The Winter Experience (Steph’s Review)

Title: The Winter Experience (Seasons Experience Collection #1)
Authors: Eli Summers
Publisher: Red Pen Cafe Press
Release Date: October 26, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult
Page Count: 88
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.30 stars out of 5

In this heartfelt romance, Mattie Hawkins, a coy, quiet fifteen-year-old, leaves his old homophobic classmates behind when he moves to the town of Saskatoon. Mattie is late for his first day at his intimidatingly large new school, but he isn’t the only one. When Mattie and seventeen-year-old Morgan Winters both reach for the door, their hands touch and electricity erupts through their bodies, and both boys know they have found the one. Mattie is coy, quiet, and easily flustered when he sets his eyes on the cool and collected Morgan. From his constant bedhead hair and carefree laugh to the way he always had a camera attached to his shoulders, Mattie was drawn to the crazy carefree charming and lovable mess that was Morgan Winters.

These two boys navigate friendship, acceptance, growth and love with their two best friends: Jenny, the lovable spitfire, and Julian, the teddy bear jock. Along the way, Mattie and Morgan discover a love so strong, so deeply intertwined in each other’s hearts that nothing can come between them, or can it? A faraway college looms over their heads and an unforeseeable circumstance threatens to break their seemingly impossible bond. Join these two on their journey to see if Mattie and Morgan’s love will prove strong enough to beat the odds or if the love they’re building will come crashing down around them. [Book #1 of the Seasons Experience Collection]

Warning: This is a very emotional read; NO HEA/HFN. Although the cliffhanger gives us hope.

Right from the beginning, I knew, I just knew. Unfortunately, that didn’t make it any better and I was a mess throughout the book. Oh, and what a book it is.

This is such a lovely story. It is about new beginnings, your first love, your first time and finding the one you’re meant for. We’re told this spectacularly beautiful story from Mattie’s POV as he reminiscing over some photos. I’m not going to lie, my heart aches for him and what he experiences and eventually loses.

After everything’s said and done, the only thing I wish was that there was a bit more balance/interaction between Morgan’s and Mattie’s families.

Also, why didn’t Mattie, therefore the reader, find out about Morgan’s heart condition until the end. Also, why wasn’t he on a transplant list?

I felt this was a very strong story up until the Epilogue, where IMO the author left out some vital information for the reader to piece together. Here is what I found:

  • What happened to Mrs. Winter’s baby? I ask this because the child was not mentioned in the Epilogue which fast forwards five years later.
  • Did Mattie ever attend a college, trade school or university?
  • Is he still in touch with his parents?
  • Where did Mattie get money to buy a house near the church?

In the end, we are left with a bit of hope for Mattie. And hope can be a very powerful thing.

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Galley copy of The Winter Experience (Seasons Experience Collection #1) provided by Red Pen Cafe Press in exchange of an honest review.


I love reading books about boys who love other boys <3. Sometimes there is a HEA or HFN, but sometimes it just is. Yes, I love all outcomes even it is not what I hoped for. We all need a good cry from time to time. As you can probably can tell, I love cliffhangers as well. Yeah, I am one of those people :) I read a variety of genres, whether it is dark/taboo, historical, shifters, GFY, SciFi, mysteries/thrillers; I love it all.

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