Denali Summer

Young Adult - Coming of Age
322 Pages
Reviewed on 10/15/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Denali Summer by Faydra Stratton is a YA coming-of-age story. Chris and Dawn have been a couple for three years, but when he pulls out a promise ring the day before she graduates from high school, Dawn doesn’t feel the happiness she should feel. However, she puts on a brave face because everyone expects them to get married and have a family. The one thing Dawn has never done is deviate from what’s expected of her. Everyone else seems to pick her life for her, but Dawn has had enough. She wants one last hurrah, so she sets off to the Denali National Park for a summer job in a hotel. Alaska gives Dawn plenty of food for thought – not to mention a sexy cook working at the hotel. When her family turns up with Chris in tow, they pressure her into returning home, but Alaska has taken more from Dawn than her summer – it’s taken her heart, and now she has a tough decision to make. Go back to what’s expected of her or head off on a new path?

What a wonderful story Denali Summer by Faydra Stratton is! It’s everything many of us have dreamed of, just upping and leaving for foreign climes, if only for a few months. The main characters in this book are amazing, real people with real lives and very real problems and decisions to make. The story is packed with action and emotional upheaval; believe me when I say you’ll feel every minute of it. It’s not a twisty story, it doesn’t need to be, but it does offer an insight into the trials and tribulations of growing up, of trying to decide what to do with life and which path to take – especially for those of us old enough to have forgotten our own younger days! This is a lovely story that will touch your heart, and it will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

Sandy Paternotte

Denali Summer is a great adventure of Alaska and a young woman’s heart. Denali Summer may be targeted for a young adult audience, but I am an older adult and thoroughly enjoyed this read. You are immersed in the world of Dawn, the main character, in a way where by the end of the story you are left wanting more… to follow Dawn into the next chapter of her life. So many moments throughout the book you feel you are right there in Alaska, sensing everything Dawn senses, feeling everything she is experiencing in her adventure and her courageous journey. This is a heartwarming story of growth and learning.