What the readers are saying.....
"It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this written from the male perspective and it was so refreshing......."
This book gave me 90’s/2000’s African American movie vibes. Think of The Brothers and The Best Man. I was originally hearing Donovan’s mother with a voice like Nene Leakes (too much Real Housewives but I can’t help it, I luv Nene and Greg) but when I mentioned this to Tracy, she told me she saw her more as a Loretta Divine which made me go, oh! That makes more sense! The relationship between Donovan and his friends, their band (even the band name!), the clubs, the jazz music etc., all of it made me think
of those good looking people in those types of movies and 90’s R&B videos which is always a win for me.
The description of the different places and venues also helped with the imagery. The book is set in Miami Dade and while I have never really spent any time there, I think I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like and what the nightlife is like thanks to this book and it sounds fun. I’d grab a drink and dance at the clubs mentioned which is really saying something because I hung up my dancing heels ages ago. I liked, the representation of different people and cultures. Tracey being of Jamaican descent had us represented
from the people to the food. Latino Americans were represented too as well as characters from all walks of life. #representationmatters.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book like this written from the male perspective and it was so refreshing that it was written in a way where I liked the main male character and I don’t have to apologise for it. Donovan is not a player, he’s not a misogynist, he’s not self absorbed etc. He’s a young, cool guy just trying to find a way to make positive moves in his life, challenge himself more and of course play music. Also another win, no ridiculous and overdone sex scenes!
I also really liked the development of the characters. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know how important this is to me, like, I take it personal. Most, if not all the characters are at an age and stage where they are trying to make moves with their lives (what kind of moves? Money moves. Solid Cardi B reference) and some have big decisions to make. When I finished the book I had so many questions about different characters and what’s going to happen to them next. That’s how you know
you have written characters that the reader has become invested in. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.
All in all, I enjoyed this book and I will be keeping my ears to the ground and my eyes to the ‘gram to see when this book will be published and when Movement 2 is ready.
International Book Blogger
"Jackson’s tale exhibits a level of gentle nuance that’s extremely engaging for readers."
Author Tracey Jackson’s 3rd foray into print is a refreshingly bright and insightful take on relationships, love, and pursuing your dreams for young black professionals of color. From Donovan’s quest to build his own dream, to the depiction of strong and positive images of young men and women of color, Jackson’s tale exhibits a level of gentle nuance that’s extremely engaging for readers. Her influences shine through in a product that’s definitely worth the read, and worth the wait for the 2nd movement in this new work of Afro American noir.
Sports Writer and Blogger
View From The Sidelines
Co-Founder The Black Techies
"She did a really good job of painting this world in my mind."
It's well-written. I feel like I can truly understand the settings, and feelings of each of the characters. She did a really good job of painting this world in my mind.
D. Rashad Watters
Founder/CEO Block Band Music & Publishing, LLC
Co-founder of "Color Commentary"
"...quick and easy read perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon."
The Summer of Chances is a quick and easy read perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Tracey Jackson’s debut novel tells the story of Donovan Jordan, a high school jazz band director trying to keep his program afloat while balancing a side gig as a band leader, and a rocky relationship with an upwardly mobile banker.
As an educator and music enthusiast I was able to identify with the character and found the book very enjoyable read. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Donovan and his coworkers, especially the sparks between Donovan and the chemistry teacher. The ending was definitely a teaser that left me wanting more! A perfect segue way for Movement 2!
"This is not a story of a young black man overcoming adversity and discrimination - it's a story about a group of young Black Americans living their best lives and finding their feet in career and relationship."
I was sent an ARC of this cosy ready by the lovely author all the way from Miami. I was interested in reading this novel because the protagonist Donovan Jordan, is an African American Jazz teacher. The novel itself would fall into the genre of 'romance'; far from my usual reading taste. However, Donovan's story is one which is not represented enough in mainstream contemporary fiction. This is not a story of a young black man overcoming adversity and discrimination - it's a story about a group of young black Americans living their best lives and finding their feet in career and relationship. As a teacher I related much more to Donovan and Kirah than I expected to. Jackson also writes about jazz in a way that almost brings the notes to life. A change of pace for me as a reader, but a very welcome change. Definitely the kind of book you can relax into.
International Book Blogger
"Well-written, and leaving you wanting more, I can’t wait for the 2nd movement!"
“The Summer of Chances” was such an enjoyable summer read! My sunny front porch and some sweet tea was all I needed to devour it in one afternoon! Donovan Jordan as the book’s main protagonist, read like that brother, cousin or homie we all know. From the realistic dialogue between he and his friends (every group has a sometime hater like Alvin lol), to his internal struggle with trying to balance both his career and relationship, I even saw myself in him! While he’s happy educating young minds, Donovan can’t quite shake his need to “level up” and do even more with his musical talent. Readers will definitely enjoy the “will they, or won’t they?” flirtation between he and one of his fellow teachers and musicians will appreciate how his love of music is evident throughout the book. Well-written, and leaving you wanting more, I can’t wait for the 2nd movement!
"I couldn’t seem to put the book down! A good read for sure!"
The Summer of Chances, was definitely relatable for me. Maybe it’s because I am a former high school business (an elective) teacher and native Miamian—making me quite familiar with the nuances of the education system, the club scene and our city! Donovan Jordan, a good guy, is just as smooth as the jazz music he plays. Different plots were dropped by the author, Tracey Jackson, to keep the reader engaged. I couldn’t seem to put the book down! A good read for sure! After reading The Summer of Chances, I now feel I will be listening to music differently whenever there is a live band playing!!!
"You have whetted my curiosity about your sequel"
It was rather entertaining!!! I vividly saw the characters come alive in my reading zone!!! I was disappointed that Noelle's character development left me hungry to be fed more about her after the insertion of Intermission 1. Also, in Intermission 2, I felt that the glass was half full about Gus' past and present. Most importantly, you have whetted my curiosity about your sequel in THE SUMMER OF CHANCES Movement Two!!! With bated reading breath, I am taking a Tracey Jackson intermission until your sequel is launched!!!
"Ultimately I didn’t not finish this read. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the future, but right now I just don’t feel the motivation to work through it."
When Tracey Jackson reached out to me about reading and reviewing her novel, I was excited by the synopsis and the opportunity to support the work of a fellow black woman. As I tried to read The Summer of Chances, I found myself struggling to feel the same excitement with the writing as I did with the initial synopsis. The writing felt forced as if the author was so focused on setting the scene that adjectives became a requirement instead of thoughtfully placed. As I was reading the first few pages, it felt more like a student trying to meet a word limit on a book report than an author trying to build the setting. I also struggling with the balance of internal monologue, dialogue, and setting description. In the bit that I did read, it felt like each was fighting to be the priority rather than the story itself. Ultimately I didn’t not finish this read. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the future, but right now I just don’t feel the motivation to work through it. I can see the framework of the story being interesting and for readers who read with a less critical eye, this would be a great summer read. It’s only 250 pages so its not intimidating in size and the story isn’t too niche so I can see it reaching a wide audience. Ultimately, I wish Tracey the best of luck as she continues this series.