Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.
Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.
I’m still crying as I write this. Summer Bird Blue is such a stunning well told story about grief. I cried almost the whole way through!
Rumi’s story is heart wrenching and so painful and utterly perfect. I love that not only is she so angry with pain, but also not actually a personable character in the first place. I loved her so much for that. Her compliment sandwiches were amazing.
And the ace rep. Oh the ace rep. I seriously wish there were more books like this out there and that this one had been published when I was 16. 💙💙 It’s just gorgeous, and well articulated for all that Rumi is confused.
I also love music, though sadly I’m not a musician, and I felt Rumi’s love for it throughout. I desperately want to hear her songs.
This has also done nothing for my rampaging desire to visit Hawaii. One day! It felt like it was a part of the story as much as the characters, which is always hard to do.
Mr Watanbe is so fantastic. I want to hug him. Ditto with Kai and his friends. They’re so great – accepting and helpful, even when they occasionally put their foot in it.
Go read this book. Bring tissues.
Buy Summer Bird Blue from Amazon UK.