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Friday, April 15, 2016

Summerlost by Ally Condie

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 really enjoyed this book. I loved Cedar and Leo, I actually loved all the characters in the book accept the couple of mean kids.

some spoilers

Cedar's little brother Ben and her father were killed in an automobile accident, it was a drunk driver. So, Cedar's mom decided to take her and her other brother Mile's to her hometown of Iron Creek. Here she bought a little house for them to do up and they could rent it out in the off months because they couldn't afford two houses. They are just down for the summer. Needless to say they are all devastated by their families passing. All of them have nightmares etc, but who wouldn't.

One day Cedar is looking out the window and sees a boy dressed up in some kind of costume riding his bike. She immediately thought of him as, Nerd-on-a-bike. But one day she decides to follow him and they end up meeting. He works at the Summerlost Festival which is a festival done up as Shakespeare. The boy's name is Leo and he helps get Cedar a job there too. Since they are not of age all they need is a written slip from their parents and they can earn some cash selling things like brochures etc. Cedar also ends up volunteering to help out in the costume department.

Leo is obsessed with one of the actresses that used to be in the plays there years ago. Her name was Lisette Chamberlain. She was also in some movies as well. Leo starts up his own little side business of taking people on little tours where Lisette was born etc. and he asks Cedar to be a part of it. They do a really good and professional job of it. Leo wants to save money to go to England to see a play.

I love the friendship that Leo and Cedar have, they are the best of friends. It was so sweet. Sob..

"I mean, I thought you were going to tell me that you wanted me to be your girlfriend or something."
"Oh man," Leo said. He looked embarrassed again.
"A minute ago you told me that you thought I was cute."
"Yeah," Leo said. "I mean, I do think that. But you're not my girlfriend. You're my person."
I knew right away what he meant.
I thought he was cute and he thought I was cute but it was different than it was when people have crushes.
With Leo I'd fallen into another kind of like. I couldn't wait to tell him stuff and I loved hearing him laugh at my jokes and I loved laughing at his jokes. He made me feel like I had a spot in the world.
It felt as if Leo and I could like each other all our lives.
So I hugged him.
He was my person too.

Sob again...

There was a part in the book where Cedar and her brother Miles start watching this soap opera, but they can't let their mom know.... I mean soap opera stuff. Then they end up getting Leo to liking it, then Leo's older - football playing - brothers start to like it. They are all sucked into this crazy day time tv soap opera. I loved it.

But really the book is about a family healing, about lifelong friendships forming and a wonderful summer. Bittersweet. 





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