NOW on AMAZON ”TJ’s Last Summer in Cape Cod"

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5star-flat-web.pngReview for: TJ’s Last Summer in Cape Cod   

Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer: Midwest Book Review.

Eighteen-year-old Taj James (aka TJ) is on the cusp of adulthood and his last summer in Cape Cod involves a romance with a younger girl and a changing relationship with the 55-year-old womanizing uncle who tried to make TJ his protégé. In much the manner of Evan Hunter's classic Last Summer, T.J.'s Last Summer in Cape Cod is a coming-of-age story about adolescent sexuality, but Whyte's focus on evolving and changing relationships is much more emotionally charged and detailed, making it a top recommendation for readers of adolescent experience.

 Many issues are explored in the best coming of age novels:  not just changing hormones and evolving sexuality but, more importantly, an understanding of and growing moral and ethical platform. Behind predictable beauty and appeal lie hearts and minds conflicted by desire, psychological challenges, and emotional puzzles. Behind every athletic boy and beautiful girl lie choices and questions and the hard edge of decisions that only go to show that in life, appearance is the tip of the iceberg.

 As T.J.'s Last Summer in Cape Cod unfolds its protagonists' interactions, growth, and secrets which can change perceptions of family and life itself, so readers are carried along for a closer inspection of what it means and feels like to teeter on the cusp of adulthood. From an uncle's life-changing decision to marriages on the edge of dissolution, the story throws in all the physical, emotional, and moral challenges that will bring TJ into the adult world.

 While mature teens are a predictable audience for this story, it's also strongly recommended for adults who want to look back on those years with more than a one-dimensional perspective, to understand more deeply the workings and perceptions of the young adult mind.

Review by Self-Publishing Review

A sexy summer saga of growing up and falling in love

The stumbling journey of young love is often the core subject of great stories, and this amusing and compelling novel by Garfield Whyte certainly falls in that category. It is the story of growing up, making mistakes, and defining your identity as a teenager faced with all the temptations and troubles of adulthood.

TJ initially seems like your average teenage boy – easily influenced by older male role models, hungry for knowledge and eager for experience with women. Uncle Peter, on the other hand, is a wild and passionate man who has embraced a hedonistic lifestyle, and hopes to shape TJ in much the same way. Their relationship is decidedly strange, ranging from TJ’s first sexual experience with Uncle Peter’s “girlfriend” to Peter’s flexible morality and mischief guiding TJ’s love life, but there is certainly a great deal of affection between the two.

Whyte does an excellent job expressing the deep bonds of their relationship, while simultaneously showing the strain on them as TJ wrestles with decisions on how to progress with Maggie and Sye. Expressing emotional uncertainty can be hard to show, rather than tell, but the author does an excellent job of creating a realistic personality for TJ. Balancing his admiration and hero-worship of his uncle with his own feelings and ethics regarding women and relationships, we see a legitimate struggle expressed on these pages – one that many other young (and old) men can likely relate to.

Transitional periods in life always make a great setting for a novel, and the summer after senior year, before “adult” life officially begins, was perfect for this story. The flashes of temper, immaturity, and unpredictability seemed penned by a teenager actually going through such a life-altering stage. The book was filled with believable prose and well-formed characters, but there was also a unique style to the writing, emphasized by the briefness of the chapters, that made it difficult not to read “just one more”.

The shifting of TJ’s loyalty from his parents to his uncle was uncomfortable at times, and any writer that can make a reader feel such visceral emotions is skilled, to say the least. The eroticism of the writing grew throughout the summer, and as with every discovery of sexuality, the depiction of TJ and Maggie/Sye was at times awkward, passionate, and touching all at once.

One complaint would concern the dialogue, which was at times heavy-handed and occasionally seemed unnatural, such as in the restaurant scene with the astronomical bill between TJ and Maggie. Some of the conversations between TJ and his uncle were also stilted and borderline inappropriate, which made it easy to fall out of the flow of the story.

This wasn’t enough to ruin the experience, by any means, but should be considered by the author in his future books. TJ’s Last Summer in Cape Cod took us through the minutiae of falling in love, which can be like seeing how your food gets made: It’s messy and uncomfortable to watch, at times, but the end result is rather remarkable.

