The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days by Michelle Weber Hurwitz

2 stars

Reviewed by Karlyn

Going into the summer of her freshmen year of high school, Nina is struggling. Her parents are only focused on their law practice, her brother is distant and troublesome, and her best friend seems to have suddenly become a stranger. To remedy her sense of despair, Nina decides to put her time into doing one good thing for each day of summer. Although she sets out to better her community, Nina dramatically impacts herself along the way.

I felt that this book's weaknesses slightly outweighed its strengths. Although the main character, Nina, was going into her freshman year of high school, her point of view was like that of a child's. The narration often took a very childish and simplistic view on events in the story. This would have been a much more enjoyable read if Nina had taken a more mature thought process. Although this story has been classified as a good read for middle schoolers, the childish and simplistic characters and plot make me think otherwise. I think that a second grader would have no trouble comprehending and understanding the plot of this novel.

No characters in this story except Nina experienced any character development and remained static throughout the story. Despite these flaws, the story still carried a positive message through the sixty five good things: good can do wonders. This message came through, but it would have been clearer and more effective if the characters experienced more dynamic change through being a part of the sixty five good things.

The plot was not suspenseful at all. For large stretches of the book, I would become bored and lose the motivation to continue reading. This was a book that I had to force myself to finish. In the end, the conclusion was an extremely predictable happy ending with all of the loose ends neatly resolved in the most obvious way possible.

Overall, this book could have stood to have a more mature point of view, characters, and plot. This story could possibly be enjoyed by a kindergartener. This book deserves two stars.