Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Book Recommendation: Shadowed Summer

I'm reading Elana Johnson's POSSESSION right now (because Kristi mailed me an ARC-crit partners rock!), and since Kristi recommended that a few weeks ago, I'm going with an older favorite. Saundra Mitchell's ghost story mystery, SHADOWED SUMMER. This book was released in hardcover February 2009.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385735715

From Booklist

This heady mix of ghost story and mystery, drenched in the languid, humid atmosphere of a small Louisiana town, should appeal to the core audience of the Twilight series: adolescent girls who like a little sexiness in their ghostly pursuers. Ennui can get people into all sorts of trouble, and the kind of blank summer days staring down 14-year-old Iris and her friends lead them to casting spells in the town cemetery. A masculine whisper in Iris’ ear shoots them into true ghost-hunting, with a Ouija board indicating that the whisperer belongs to the town’s only mystery, a 17-year-old boy who disappeared almost 20 years ago. 
Mitchell skillfully segues from gothic romance to prosaic mystery as the friends examine microfiche records and question the boy’s relatives and friends. As the ghost becomes increasingly insistent that his mystery be solved, Iris discovers unnerving connections to her own family. 
Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending. Grades 8-12. --Connie Fletcher


Saundra Mitchell respects her youthful readers, and comprehends the complexities of their time of life. This spectral story is insightful and eloquent; the ache of youth is remarkably rendered. --Hellnotes

Good ghost stories are, like ghosts, a little thin on the ground in these times, and readers will be pleased to find this atmospheric reaffirmation of a good haunting. --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Shadowed Summer is beautiful and haunting- filled with love and lies, secrets and betrayal, that play out flawlessly in a novel you will never forget. It is the best Southern Gothic I've read in years." --Kami Garcia, New York Times Bestselling Author of Beautiful Creatures

"This heady mix of ghost story and mystery...should appeal to the core audience of the Twilight series: adolescent girls who like a little sexiness in their ghostly pursuers. . . Highly atmospheric, with pulse-pounding suspense and an elegiac ending." ---Booklist

009 Junior Library Guild Selection
2009 ALAN Pick
2010 Edgar Nominee (Best YA Mystery)
2010 Society of Midland Authors Book Award (Best Children’s)
2010 VOYA Summer Reading List

These reviews say it all--atmospheric, haunting. Can I just say it's awesome? I'm a little bias when it comes to the southern gothic stories, but you should read this one.
You can check out Saundra at her website, or twitter. Saundra is also the author of THE VESPERTINE, out now, and THE SPRINGSWEET, coming spring 2012.

Make sure you come back here on Monday for the official announcement and details--including the reveal of our special guest judge--of our 500 followers celebratory contest!


  1. I can't wait to hear what you think of POSSESSION.

    You're killing me--now I have to add Shadowed Summer to my already huge TBR pile. I love Gothic ghost stories and already planned to recommend one as my next pick in a few weeks. :)

  2. Oh, then you'll love this one! :D I'm planning to read the rest of POSSESSION today since I finished revising GREYSKIN just now.

  3. Thanks for the rec. I haven't seen this one. :-)

  4. Yay! I love pointing people to books they hadn't heard about!

  5. Yay! I love pointing people to books they hadn't heard about!

  6. Oh this sounds like one I would absolutely love! I'm a sucker for that Gothic angle.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  7. I love Saundra Mitchell's writing! She is engaging and compelling. This is a great read and her novel The Vespertine is one of the best novels I've read in a very long time.

  8. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been looking at this for a while, but I wasn't sure if I should read it. I will now though. ;)

  9. Angela, I'm sure you'd love it!

    Heather, I am dying to read THE VESPERTINE! Glad you liked it so much!

    Lindsay, this is a great ghost story/mystery. I love the voice and the atmosphere.


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