May 5, 2013

Review of The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson



A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Três 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 Três 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.

add to goodreadsThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Publication Date:  March 1, 2013
Publisher:  Arthur A. Levine

Available for Purchase:

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
[embedplusvideo height=”267″ width=”425″ standard=”″ vars=”ytid=Te11UaHOHMQ&width=425&height=267&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4113″ /]

** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewI’ve been really interested in The Summer Prince by author Alaya Dawn Johnson ever since I first saw the gorgeous cover. After reading the description I needed to find out what the novel held in its contents. Honestly, The Summer Prince is a very original read and unlike anything else I’ve ever read before. Sci-fi, beautiful Brazil and a star-crossed romance that is doomed from the start? Count me in.

The Summer Prince is set in a futuristic Brazil, main character June Costa finds herself fighting to get the Queen’s Award and prove herself to be the Best Artist in Palmares Tres with the help of the newly made Summer King, Enki. Enki himself is an artist who uses himself as his art, something that gives June and him something to be able to relate to—besides June’s best friend Gil; a young man who has fallen in love with Enki.

Their year together leaves June and Enki growing closer together. While the two work together to find a way to create the perfect masterpiece that will win June the Queen’s Award they also begin to grow closer to each other. June, despite herself, falls in love with Enki. Enki who claims to love the whole world is also falling for June, but his illegal mods make it impossible for him to feel much of anything. The only problem with their newfound romance is that when Enki’s term as Summer King comes to an end he will be killed so that a new Summer King and a new Queen for Palmares Tres, can be elected.

Like I said before The Summer Prince is unlike anything you’ll ever read. The first thing that I absolutely need to mention is the setting. It’s beautiful to imagine. Johnson does an amazing job with her descriptors when it comes to Palmares Tres. It’s described as this beautiful futuristic paradise where people brought up in the better part of the city have great lives, whereas the people who live in the lower class area of the city just barely get by. People like the newly elected Summer King, Enki. If you’re looking for a story where your imagination gets to run wild, The Summer Prince is definitely the novel for you.

In The Summer Prince the characters were very interesting as well as the really cool culture, but at the end of the day I felt really distant from the entire cast of characters. Although it’s told in the first person, I found it very difficult to get in touch with the main character June. For a girl who is supposed to be a teenager she seemed way to mature and also a character that is hard to relate to. She had a lot of qualities that made her seem almost perfect except for a few things that stick out like a sore thumb. The same goes for most of the cast however I will say that Enki was my favorite character in the novel.

The Summer Prince is a novel that is packed with descriptions and details. This did clash with the pacing of the novel and getting in touch with characters. While the writing was artistic I would also find my mind wandering off onto the topic of something random and unrelated to the book. There is also the topic of confusion, there were so many things that could have been explained better and could have clarified things that were hard to understand to begin with. The big thing I wanted to know, but it never really got explained is this: Is everybody in Palmares Tres bisexual?

The Summer Prince was definitely a read that I had fun with. About a quarter of the way through I had a hunch about how the novel would end and was correct about it (yay!). Personally I think that what’s most fun about reading this novel is the imagination involved with causing the novel to play out like a movie in your head. Totally awesomesauce.

The Summer Prince is a novel that some people might want to be cautious about while reading, there is a lot of sex and sexual innuendos used in the novel. While it isn’t anything too graphic it is something that some readers may get offended by, I advise some discretion to any readers who take that type of stuff.

I’d recommend The Summer Prince to readers who are fans of romance, sci-fi and readers who are looking for a story that focuses on art and love.


About the Author:


Alaya Johnson graduated from Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures. She lives in New York City.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Box of Books Giveaway!


  1. JennRenee

    Great review. It sounds like a great one. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the review! =)

  3. I’m so sad I accidentally let this one expire from my netgalley >.< I started it .. and then got distracted by other shiny things.. sigh. I WILL be reading this one!

Leave a comment

Your comments make us smile!