Posted 20 hours ago

Lying About Last Summer

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This year, 15-year-old Leah and the other two teens discover that the house has a dark past: a deathbed confession led the police to the buried body of a teenage girl earlier in the year, who had gone missing 50 years before. Still, I liked it until I reached the epilogue, where a strong and thorough resolution is sacrificed in favour of a romance element. We follow Skye's journey of grieving for her sister, the guilt she feels and the secrets that surround her from the past and in the present. Then she begins to receive texts from someone pretending to be her dead sister - and decides no one can be trusted.

The book’s central mystery was resolved much earlier than I was expecting, and instead giving way to an ending that was more dramatic and tense. The supporting characters are equally believable and three dimensional, each with a detailed backstory that explains their behaviour and attitudes. There is mystery surrounding Luisa's death, the messages in the private chat and some of Skye's fellow campers, and when everything started to come together into its exploding conclusion I was on the edge of my seat. Its approach to death is all the more delicate as it explores the matter from a teenager’s perspective.

Having read and enjoyed Sue Wallman's other two YA novels earlier in the year, I always expected to like this one.

However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister.I would loved to have seen more of Toby, who appears mainly in flashbacks, but who in just a few short scenes made me smile and maybe swoon a little, but don't tell anyone. It is original and fascinating, and allows the reader to develop an instant connection with the story and the sense of meaning that it carries. However, before too long she starts receiving messages from her dead sister through a password protected messaging app they always used to chat away from the prying eyes of their parents. It also uses flashbacks to conjure up some powerful imagery, which will act as one of my most abiding memories of the book. Skye has plenty of attitude but also an emotional depth and maturity beyond the much more familiar teenage angst.

Sue's books are just amazing, she makea the story come to life, and for me when I read a book I take a long time to finish it, but I can take a week to read this wonderful books. At first camp is pretty okay, and as long as Sky avoids the pool she's enjoying herself, and even making some friends. It's quite difficult to explain, you get lots of snippets into what's happened before the death, and you can already see what's happened, the building up to it was slow, and I honestly felt bored reading it. Skye is looking for an escape from the reality of last summer when her sister died in a tragic accident. Lying About Last Summer is simultaneously a carefully plotted page-turning thriller with a suitably dramatic, and largely unexpected, climax.Straight from the offset the writing draws you into the setting and you can quite easily imagine a hot summers days lounging by a glistening blue pool.

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