Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Rachel’s not jealous of her beautiful cousin. But she is afraid.
Cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after a terrible car accident. Slowly, inch by inch, Julia is taking over Rachel’s life. She takes her bedroom, her boyfriend, and soon enough her family. Everybody thinks Rachel is jealous, but that’s not it at all. There’s something dark about Julia, and Rachel’s terrified.
This book was a quick read. It is. Rather short. I finished it in three hours. I really enjoyed it even though a page was missing. LOL. I will never know what happened on the first page of chapter five. Kidding. I can probably buy a new copy of the book. This one I got out at a library sale. Those things are freaking gold mines. Anyway…a fantastic read. Classic, cult, and edgy from the same author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Rachel is that ultimate final girl that—I hope I’m not the only one—you miss in horror movies these days. While everyone falls under Julia’s spell, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. There’s heartbreak and even that panic inducing feeling. It wasn’t strong, but this dark and mystical story was a great page turner. Duncan does so well at building up to her great reveal. She always gets you with that twist. When everybody turns on Rachel, she fights back. And let me tell you, that was intense. That feeling of isolation that she gets trapped in is nothing compared to what could possibly happen to her.
I really clung on to the additional element of witch lore and magic. From having read a more horror novel last time, this was fresh to me. Witches of late have appeared more as agents of good, but not in this story. This book really touches on the bit that witches can be evil, too. There are upsides and dark sides of the supernatural and it was pretty cool to see the dark side.
The attention to detail was wonderful. Not too much, but enough that the imagery was perfect, reminding me that this is set before the era of cell phones and DVDs. For many these days I’m sure your’e saying, “WHAT!?”. Yup, those days existed folks. After all, this was done in the eighties. Duncan’s writing really captured that without seeming overboard. I really liked it.
A favorite summer read of mine, but I believe Lois Duncan is great at creating a story like that. It’s the deadly story that gets you wanting summer. What kidn of story does that!? LOL. This one did, for me. Utterly original and, like I said already, classic. I’d really like to have the rest of the collection. So, do you read it because you like paranormal stories and horror? Yes! Do you read this because I say so? Well, that’d be cool, but I haven’t mastered the ability of manipulation so you’ll have to decid that for yourself.
“It’s crazy, isn’t it, thinking you’ll never have anything but two brothers and then finally, at your age, getting a sister.” (Mike to Julia, p. 18)
“When you lose touch with youth, you grow old fast.” (Professor Jarvis to Julia, p. 56)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Summer Sunshine by The Corrs.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.