prince, comes into her life, everything changes. She must risk her social standing, family connections, and even her life as she gets caught up in the violent whilrwind surrounding the beautiful Summer King.

tags: science fiction / dystopian / post-apocalyptic / BFYA nominee / ya lit

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