5-star review for Readers’ Favorite

Reviewed By Tracy Young for Readers’ Favorite

In Summer 20XX: Rewriting the Rules of Summer by M. Reali-Elliott, Melissa is a working mother. Her three boys all have different personalities and needs. Leaving behind the career she has spent a decade perfecting, she is looking forward to dedicating her summer to filling her boys’ lives with experiences and memories they will treasure forever. Of course, she still must work and must make these plans around her work schedule. Her husband is another factor to consider and his rigid plans for his summer with his sons often make it difficult for Melissa to make plans. Summer 20XX by M. Reali-Elliott is the tale of one summer and how the rules we live by can also be changed with experience. Set in Florida during a particularly wet summer, Melissa also must contend with a wedding to plan, how to fit 6 people into a New York hotel room, and a teenage step-daughter from hell! There may only be 81 days in her summer, but every single one has its own challenges. The highs and lows of her experiences will resonate with everybody who has had the pleasure of looking after children, both as a parent and a step-parent.

This is a perfect summer read that is beautifully written by M. Reali-Elliott and is brutally honest. The rules of summer are delightful and will strike a chord with everyone who loves summer days and the pleasures they bring. Summer 20XX is a snapshot into the modern lives of two people who have come together with all their ensuing baggage. Ex-partners and caring for children who are not biologically yours are not easy parts of anybody’s life; we are not all Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin after all! Work and life must somehow come together to create memories for the children while also teaching them how to cope with the times when things go wrong. Melissa is a prime example of a modern parent who can’t always get it right, but I loved her even more because of it.

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