Wednesday 26 September 2018

Audio: Summer Bird Blue - Akemi Dawn Bowman

Audio CD, 9 h
Published September 11th 2018 by Tantor Audio
YA fiction
For review

My Thoughts
Why do I keep listening to emotional YA books? I have no idea, and here I am again. Another powerful book.

Rumi was in a car crash and now her sister is dead and she can not deal. She is angry at the world, at her mother, at everyone. She is depressed and she keeps thinking that she should be dead instead of Lea who had it all figured out. Because Rumi does not have it all figured out. She does not know what she wants to do with her life, she does not know what her sexual orientation is. There are so many things she does not know and she believes she has failed when she does not know them. I mean poor kid! Everyone wants to have it all figured out, few do. And it pains to see how she struggles with her grief. She both wants to feel Lea near, and to forget for a while. And to finish one last song...

The book takes place in Hawaii as her mother was from there. It's a beautiful setting to a sad book. It works so well. There are also great side characters. Like her next door neighbor Kai, who doesn't have it figured out either, but who is always there with a smile. And grumpy elderly George who yells at her. They are people she need in different ways.

There was a lot of pidgeon English. Most spoke like that and in audio it works well. I felt like I was there with them.

There is sadness, that is obvious. She has a lot to grief to deal with, and at times I did not know how she ever would pull through and find good things in life again. But she will move on to the next stage of grief eventually.

A good book with an impact.

Narrator Em Eldridge
So I am not sure who great she was with the accents, but for me they sure worked! Her pidgin was good and I felt I was there with them all. From Kai, to Rumi to old George

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn't have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of-she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea. Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the boys next door-a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn't take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago-Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish. Aching, powerful, and unflinchingly honest, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about insurmountable grief, unconditional love, and how to forgive even when it feels impossible. 


  1. I wish I had it all figured out and I'm 41. I thought I did when I was 18, but I was wrong. Maybe I will one day. :-)

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

    1. Yes I sure haven't got it figured out. I feel like I want to start studying again

  2. That sounds sad. What a hard thing to have to go through.

  3. This one is completely new to me but it sounds like a really emotional read. Great review!

  4. I find emotional YA books are the best to do in audio! YA in general is great to listen to, the reader can usually add so much more to the story.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Yes! I do not think they would hit me as much in print

  5. An emotional YA - can't go past it. Sounds great.

  6. Not sure why... but you do seem to like them. I'm not into it, but glad you enjoyed!

  7. Oooo I can see this impacting me! So powerful sounding



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