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Reviewed by Susan van der Walt for Readers' Favorite
Two Weeks of Summer: A Lighthearted Coming-of-Age Novel by Katherine Tirado-Ryen introduces us to Kimberly Kincaid or Kim, as she prefers others to call her. She is Puerto Rican and an ordinary woman like any one of us. She grew up in the shadow of her beautiful, clever, and popular sister which caused her to be blind to her own inherent beauty and skills. After their mother's death, Kim and her sister Dena became estranged. Thus, it was with great reluctance that Kim agreed to babysit her six-year-old niece Summer for two weeks. Summer's arrival upset the dynamic between Kim and her boyfriend and opened Kim's eyes to the actual state of their relationship.
Many women will relate to Kim Kincaid. We each have stories about cruel treatment by the popular girls in school or growing up in the shadow of a more talented sibling. But even worse is that intense feeling of being alone - to have no one you can count on. Two Weeks of Summer explores various issues, such as discrimination, grief, and the complexity of relationships. I loved the way that Katherine Tirado-Ryen highlights the difference Summer's unconditional love made in Kim's life and how it started her on a journey of self-discovery and growth. The reader will see how courage and honesty can lead to restoring relationships and that dealing with challenges is easier when you have a good support structure. This book is an excellent read for young women and will give them a fresh perspective on pursuing popularity in schools.