Wednesday, July 20, 2016

40. Summerlost by Allie Condie

listened to unabridged cd in the car
2016 Dutton Books for Young Readers
272 pgs.
Middle Grades CRF
Finished 7/20/16
Goodreads rating: 3.86 - 3067 ratings
My rating: 4.5
Setting: contemporary middle class America

First line/s:  "Our new house had a blue door.  The rest of the house was painted white and shingled gray."

My comments:  I've read at least 50 books since I read this one, and I had forgotten to write a review when I finished it, but here's what I remember.  I remember a lot, which I usually don't after this much time has gone by (it's now April, '17).  I listened to this in the car riding around PA with Ella last summer.  She loved it.  I liked most of it.  I was disconcerted by the amount of things the kids actually got away with without letting their parents know.  Sneakiness bothers me, but what they did was for their own good reasons, it worked out, and was actually quite clever.  I liked the relationship between the two protagonists, and I ached for the family in this unending time of grief.  The interaction with the acting theater festival participants was out-of-the-ordinary for a children's book and quite well done, as was the somewhat-flimsy but perfect-for-kids mystery.

Goodreads synopsis:  It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 
          Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.

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