About the Book
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Synopsis: A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing loss and finding friendship, from Ally Condie, international bestselling author of the Matched series.
“Kids are awesome. And they are diverse. There are children with different abilities and backgrounds and experiences, and every one of them deserves to find themselves in children's literature and to know that they matter.” –Ally Condie, on Summerlost
Sometimes it takes a new friend to bring you home. It's the first real summer since the accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. 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 new novel 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.
Cedar, her mom, and younger brother Miles are spending the summer in Iron Creek, but this summer is different from the last because last summer she "had a dad and a brother and then they were gone." Cedar's mom hopes that spending time in Iron Creek will help them pick up the pieces and help mend their broken hearts. Cedar's not so sure, but when a mysterious boy rides by each day Cedar decides to follow him and see what he's up to. What she finds is a new friend. Leo is obsessed with the arts and a Hollywood actress who once performed at the local Summerlost Festival. Cedar and Leo become instant friends and she finds herself looking forward to each new day. Cedar soon realizes Iron Creek, The Summerlost Festival, and Leo are just what she and her family needed after all.
Summerlost is simply an amazing story with beautiful characters that had me laughing despite the sorrow. On the opening page Cedar says "Last summer we had a dad and a brother and then they were gone" and for me this is one of the most moving sentences I have ever read. It stuck with me through the entire book and I felt as though I was experiencing the agony of loss right along with Cedar and her family.
The author has a gift for creating a believable and compelling story with unimaginable heartache and simple joys that will leave readers breathless. I cannot give Summerlost enough praise and am looking forward to reading more of Ally Condie's work.
I highly recommend picking up a copy.
About the Author: Ally Condie
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