Cruel Summer: A Novel

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With wonderful pacing as the story developed up until the heart-pounding ending and make no mistake my heart was actually pounding I could not pry myself away and when I absolutely had to I was counting down the minutes until I could reunite with the gang in their Spanish villa. Dawson has a wonderful way of luring you into the world that she is creating, with characters that are constantly developing in a very holistic way until the last word. All of the characters have their flaws but they have this sense that you have met these people before that allows the reader to feel like these are your friends, they all have a great depth without taking away from the flow of the story by becoming overly cumbersome with backstory.

I have to say this element really drew me into story and allowed the author to create an element of realness in this clever and twisty mystery, allowing the main narrator to acknowledge that in a TV show this would represent different elements of the season which would be expected but in real life it was insane.

It was also a very interesting way to show a different type of coping mechanism as Ryan uses this as a way of trying to disassociate harder times in his life from the reality of what is happening. Throughout the story there were so many times that I smugly thought that I had beaten the author and figured out who had done it, only to completely change my opinion in the next chapter. The story is so cleverly plotted that I had a blast reading it.

I hope that Dawson continues to write stories like that this for a long time to come, she is one of the most captivating authors that I have read in very long time. I am actually worried for the next book I read because Juno Dawson is setting the bar high. Mar 31, Rose Heartfilia rated it liked it Recommended to Rose by: So actually this book got 3 and a half star because it was difficult to pick between 3 and 4 but after some thinking I made it to 3. However this book reminded me a bit too much of Pretty Little Liars, they were all perfect and all and the whole idea was craycray but that wasn't the problem, it was really the all in all vibe.

At first I liked it but than the picture perfect was too much and I found it a bit of a shame. Not saying that it was too much like Pretty Li So actually this book got 3 and a half star because it was difficult to pick between 3 and 4 but after some thinking I made it to 3. Not saying that it was too much like Pretty Little Liars but they were all rich and perfect at what they were doing. The lying over Janey her death was cringe worthy but that's also because I studied law and I can't see why you would lie to the police when it wasn't your fault.

The writing however was brilliant, it was like a movie and I liked Ryan his character absolutely. Shame of the ending. But he wasn't enough to make me love the rest. The setting with a middle of no where summer house is asking for trouble, something that Ryan mentions the moment he thinks about a horror, the slaming of the doors: I am glad that I'm not in a rich clinque like they are, the fact how Rox handled their leaver's ball and the whole situation with being a pro footballer, alcoholic person and so on and most of all the craycray last person that had this ridiculous idea of revenge.

Well boo hoo, I can't really believe it, but it was a fun read! Don't get me wrong. But this came especially because of the writing! Apr 30, Jessi rated it really liked it Shelves: Cruel Summer was a great time, lots of suspense, lots of scares and lots of fun. The fun is had by me the reader and not the characters of the book, they get maybe 40 pages of carefree good times and then its a bunch of stress, terror and regret.

There was a basement scene that made me a bit jumpy and in all honesty a bit screamy when someone made a noise in my house, reading is not for the faint of heart Annnnnnyways back to Cruel Summer about a vacation that is sure to go wr Cruel Summer was a great time, lots of suspense, lots of scares and lots of fun. Annnnnnyways back to Cruel Summer about a vacation that is sure to go wrong.

These people should not be vacationing together, they have lots of baggage and resentment that has been brewing for the last year as they are all at separate colleges and have not seen each other for 12 mths. Basically no one is getting their security deposit back from this destination. Greg and his new girlfriend Erin Greg is going to be a pro footballer, he is the golden child of his parents and his hometown.

He is also twin brother of Alisha Poor Alisha has had a rough go of it teenage years wise but is committed to a fresh start and is also harbouring a possible crush on Ben The loveable nerd who everyone states wouldn't hurt a fly and just seems to be the sweetest. He is also ex-boyfriend of Katie The soft spoken good girl that has trouble saying a bad word about anybody, a bit of a pushover and seems to be polar opposite to dear friend Ryan Ryan was my favourite character he is an actor waiting for his big break.

We get Ryan's point of view for half of the story,he is gay, attractive and comfortable in his own skin. I enjoyed Ryan's inner thoughts and actions the most. I knew when the book was over I would miss Ryan's take on everything, well done character that will be what I remember about this book. Full disclosure it took a good 50 pages for me to get properly into this book, but once I was in I was in for the long haul which was not really a long haul at all, my epub was under pages long which was perfect Oct 05, Lucy Powrie rated it it was amazing Shelves: Having not read many books like this one, I was a bit hesitant beforehand but I was super pleased when the opportunity to review it came up and I jumped at the chance.

But when events are brought up to the surface again, one thing is made clear: One of the things that I loved the most was that it engaged the reader and I was certainly involved; I felt like I was a spectator and was constantly wondering who the murderer was, much like the friends would have been doing. I want to create a whole new rating system for it. I really loved Ryan and his way of thinking.

It helped Ryan detach himself from the drama that was going on and I liked that.

Cruel Summer

Alisha was another of my favourite characters and the novel alternated between following Ryan and Alisha so it was fitting that I loved them both. Alisha was more fiery and spirited than Katie or Erin and I found her a lot more interesting and easy to get to know. I felt comfortable reading about her and wanted to know more.

She was one of the reasons for me being so hooked. Without giving anything away, Dawson is able to write mystery perfectly.

