I live for the music
Synopsis: Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying. What to eat, where to go, who to love. But one thing she is sure of she wants to spend her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.
Then Lea dies in a car accident, and Rumi is sent to live with her aunt in Hawaii. Now, miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, feeling abandoned by her mother, and the aching absence of music.
With the help of the “boys next door” teenage surfer Kai, who doesn’t take anything too seriously, and old George Watanabe, who succumbed to grief years ago Rumi seeks her way back to music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish. With unflinching honesty, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about insurmountable grief, unconditional love, and how to forgive even when it feels impossible.
2018 was the year when Akemi Dawn Bowman broke my heart and pieced it back together again with her debut novel Starfish. Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity possible to share my love for Akemi and her powerfully captivating writing. Akemi has a way of writing which has a wonderfully rich depth to it which she skillfully balances with moments of lightness and joy. It’s the type of writing that reaches right down into my soul, opens up all of my emotions, then embraces me in a warm hug that lets me know that everything will be okay again.
When Akemi’s second novel, Summer Bird Blue, was coming up for its UK release I reached out to the publishers, Ink Road, to ask if there would be any chance of getting my hands on a review copy. I had been desperate to read Summer Bird Blue since it was first announced and watched in envy as my US book blogger friends got to read it ahead of us here in the UK. Thankfully, Ink Road was kind enough to not only send me a review copy but also invited me to be part of this fantastic blog tour.
Throughout the book there were countless moments where Rumi’s story evoked strong memories and associations with particular songs for me and I couldn’t resist playing those songs whilst I read. As music is such a huge part of Rumi’s life and has such an visceral presence within the story I decided to create a Summer Bird Blue playlist to share with you all for my blog tour stop. Whilst I know that Akemi didn’t have a specific playlist in mind when she wrote Summer Bird Blue, I hope that this playlist does Rumi’s story justice and captures part of the achingly complex emotional journey that we go on with her as she battles with anger, grief, love, forgiveness and hope. The playlist has been ordered to map this journey and the entire playlist can be listened to on Spotify.
About the Author
Akemi Dawn Bowman is the award-winning author of Starfish, Summer Bird Blue,Harley in the Sky (March 2020), The Infinity Courts series (Spring 2021), and Generation Misfits (Winter 2021). She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She currently lives in Scotland with her husband, two children, and their Pekingese mix.
A huge thank you to Ink Road for providing me with a review copy of Summer Bird Blue and for arranging this blog tour. Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour for reviews, excerpts and other fun content.