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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.
I think that Ally Condie did a fantastic job with Summerlost! I think that she thrives in middle grade books. I thought that her Matched series was okay but this book really grabbed me. I was crying by the end which I didn't expect to happen. She captured the emotions of the story and the mindset of a preteen beautifully without sacrificing anything in the story. I don't read a lot of middle grade so I wasn't sure if I would like this because I thought that it might come off as too juvenile for me. I was wrong. I really felt for Cedar and what she was going through. She suffered such a devastating loss and didn't seem to know what to do with herself. She makes mistakes along the way but there was a beauty in those mistakes. I loved seeing the family dynamics play out and how the members of her family seem to do different things to cope with their loss. I liked the friendship between her and Leo and how they learn and grow together. Summerlost packs an emotional punch that you won't see coming so bring your tissues and enjoy immersing yourself in Shakespeare and summertime!