Cruel Summer by James Dawson - review

There were so many twists and red herrings. I was sure I knew who the murderer was and then something would happen and I would change my mind. Cruel Summer showcases effortlessly how fab UKYA is and I know that I will be thrusting it into the hands of whoever is brave enough to come near me when I have my bookish head on.

Everybody must read this book! Aug 27, Chrissi rated it really liked it. There are some amazing twists and James successfully always keeps the reader guessing. I have to admit, I did begin to guess who the killer was, but I had no idea why they would do it. Cruel Summer is about five school friends on holiday together in a Spanish villa. They are getting over the death of their friend Janey a year ago. It is then that everything spirals out of control with some very severe consequences… I could easily picture this book as a horror film.

I loved how Ryan narrated the story. I loved how the book was told from mainly two perspectives, Ryan and Alisha. They were both such wonderful characters. I particularly liked Alisha, although I loved all the drama from Ryan. The chapters are short but action-packed. Cruel Summer is so brilliantly paced. I read it so fast, because I just wanted to know what was going on.

I felt the second part of the book was incredibly tense, with so many plot twists. Mar 18, Whybeanonymous rated it liked it. This book had some nice twists to it. I feel that the reason the murderer had for killing a few of the characters was rather shallow and I wish the author had made the murderer's reason more substantial with more kick.


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  • Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel.

Overall this book kept me glued to it. I was looking forward to finding out who the murderer was and it sure did surprise me. I tried guessing who it was and was half correct in relation to who was present when Janey died. The plot wasn't anything entirely new. It was a bit simila This book had some nice twists to it. It was a bit similar to plot-lines of movies like "I know what you did last summer.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it. The style of writing it like a tv show was new and different. I rather liked it. It also gave a few different perspectives from the various characters which was refreshing.


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Generally it is well written and is worth a read. Mar 26, Kerri rated it really liked it. The first or so pages I felt just mehh about the book. I wasn't sure I liked the characters and felt like it was going to have a predictable ending. I couldn't have been more wrong. The rest of the book had me completely gripped and that ending was just wow! I also didn't realize that I actually really liked some of the characters until the end, Although I still think that they had the spoilt rich kid air about them, they grew on me.

I recommend this to anyone who likes murder mystery books w The first or so pages I felt just mehh about the book. I recommend this to anyone who likes murder mystery books with a twist. Aug 07, Karen Barber rated it liked it Shelves: A difficult review to write, as I enjoyed this book but it was all just too knowing for me without some of the elements you get when it's done really well. The book opens with a chapter called 'Fade In' It's strongly hinted that she was murdered.

The book ends with a chapter called 'Fade Out' where we leave our characters with all manner of secrets revealed, and most of our questions answered. In-between this frame we are given a series of scenes tellin A difficult review to write, as I enjoyed this book but it was all just too knowing for me without some of the elements you get when it's done really well.

Cruel Summer by James Dawson - irideryjawex.tk book review

In-between this frame we are given a series of scenes telling us the story. Katie and her group have friends have never really got over the apparent suicide of their friend Janey a year ago. They decide to go away on holiday to Katie's villa Nobody wants to talk about it, but someone is about to force their hand.

We see events through the eyes of Ryan, our TV star in the making. He views everything as if it was his own personal TV show, which is a form of coping mechanism, but it means everything is elevated to a more significant status in an attempt to show its worthiness. It also means that there's a rather irritating tendency to self-consciously deconstruct everything to tell us why it's significant, or to force us into a certain train of thought. There's the standard cliches: We watch these supposedly 'perfect teens' implode as secrets are outed.

Some of the secrets are given up more easily than others, and some offer more of a motive for murder than others. Throughout, I felt like I was reading a paint-by-numbers screenplay for a teen scary movie. It was good fun, but didn't move beyond what we'd expect. If you want to know who did it, you'll have to read the book. You'll probably have sussed it very early on, but it's good fun watching our various characters work things out.

Aug 05, Natalie rated it liked it Shelves: This one was a bit of a wildcard that I read as part of a Group Buddy Read. From the start I was kinda thrown by the formatting of this novel, it seemed like a cross between a play and a Wes Craven movie and Actual rating 3. It wasn't really until much later on in the novel that things started to really come together and I found myself genuinely enjoying it. There were definitely a few unseen twists, but unfortunately I did see a lot of the surprises coming, which took some of the enjoyment out of it. Overall, a well written novel - just a bit too cliched and similar to Scream for my taste, which meant I made far too many comparisons to truly enjoy it as a standalone novel.

Of course, where there's a murder victim, there's also a murderer - who can it be? Will anyone stay alive to find out?

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This reads like a throwback to the late eighties and early nineties in many ways - and not just because of the lack of mobile phone signal in the holiday home. Dawson is an avowed fan of the Point Horror books, and cites them as an inspiration for his own writing. He's perfectly captured the mixture of horror and fun which ran through the best of them here, with a slightly tongue-in-cheek approach to the scares but a lot of thrills as well. It makes it a hugely entertaining read, which may finally pulled me out of the reading slump I've been in for the last week or two!

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Most of the story is told from the point of view of Ryan, a rather narcissistic teen who thinks of life as a TV series with himself and his friends as the stars. All the main characters are interesting, well developed and trustworthy, which is important in a book where one of the characters is a murderer. In that vein the book succeeded again.

I had multiple ideas of who the killer might be and why but I'm pleased to say none of them were right. That's the sign of a really good book. I did feel the reasoning was a little drastic but could be believable to a degree. My only major criticism of Cruel Summer is that while Ryan and Greg's storyline is definitely important to the book, I felt it was introduced too late.