The Other Side of Summer

Emily Gale

The Other Side of Summer
Random House Australia
30 May 2016

The Other Side of Summer

Emily Gale

Summer is trying to recover from a tragedy, but it seems impossible when her family is falling apart around her. Having an extraordinary best friend like Mal helps a little, but Summer’s secret source of happiness is a link to the past: one very special guitar.

Now her dad’s plan to save them is turning Summer’s life upside down again. The next thing she knows, they’ve moved to the other side of the world.

In Australia, Summer makes an unlikely friend, who seems to be magically connected to her guitar. Is this for real? Has a mysterious boy been sent to help Summer? Or could it be the other way around?


Summer’s brother, Floyd, is killed in an accident. Unsure how to cope with the loss, Summer clings to his Ibanez Artwood guitar (Floyd was giving her lessons before he died) while her dad moves the family from London to Melbourne. Away from her best friend and her mum, who chooses to stay in England, and in a strange country with her older sister acting even stranger, Summer feels alone and angry. So when she finds some sheet music her brother had obviously intended for her, she decides to continue Floyd’s lessons without him. But she is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious boy. Each time she plays and the boy, Gabe, appears, they learn a little more about each other and Summer begins to suspect he is linked with her dead brother.

This is exactly the kind of book I would have loved to have read as a kid. I loved it as an adult, too, don’t get me wrong – I hugged the book when I was done! But my 12-year-old brain still believed in magic – or maybe it would be better to say my 12-year-old brain still hoped in magic. Had I read this as a 12-yearold, I would have insisted on taking up guitar lessons. I would have found a secluded spot by a creek, sat alone and practiced one of the songs from the book over and over and over, silently hoping and begging the universe with all my heart and soul to send me a mysterious boy. The book would have gone with me everywhere, becoming tattered and eventually falling apart, but I would not have told any of my friends to read it (sorry, Emily Gale!) because while Summer kept her mysterious Gabe a secret, The Other Side of Summer would have been my own exciting secret to carry inside.

Dani Solomon

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