The prologue of the novel begins with the question "Is it possible to keep loving somebody when they kill somebody you love?”. An initial curiosity is swept over my mind when I read such a matter-of-fact statement; it grabs your mind and is the sentence that holds you down so that you continue on. Said by 13 (nearly 14) year old Iris who lives in the countryside with her semi-alcoholic father and older brother, Sam who becomes troubled after their mother leaves the family. One day a family of travellers move onto the paddock of their home, Iris becomes fascinated by the travellers, unlike her father who wants to get rid of them. She makes friends with Trick, a teenager of the traveller family. It is clear that Iris develops feelings for him over time like any young teenager would, while her father and brother keep warning her that she should stay away from them but continues to see Trick in secret. Events begin to unfold, revolving around her father, Sam and friends with a big collision; this tests the already struggling family.
The story-line is different to other young adult books I have read before, it is written beautifully. I feel that Flood really illustrates the mind of a young teenage girl, it reminds me a little of how I thought about things at that age, confused, slightly naive but understanding. It is not a simple tale of first love, it is far more complex like a lot of teenagers and their families. Over the Summer it shows the struggles, the reality of issues that people now face such as loyalty even if you do not agree with what those closest to you are saying. I particularly liked the detail of the dialogue between the characters and the description of the way the travellers speak, it added an extra layer to the characters. The way the reader is left to decide how they feel about Trick made you feel like you were Iris and you were following her on the journey and you felt what she was feeling. Although predictable due to the start of the novel it was enjoyable, if the prologue was taken out I think it might have been a more powerful story. If you like young adult books that make you feel something then I think this is for you.