Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan

Lois Duncan is one of my favorite mystery writers for adolescents, and I gave this book a rating of five out of five. Rachel is looking forward to the upcoming summer, sitting by the pool with her boyfriend Mike. However, her aunt and uncle are killed in a car accident, and her cousin, Julia, comes to live with them. Rachel gets some odd vibes about Julia, but she hasn't really met Julia before and her cousin is dealing with the death of her parents. However, Rachel should have been more suspicious when her sweet and loving dog, Trickle, started growling at her cousin. Julia starts to take over everything in Rachel's life. Her brothers and parents adore Julia, and her boyfriend adores Julia too. Perhaps too much. There is something spooky, strange, and evil about her cousin, but will Rachel be able to stop her before something really serious happens? Like death?

The plot slowly dropped clues that Julia might be up to no good, and it didn't take long to confirm that she had some kind of plan. Other characters wouldn't believe Rachel's suspicions, and they even got angry with her for saying bad things about the poor girl. Rachel finally discovered what was happening, although she thought it was just folklore. She also found an ally who might be able to help, but Julia found out about him too. This made the conflict even greater, since Rachel had no idea how to stop her cousin. The plot has suspense and a touch of the supernatural that most readers should enjoy.

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