Twenty-six-year-old Kim Kinkaid is a mess. She works a dead-end office job with a co-worker who despises her. Her hunky boyfriend Jared is a slacker unwilling to commit to their relationship. Kim knows her life is far from ideal, yet she lacks the courage and conviction to do something about it. But now her beautiful and successful sister Dena needs a favor: She is planning a holiday with her gorgeous husband Jonathan, and needs someone to babysit her six-year-old daughter Summer for two weeks. Impulsively, Kim volunteers, even though she’s terrified of the responsibility. Will she rise to the occasion? Will Kim and Summer find common ground? Will spending two weeks with an adorable kid help change Kim’s life for the better?
TWO WEEKS OF SUMMER by Katherine Tirado-Ryen has many things going for it. It features a likable protagonist dealing with relatable problems—professional and personal. There’s plenty of humor, thanks to comically-shallow Jared and Kim’s sassy best friend Jillian. In addition, there’s drama: Kim and Dena lost both parents at a young age, and, while Kim can’t let go of her mother’s death, her sister barely talks about it. This trauma is the cause of Kim’s fears of abandonment and motherhood. Thanks to Summer, however, she learns she’s neither lonely nor helpless.
Characters sometimes sound a bit broad and over-the-top. However, since TWO WEEKS OF SUMMER is such a light and humorous read, that doesn’t come off as a significant flaw. But the dark and sad event late in the novel comes as quite a shock. Dramatically, it makes sense, demonstrating how much Kim changes and grows as a person throughout the story. Nevertheless, it feels abrupt and almost unnecessary. Fortunately, the story doesn’t despair for long, ending on an optimistic note. While Kim leaves the novel with some scars, she becomes a better, more self-assured person.
TWO WEEKS OF SUMMER by Katherine Tirado-Ryen is a rock-solid chick-lit novel—engaging, humorous, and touching. Like its protagonist, it may not be perfect, but it makes up for its flaws with plenty of heart.
~Danijel Štriga for IndieReader