Summer's Edge

Summer's Edge
Age Range
Release Date
May 31, 2022
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I Know What You Did Last Summer meets The Haunting of Hill House in this atmospheric, eerie teen thriller following an estranged group of friends being haunted by their friend who died last summer.

Emily Joiner was once part of an inseparable group—she was a sister, a best friend, a lover, and a rival. Summers without Emily were unthinkable. Until the fire burned the lake house to ashes with her inside.

A year later, it’s in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends decide to return. The house awaits them, meticulously rebuilt. Only, Chelsea is haunted by ghostly visions. Loner Ryan stirs up old hurts and forces golden boy Chase to play peacemaker. Which has perfect hostess Kennedy on edge as eerie events culminate in a stunning accusation: Emily’s death wasn’t an accident. And all the clues needed to find the person responsible are right here.

As old betrayals rise to the surface, Chelsea and her friends have one night to unravel a mystery spanning three summers before a killer among them exacts their revenge.

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haunting and chilling book with teeth
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SUMMER'S EDGE is a chilling and haunting YA thriller/horror read. The book begins with Chelsea's perspective in the present. She and her closest friends spend a weekend every summer at Kennedy's family lake house. This year is different because the year has changed them so much - ever since Emily died in a fire. The details are fuzzy for Chelsea and she has spent much of the year institutionalized, not fully remembering what happened to Emily.

When the invitation came to the summer house, Chelsea felt drawn to it. As she spends time with Chase, Ryan, Kennedy, and Mila, all those people who were there a year ago when the fire started, things begin to come back - but to fully understand, we'll need to travel back in time with Kennedy and Emily.

What I loved: Words cannot describe how chilling and creepy this book is - it is deliciously haunting. This is not a book to read around bedtime, as I myself learned. The pages turn quickly, and the horror builds fast. There are some supernatural horror elements that begin to escalate as Chelsea returns to the house and then reappear and expand in the past scenes. The writing builds it so well from a I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER feeling to something even darker and more mysterious. I absolutely did not see that ending coming - what an incredible twist!

Many of the characters were not particularly likable, and they were all rather troubled and flawed. Even Chelsea has her own edges and willful oblivion. The friend group has all sorts of drama in the past and continuing into the present as they debate about what really happened to Emily. Kennedy and Chelsea are ex-girlfriends (considering that Kennedy has not spoken to her in about a year), and Chelsea also had a thing with Ryan when she and Kennedy had broken up a couple years ago. Ryan is Emily's brother, and he also was interested in Mila before she started dating Chase, who also had an off-and-on-again thing with Emily. A tangled web they have woven, and they have filled it all with secrets and lies.

The drama and thriller elements capture the reader at the start, and the story soon transforms into horror that keeps the pages turning quickly. This was a dark and haunting read with a chilling twist that is hard to see coming. Themes around friendship/loyalty, complicated relationships, secrets/lies, betrayals, grief/loss, regret, mental illness, and revenge make this a really thought-provoking read. Smaller themes, such as the one around entitled "nice" guy attitudes were also really intriguing and added an edge to the relationships and interactions.

Final verdict: Chilling and riveting, SUMMER'S EDGE is a book with teeth. This is a YA thriller/horror read that will stick with the reader long after the last page is turned. Highly recommend for fans of UNNATURAL DEEDS, HORRID, THE PROJECT, and I AM MARGARET MOORE.
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