Whyte has managed to wrap up all the insecurities, pitfalls, and crucial decisions of teenage life in the scintillating span of one summer, and by telling the story of a flawed “hero” with a great deal to learn, readers never know what’s coming next. The fickle nature of youth and love are on impressive display in Whyte’s latest novel, and his firm grasp on the intricacies of human relationships is undeniable.

Reviewed By Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite

In TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod: Don't Cry For Me Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte, TJ always spent the summer with his uncle since he was 15. He looked forward to spending time with Uncle Peter and all the adventures he got to experience. But now he was 18 and this summer was going to be different; he had a girlfriend whom he could not bear to leave behind. During those past summers, TJ had been the sole witness and confidant to Uncle Peter and his endless shenanigans with the different women in his life. As such, TJ felt Uncle Peter owed him and it was time to collect; it was time for Uncle Peter to return the favour and cover for TJ. To TJ's delight, Uncle Peter was more than eager to comply and he even came up with the perfect plan for the two of them to spend time together without TJ leaving his girlfriend's side. Follow the wicked adventures of this duo as TJ finds himself at a crossroads between being an honorable man or the ladies' man his uncle groomed him to be.

TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod: Don't Cry For Me Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte is a thrilling tale of YA romance and drama that will appeal to readers across different age ranges because of the unique plot and clever writing style that will draw in both young and mature readers. The book is a charming combination of romance, drama, passion, solid storyline and characters that are both relatable and memorable. I found all the characters to be fascinating, but most especially I was captivated by Maggie as she went through her different phases of innocence, confusion, distrust and love. She grew with the story and her growth was amazing to follow. Lovers of YA romance will find TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod a worthy read.

Reviewed By Eduardo Aduna for Readers’ Favorite

TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte is a nostalgic look at that grey area between youth and maturity. TJ shares a special bond with his Uncle Peter. In the last summer of his high school life, he is faced with various events that will test his relationships, his resolve and his character, and shape the man that he will eventually become.

It is not often that we see a book so accurately and poignantly describe the transition between youthful exuberance and adult resolve. TJ has it all, a promising future, a beautiful girlfriend and a loving family. Yet, influenced by his childish Uncle Peter, he risks everything time and time again to give in to momentary romances and passing fancies. One thing that Garfield Whyte accurately captures in this book is that most of adult life is all about putting out fires that one has started. Throughout the novel, both TJ and his uncle scramble to keep up with the consequences of their secrets and juggle their quests for excitement with the need to stabilize their relationships with the people around them. It's an exhilarating tightrope act that's often messy and occasionally brilliant.

There is no clear definition on when impudent, self-centered youth yields to maturity and both main characters are but pawns in the ever present struggle in everyone's life between immaturity and adulthood. Written in a descriptive style that evokes passion and emotion, Garfield Whyte has crafted a story that will make older readers wistfully look back on the chances they took and the mistakes they made during their younger days, and make younger readers yearn for a future filled with adventure and romance.

Reviewed By Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

In a great new book from author Garfield Whyte, TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod: Don't Cry For Me Cape Cod is a story that will leave readers wanting more. Follow the story of eighteen-year-old TJ (Taj James) as he makes a promise that his last summer on Cape Cod will certainly be a memorable one. TJ enlists the help of his Uncle Peter, a man with not a little experience with women, on his quest. TJ learns a lot from Uncle Peter and is ready to use it, but needs to decide whether he wants to move away from being his typical good boy self in order to do it. What will TJ decide? And what will the end of the summer bring? You'll have to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod. Author Garfield Whyte has done a great job in creating memorable characters that his readers will continue to think about long after the last words are read. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. His descriptions of Cape Cod are vivid, and readers will feel as if they have simply slipped through the pages into the sunny seaside setting. Any reader looking for a book that might be able to return them to their youth, even for a little while, should definitely read this. I am pleased to recommend TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod and look forward to reading more from author Garfield Whyte in the near future!

