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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book Review: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Title: Shadowed Summer

Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publication Date: February 2009
Genre: YA
Pages: 183
Series: no
Book Acquisition: 1 ARC Tours

Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

Ghost stories really appeal to me and Shadowed Summer is a good one. It's a pretty simple story about Iris and the mystery she uncovers one summer. Iris is a 14 year old growing up in a small town. It's summer and her and her best friend Collette don't have a whole lot to do. That is until Elijah decides to start haunting. I really liked Iris but I couldn't really warm up to Collette. I guess some could argue that she was a typical 14 year old full of sass but I just thought she was mean.   

While reading the book, some of the things that Elijah did made no sense to me - until I got to the end and then all the pieces fell together. I really like books like that. You can tell it was planned out well and all the parts built upon themselves, giving us an all around good story.

I did have a small problem with the plot. I don't want to say too much but it involves Elijah. Like I said, by the end of the book I understood the 'why' behind his actions but I never really got a good handle on why he started haunting Iris in the first place.

Ok - I can't help it :)


Elijah asked his friends to cover up his actions. Now maybe what they did wasn't something he had in mind but still - they spared his mother the agony of knowing her son had taken his own life which is what he wanted SO! Why did Elijah want Iris to find is body so badly all those years later? If he was aware of what his disappearance did to his mother he would also have been aware of the fact that learning the truth wouldn't have helped. Maybe he couldn't be at rest until everyone knew what had happened to him? But you would think, if he took his own life, he didn't have any unfinished business and his spirit wouldn't have been hanging around at all.


So :) Expect for my spoiler rant above, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way it ended, I liked (most of) the characters and I liked the story itself.
I would recommend this book to any YA fans of ghost stories.

4/5 stars

*Shadowed Summer as been nomiated for a 2010 Edgar Award in the Young Adult category -- Congratulations Saundra!!

Linkage Love:
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Author's Website
Author's Blog

Other Reviews:
Page Turners 
Rhiannon Hart


  1. Great review :) I've never heard of this one.

  2. Great review! SOunds like a great read.

  3. Great review! I can see the reason for the spoiler rant. That's how I would see it too. :D

  4. I can't wait to read this book...I love a good ghost story!

  5. I love this book and I agree with your review you didn't understand all the hints of what was to come until after the big surprise twist.
    I also thought it was because of the twist involving Iris dad, taht Elijah started haunting Iris. When Iris found his resting spot it reminded him of why he felt he had to take his life in order to escape. (that didn't mae any sense did it?)
    Maybe it was also the fact his mum couldn't move on till she knew what happened to her son. Elijah did love her so maybe he couldn't leave whilst his mum was still holding onto him.

  6. I keep wanting to read it, but forget to grab it at the library... :)

  7. Great review! You've got me intrigued now. I do like a good ghost story.

    (I just discovered your blog via BookMooch - great stuff!)

  8. Sounds great! You have me hooked. :)

  9. Excellent review! (Though I skipped spoiler part) We really do need more ghost books in YA and I'm really looking forward to getting to read more of them, particularly this one. I'm glad you liked it. :D



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