Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: One Summer by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
First published in  1993 by Dell

High school teacher Rachel Grant believed in her student Johnny Harris's innocence even after he was convicted of murdering his girlfriend. Now, 10 years later, he's out on parole and Rachel has taken him under her wing, even finding a job for him. It isn't long before their relationship changes and Rachel and Johnny become much more intimate. But when another murder occurs and Johnny is the prime suspect, can Rachel prove his innocence before it's too late?

One Summer is a book that I was hoping would grow on me as I read it.  In the end, it ended up being a just OK read for me.  I was torn because there were a few things that I didn't like.  Rachel was Johnny's teacher 10 years before, so he was 17 to her 22.  It's not unusual for a student to have a crush on his teacher, so that didn't bother me, especially since nothing was ever acted upon when he was a minor.  What did bother me was the speed at which Rachel and Johnny fell in love after he got out of prison.  Talk about quick.  I'm still not exactly sure when it happened.  Maybe it was the great sex?  The other thing that bothered me was the constant reminder that Rachel was 5 years older.  Is there really a huge gap between 30 and 35?  It got a bit old.

The mystery of what happened to Johnny's girlfriend years before was kind of OK.  I felt like there was more emphasis on the way the townspeople treated Johnny upon his return than there was on the murder. I mean the reveal kind of came out of nowhere and was really strange.  There were no hints or clues really for the reader to even guess.

There are a few bright spots in the book.  I did like how Rachel stood up for Johnny with the townspeople and her mother.  I also ended up liking Johnny a lot.  His character was funny and came across as really intelligent. This isn't a bad read, it just was longer than it needed to be.  She has a lot of better stuff out there, so don't feel badly if you skip this one.

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