'Just for the Summer' by Abby Jimenez is our 'GMA' Book Club pick for April

Jimenez's new novel is about friendship and difficult family dynamics.

April 2, 2024, 8:23 AM

"Just for the Summer" by New York Times bestselling author Abby Jimenez is our "GMA" Book Club pick for April.

In addition to being the winner of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" in 2013, Jimenez is also a recipient of a 2022 Minnesota Book Award for her novel "Life's Too Short."

Jimenez's new novel chronicles the story of a character named Justin, whose life seems to be cursed when it comes to romance. Thanks to a Reddit thread, his story has even gained online notoriety.

Every woman Justin dates goes on to find their soulmate the second they break up. So when a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a solution: They'll date each other and then break up.

"Their curses will cancel each other's out, and they'll both go on to find the love of their lives. It's a bonkers idea… and it just might work," a synopsis reads.

"Emma hadn't planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka," the synopsis continues.

"It's supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma's toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they're suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected -- including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?"

‘Just for the Summer’ by Abby Jimenez is our Book Club pick for April.
ABC News Photo Illustration, AbbyJimenez/RyanLaPlante/YOURSTRULY

Set on a lakeside, this novel is filled with swoon-worthy romantic moments.

Read an excerpt below and get a copy of the book here.


Just for the Summer

  • $23.59

    Read along with us and join the conversation all month on our Instagram account, @GMABookClub, and with #GMABookClub.


    I dialed, and he picked up on the first ring. "Emma."

    Justin's deep voice gave me a little flutter in my stomach for some reason.

    "I don't believe in this whole magical good luck charm thing," I said without preamble.

    "Neither do I."

    "I'm not superstitious."

    I heard him suck air through his teeth. "I'm a little stitious."

    I let a laugh out through my nose. "It's just a coincidence," I said. "You realize that, right?"

    "I agree." He paused. "But--"

    "But? But what?"

    "But what if it isn't? I'm just playing devil's advocate here. What if it isn't? Brad said that everyone I'm serious enough to date more than twice is cosmically destined for someone else." He went quiet for a beat. "Does nobody feel right to you? Like, there's just enough there to give it a little go, but then the bottom falls out? Is that just me? Or is it like that for you also?"

    I shrugged. "Yeah, it's like that for me too. But I just don't think I'm meeting the right people."

    "Yeah, but maybe this is why," he said. "It's exhausting, starting over all the time, again and again. Like there's no point. Like I'm trapped in some loop, partnered over and over with people I'm just supposed to redistribute down the line to someone else. I'm starting to wonder why I even bother. You know what Brad said that made me think? That when he saw Faith for the first time, it was like he got hit by a truck. It was that big." He paused. "I haven't had that moment. With anyone. I'm twenty-nine. I should have had that with someone by now, right?"

    "I'm twenty-eight and I've never had a truck moment either," I admitted.

    "Do you want that?"

    "Of course I want that. Who wouldn't want to get hit by a love truck?"

    "Look," he said. "I know the idea's a little out there. But if this is actually a thing, we're in a pretty low-risk/high-reward situation. We'd just have to hang out a few times and then stop. That's it. If what Brad said is true and we can't find our person because everyone we're interested in is meant for someone else, I would actually really like it if it stopped."

    I bobbed my head. "Okay, I'll bite. So we what?"

    I pictured a shrug. "I don't know. We go on some dates, split up after. See if we can't break the cycle. How many dates trigger the thing for you? It's three for me."

    "It's not dates for me. It's length of time."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I have to be seeing someone for at least a month for it to happen," I said.

    "Okay. And what does that look like? Do you have to see them every day?"

    I shook my head. "No. It's having contact every day. Texting or talking on the phone. And seeing each other at least once a week."

    He seemed to think about this.

    "So me going out there wouldn't work unless I stayed a month or I flew back and forth every week."

    "I think so."

    "That's not really doable for me. Hawaii's pretty far and I've got some family stuff going on. I can't take off for that long."

    "Well," I said. "I'll be back on the mainland in three and a half months."

    "Yeah. Maybe then?"

    "Sure. Sounds like fun."

    I couldn't be sure, but I thought there was disappointment in the silence.


    Excerpted from "Just for the Summer" by Abby Jimenez. Copyright © 2024 by Abby Jimenez. Reprinted with permission from Forever, part of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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