Summer of Fear Paperback – 19 Apr 2011
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About the Author
Lois Duncan is an acclaimed suspense author for young adults. She has published nearly 50 books for children, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was adapted into a highly-successful horror film, and Who Killed My Daughter?, a non-fiction book about the harrowing experience of her daughter's murder.
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Top Customer Reviews
Warning - spoiler alert but I'm not sure I can review the book without it:
I re-read this book recently after a 20-year gap, and I was in many ways very impressed. Duncan vividly evokes what it is like to be 15/16, and Rachel's anguish as her happy family life is destroyed. Julia is a clever creation - you can see why the other characters are drawn to her, and yet she is - subtly - terrifying. And I liked the way in which Duncan had researched the witchcraft plot, making it rather convincing, and cleverly leaving the ambiguity at the end about whether Julia really was a witch or not. However, re-reading the book as an adult, there were a few corners where Duncan could have been tighter plot-wise. For example, there's no hint of a family estrangement between the Bryants and the Grants - but in that case, why didn't the Bryants ever see photographs of Julia?Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Rachel is the number one priority of her family until her cousin Julia (parents recently deceased) moves in. The two bond as sisters at first, but when Julia begins to receive all the attention, Rachel's jealousy kicks into high gear. The spin here is when "accidents" and deaths become common place. Rachel suspects Julia to be responsible, but the jealousy Rachel's family has witnessed lend them to believe Rachel is just looking for attention, leaving her to discover her "cousin's" evil secrets and legacy.
A great suspense novel I still reread occasionally. Check out the movie starring a teenaged Linda Blair as "Rachel" and Fran (The Nanny) Drescher as her best friend!
The book starts out when Rachel's aunt and uncle die and their teenage daughter Julia comes to live with Rachel's family. Julia is incredibly beautiful and Rachel is jealous of her right away. Then she starts trying to steal Rachel's boyfriend and Rachel's brother. Rachel finds really strange things in the room she shares with Julia, things normal teenage girls wouldn't have. Rachel tries to warn her Mother and Father but they just brush it off as jealousy. Then the things go from bad to worse. You just have to read the story to find out!
As Duncan travels the characters through the book she brings them through all of her troubles. I thought this book was great and I hope you will want to read it too.
Rachel Bryant had a normal life with loving family and friends and the perfect boyfriend, but once her aunt and uncle die in a car crash her cousin Julia, that she hasn't seen since she was 3, comes to lives with them. Rachel is excited about having another girl in the house but once she finally meets Julia her feelings change toward her. She feels some type of magic that surrounds her but it isn't pleasant magic, it's sort of like black magic. Things start changing around Rachel and her family and Rachel is getting suspicious; her family starts to surround Julia with ever lasting love and is very protective about her feelings. Her mom and dad say that they need to help Julia (her cousin) with this awful tragedy, but it doesn't seem to be affecting her in any way at all. She doesn't really care that her mom and dad died a horrible death. When she first got there Julia seemed ok about the event that occurred, like she never cried. When her parent's things arrived from their house she didn't want to look at them at all, like she didn't care that they were actually gone. She never seemed to cry or feel any guilt when someone mentioned her parents. She never ever talked about them! Then when she got a letter from a friend she seemed to ignore it and not care about what was in it or about the sender.
More weird things change around her; her brother Peter gets googol eyes for Julia and becomes this sensitive guy towards girls that he has never shown before. Rachel's best friend Carolyn starts being best friends with Julia and leaves Rachel out in everything. Her boyfriend Mike falls madly in love with Julia like she is this beautiful girl that can only appear in dreams. Her dog trickle starts growling at Julia, which is a very unusual behavior he has never shown before, sort of like he knows that there is something wrong with Julia and is just protecting his family. Rachel can't help getting annoyed and suspicious for all these weird exotic changes, because they all changed the night Julia arrived at their house
Rachel one day finds this odd shape wax figure in Julia's drawer; it has four legs, a body and a head and white hair sticking out of it. Rachel thinks it looks like a dog, but no it couldn't be for only witches use and make things like that. Could Julia be a witch? No, not Rachel's cousin! Or is she? Rachel knows that there is something more to her cousin then everyone thinks, and since they are blinded by her she will prove to them that Julia isn't who they think she is.