Book Viral Book Review

An insightful ode to the halcyon days of youth TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod by author and poet Garfield Whyte has plenty to recommend it. Cleverly capturing the intermittent highs and lows that often punctuate the path to our adult years, Whyte’s thoughtful approach gives TJ’s tale a prevailing sense of authenticity and he certainly knows how to spin a captivating narrative. Taking a pivotal period in TJ’s life he resists the temptation to overplay it, keeping it in perspective by channelling it through tight and realistic dialogue which captures the weight of more poignant moments and the lingering sentiments of youth. Nicely observed with touching anecdotes there’s a real rhythm to be found in the lilt of Whyte’s words which many readers will find compelling. Reminding us of those fleeting and unscripted moments that so often mark the transition from teenage years to adulthood.

 An entertaining read that's sure to raise a smile or two, TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod is certainly recommended.

Kirkus Reviews

Trust is broken and intrigues are explored in this coming-of-age novel about a young man.

Handsome and inquisitive, 18-year-old TJ has connected with Maggie, a young girl who lives nearby for the summer, and they’re in the process of developing a romantic relationship. But this girl is different. Naïve and sheltered, she interests TJ and pushes him to be more caring and concerned. However, the care and concern don’t last long… TJ discovers that the man he once looked up to has bendable morals and a propensity to act out of selfishness and temptation—TJ follows his uncle’s path, allowing himself to be seduced and rattled away from his original decision to be a good boyfriend, a stable friend, and an honest human…. TJ is a tall, lean, athletic boy with tan skin and striking good looks. Girlfriend Maggie describes herself as “plain Jane,” while the other girls who lure TJ are usually exotic and sexy… Maggie, who wants to go to dentistry school, eventually questions TJ’s sincerity, showing her development from naiveté to awareness while “trying to reconcile the TJ she’d heard about from the other girls at school and the TJ she’d been dating this summer [who] was driving her crazy.” TJ, meanwhile, struggles with inner turmoil when he learns of secretive decisions made by his uncle—ones that could change TJ’s future. These moments of doubt and inner conflict help bring the characters to life while establishing genuine concern for their outcomes. Though the book features teenage characters, the detached third-person narrative voice feels strongly adult—“she held onto TJ’s erection as if she wanted to take it home with her as a souvenir”—and retrospective, like a grown-up looking back. Perhaps, then, adult readers interested in revisiting their teenage years will make an appropriate audience.

Strives for—and sometimes achieves—complexities that surpass superficial teenage drama.”            

Twin City Review

Garfield Whyte is a fantastic author that really set the stage for himself with this book. I have to wonder, because the story was written so well and seemed so realistic, how much of the author’s own experiences went into this book. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it was more than a little.

TJ is Taj James, the main character and soon-to-be proud college student who was lucky enough to be able to attend college on a basketball scholarship. Before he joins the ranks, however, he decides that before he shoulders the burden of adult responsibility he wants one last summer to live it up. To that end, he seeks out his Uncle, whom he knows to be able to help him find what he wants.

In the book description, it asks the question of whether TJ’s “last summer” was worth it, and states that it depends what side you are on. And that’s what I liked about this book the most. Depending on your perspective, the story changes. I always enjoy a book more when things aren’t so black and white. I like grey areas and being able to make up my own mind about things. Overall, this was a blast to read and I loved every chapter.

Ms Meesh on Amazon

TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte is a young coming of age tale of a young man discovering love, life, and the hope of what the future entails. Mr. Whyte takes his readers down a journey of memoirs recalled by a young teen named Taj James as he wants to make this one last summer in Cape Cod the best ever he had. And in this unforgettable summer, TJ spends his summer with his Uncle Peter and in such he learns a valuable lesson about the matters of the heart. Through the trials called life, TJ shares and learns of secrets of his Uncle Peter and in such TJ makes choices that will set forth his stance on what really matters in life. Through this detailed account, Mr. Whyte spins a coming of age tale of a young man on the cusp of adulthood learning valuable life lessons that will impact his future. This book really emphasizes the choices we make while incorporating a bit of sexuality, emotions, and family themes into the story line.