It was supposed to be the endless summer of sand, sea, and surf.

Supposed to be.

But Nick Andrews’ life is crashing out of control. His girlfriend and his best friend have declared war, his sister’s constant interference in his life is driving him insane, and there are money problems that won’t go away.

Being seventeen isn’t supposed to be this hard.

When cool surfer Marcus arrives in town, Nick sees that there are easier ways to live. But with his life falling to pieces around him, it’s hard to know who to trust.

As the scorching heat of summer grows, events begin to unravel, reaching a shattering conclusion—and a summer he’ll never forget.

This book…really impressed me. I don’t read much YA because often times, I find the characters shallow and story uninteresting, but this book was the complete opposite. Narrated by a strong male POV voice, Summer of Seventeen is refreshingly candid and every reader’s literary trip down memory lane. It’s a thought-provoking story with endearing main characters, an alluring setting, and the beautiful message that no matter what happens or how far one goes, hearts will always find their way home.****************************Seventeen is such a grand age: a year younger than full adult standards yet older and more mature than most adolescents. For Nick Andrews, being seventeen was supposed to be laidback and carefree. He was supposed to have the summer of a lifetime – hanging out with his girlfriend Anayansi Alfaro and his best friend Sean and enjoying his home life. Instead, he’s restricted from seeing Yansi and Sean, gets yelled at all the time by his older sister Julia, forced to find work and on top of that, his mother passes away from cancer. Life couldn’t get much worse for the seventeen year old kid. Through it all, his one constant and what grounds him is surfing. The beach and the ocean is his escape from reality and his passion.

Marcus is the new guy in town and ends up renting the extra room at Nick’s house. He’s a top-notch surfer and the person all guys want to be buddies with and all girls want to sleep with. His arrival ignites a restlessness in Nick and pitted against his sister’s role model guidance, Nick isn’t so sure who he is or what he wants in life.****************************To start with, I wasn’t really sure what the objective of this book was just from reading the blurb. I mean, was it romance, M/M, plain YA? I have to say, this book has a romance element but more than that, this is a life story. A story of how Nick, an unsettled young man who shoulders responsibilities most teenagers are lucky to not have, finds himself, finds closure, and finds a young but enduring love. Though a secondary element, the romance wasn’t overshadowed. I loved both Nick and Yansi’s characters and while both made some unwise choices that caused drama (they’re 17, they’re allowed to mess up), it never felt like contrived drama. Nick is outwardly prickly but has a heart of gold and despite her strict upbringing, Yansi was a staunch supporter of Nick’s through both the good and bad times. Together, they were a good match and complemented each other perfectly.

The only reason this book isn’t a 5 star winner for me is because of a certain event at the 36% mark. Instead of smoothing out this particular conflict quickly, I wished the author placed more focus on what happened to Nick. Instead, I felt like she glossed over what is a sensitive topic. This part really bothered me so no matter how much I enjoyed the book overall, I have to dock stars for this portion.Aside from that, this book was a YA gem. The writing was outstanding and I especially loved the setting of the story. I loved reading about Nick’s passion for surfing and those scenes were breathtaking. The emotional intensity slowly builds up and by the end of the book tears were falling down my face. This is one story that evoked a plethora of emotions. If you’re like me and don’t read much YA, don’t pass up this book because of that fact alone – this one’s really different.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.