Sunday, June 24, 2018

MMGM (6/25/2018): Summerlost by Ally Condie

For MMGM, I am recommending Summerlost by Ally Condie.




(Note: The cover above is the original cover used on the hardcover edition, not the new cover used on the paperback edition.)

Summerlost revolves around Cedar, a 12-year-old girl whose life changed dramatically when her father and brother, Ben (who suffered from autism or a similar disorder), died in a car crash. Cedar, her other younger brother, Miles, and their mother move to a small town called Iron Creek for the summer, where Cedar meets a boy her age named Leo, who enjoys theater and works at the town's Summerlost festival, which puts on performances of Shakespeare's plays. As Cedar befriends Leo, she takes a job at the festival as well, where she sells programs to playgoers, learns about the actors and actresses who have participated in the festival (most notably the formerly-famous, now-deceased Lisette Chamberlain), and volunteers at the festival's costume department. One of Summerlost's best qualities is its characters. Author Ally Condie (best known for her young-adult Matched trilogy) has each character's personality and backstory down to a science, allowing you to connect with characters through their many memories (many of which are Cedar looking back on her father and Ben) or interests (ranging from healthy ones, such as Cedar and Leo's interest in Lisette Chamberlain's life, to unhealthy ones, such as the soap opera that Cedar and Miles are secretly obsessed with). Even the adults in the story, including family members, Gary (Cedar and Leo's supervisor at the festival), and Meg (somewhat-prickly-yet-kind costume designer at the festival), are fully fleshed out. Summerlost is also beautifully written, with figurative language that would make both English teachers and regular people drool and voices for each character that are so distinct that the story probably would have made sense without dialogue tags. Summerlost is a novel that is at times heartbreaking and at times fun and silly, making for a striking combination that will resonate with any reader!

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read with really memorable characters. Since I help with a volunteer group, I really like the theater theme of the story.

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  2. What a poignant loss story this must be. Thanks for recommending it here.

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  3. This sounds like a perfect summer read. I love well-written novels, interesting characters and a great plot. And, that cover will draw teens to the book.

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  4. There seems to be a lot of death and grieving in MG books these days. This one does sound good. I'll be giving it a go when time allows. Thanks for you excellent review.

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  5. This books sounds like one I would enjoy reading! Thank you for sharing your poignant review with us.

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  6. This sounds lovely. I can't imagine they came up with a better cover for the paperback. That cover is stunning. Thanks for the post.

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