Release Date: March 14th, 2022
CW/TW: character with anorexia, mentions of divorce
Under false pretences and a fake name, she meets Danny Pearce, an obnoxious musician on the opposite end of the millennial spectrum. Danny is cocky, rude, and a contender for fuckboy of the year.
After a series of serendipitous encounters and a secret gig, Sophia unexpectedly falls for Danny. But when he is faced with his own demons, Sophia must reclaim her power and forgive the past, or risk losing the only thing that’s real.
There was so much about this book that I wanted to love, but it didn’t hit all the right notes for me. Even though it took me a while to figure out where the book was based, I liked that we stepped out of the traditional small American town location to focus on a city like Brighton (if I’m not wrong) in England. I loved the tropes and the whole concept of a party girl wanting to change her life, grow up and be more than what she’s been so far. And of course, I’m a sucker for an age gap romance on any day, but I feel like we didn’t get enough of Danny to fully enjoy that.
Told entirely through Sophia DeLuca’s perspective, Hot Girl Summer is Sonia Palermo’s debut. It had all the bones for a great story, but I didn’t connect with the characters or their relationship and that made it hard, at times, to fully enjoy the story. I also felt like there were a lot of secondary characters and in certain situations, I got lost trying to remember where they all fit.
As a lead, Sophia made it really hard for me to like her or go on her redemption journey with her. She made a lot of not so great choices and even though she wanted to do better, she kept falling down a familiar path. I did appreciate Sophia’s relationship and love for her sister, Kiki, which might have been one of the most powerful relationships in the book.
My biggest issue with Sophia and Danny’s relationship is that they’re barely together for most of the book. Sophia’s got her booty calls and she continues to live her life even when she’s thinking about Danny all the time. But neither of them take their relationship to the next level till much later. Much like Sophia, Danny’s choices and moves were a little strange. While I didn’t care much for their romantic relationship, their physical one was definitely hot enough to keep me going for a bit.
So while this book is a romance, I think it’s definitely more Sophia’s story about overcoming all of her past choices, about cutting out people in her life that are toxic and being there for those that matter.
Thanks to Sonia Palermo and NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.