The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Library, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson | Audiobook ReviewThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Narrator: Rebecca Mozo, Lincoln Hoppe
Length: 11 Hours 51 Minutes
Published by Scholastic Inc. on March 1st 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Social Themes, Adolescence, Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Library, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780545520775

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil. The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist. Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die. Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Why Did I Listen To The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson?

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson has a book cover that is STUNNING. I mean, it just about glows. So, of course that is a thing that truly does appeal to me. Also, I had added it to my TBR pile when We Need Diverse Books was becoming a thing and I was deciding that yes, I do need to read more diverse books. As you all know, adding something to your TBR does not guarantee you will read it. Alas, seeing The Summer Prince available on Hoopla in audiobook form and gazing at the cover made me think now is truly the time to begin Alaya Dawn Johnson’s book. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it as much as I had hoped.

What’s The Story Here?

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson is a young adult dystopia book set in future Brazil. I know, I know. Typically, these dystopia books seem to be set in the United States of America or a made up place. The Summer Prince is the first dystopian book I’ve read that has been set in South America. Anyways, The Summer Prince is about a girl named June who is really into art. However, the kind of art that she is into making is graffiti.

The graffiti is making a splash as well as a political statement. Yet, no one knows it is her creating the art. Meanwhile, a summer prince has been crowned. His name is Enki. Unfortunately, all the summer princes die to legitimize the rule of the woman in charge. That really sucks for June because Enki is artistic like her thus she finds herself totally falling for him.

How’s The World Building?

The world building within Alaya Dawn Johnson’s book is easily summed up with the word lush. The Summer Prince makes great use of the Brazil setting. I felt like I could easily imagine June’s world. However, even more important than the place setting was the social-political setting. So, in this world the women are in charge. Society is matriarchal as opposed to patriarchal. There’s a queen and all. There are also arguments regarding technology and if it should advance. In addition, people are allowed to commit suicide but they have to go through a waiting period first if one of their family members requests it. I thought that this book had such a creative and interesting world.

What Did I Think Of The Summer Prince Overall?

So, while I liked the various elements of The Summer Prince pertaining to world building and setting, I just couldn’t get into the characters or the plotline. My attention kept wandering. I do find myself questioning if I would have enjoyed this book more if I had physically read it instead of listened to it. However, on the other hand, I was very distracted by some personal life things while listening and that may have come into play with The Summer Prince.

How’s The Narration?

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson has dual narrators. The two narrators are Rebecca Mozo and Lincoln Hoppe. Lincoln Hoppe is not at all a new to me narrator — and I truly enjoy his narration. He does not get to narrate all that often with this book though. The majority of the time is spent listening to Rebecca Mozo. She has a bit of an accent which feels authentic to this story. Also! The end of the audiobook contains a song which brought me back to this Ecuadorian restaurant I went to in Hot Springs that had live music. The audiobook is 11 hours and 51 minutes long.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson has a book cover that is STUNNING. It just about glows. Find out why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover here.

Here is a graffiti gif which is quite appropriate considering how large a role that plays in this book.

Other reviews of The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson:

At Least I’m Well Read – “walks the line between literary lyricism and good old-fashioned science fiction storytelling

QueerYA – “This book is truly like no other

The Book Smugglers – “Unfortunately, the book is set in Brazil and so obviously written by someone who is not Brazilian

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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