The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson | Audiobook Review

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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Peek Inside The Summer Prince:

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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.
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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