Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele

Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Summer’s Edge

Author: Dana Mele

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3.5/5

Diversity: Queer character and MC

Recommended For…: young adult readers, thriller, mystery, LGBT, paranormal, horror

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

Genre: YA Thriller Mystery

Age Relevance: 14+ (language, death, grief, involuntary committal, underage alcohol consumption, arson, murder, romance, animal death, animal gore, PTSD, suicidal ideation, sexual content, gore, drowning, violence, drugging)

Explanation of Above: The book contains some slight cursing and shows of death, arson, murder, drowning, and drugging. There is some slight blood gore and violence with fights. There is grief, PTSD, and involuntary committal shown and mentioned in the book. There is a lot of underage alcohol consumption. There is slight romance and slight mention of suicidal ideation. There is one scene that shows an animal death and blood animal gore, both to a rabbit.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Pages: 325

Synopsis: Emily Joiner was once part of an inseparable group—she was a sister, a best friend, a lover, and a rival. Summers without Emily were unthinkable. Until the fire burned the lake house to ashes with her inside.

A year later, it’s in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends decide to return. The house awaits them, meticulously rebuilt. Only, Chelsea is haunted by ghostly visions. Loner Ryan stirs up old hurts and forces golden boy Chase to play peacemaker. Which has perfect hostess Kennedy on edge as eerie events culminate in a stunning accusation: Emily’s death wasn’t an accident. And all the clues needed to find the person responsible are right here.

As old betrayals rise to the surface, Chelsea and her friends have one night to unravel a mystery spanning three summers before a killer among them exacts their revenge.

Review: For the most part the book was pretty thrilling. The book reminded me a lot of Until Dawn and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but with a more horrific twist. The book had a lot of good twists and turns and for the most part it had a great premise. The world building was fairly well done and the book is definitely one that will keep you intrigued throughout.

However, I felt like the character development was very poor. The book didn’t explain everyone’s motives well and they just weren’t well formed. I also thought the book was confusing, which I think can be a good plot device, but wasn’t well executed in this book. While I know now about this friend group, in the beginning there are just too many things off about the group and it can deter readers from continuing the book. I think if the twist was shown earlier in the novel and then played with a bit more, than it wouldn’t have been so off-putting in the beginning. The book also had a great deal of an info dump at the end and I didn’t like that. I think if the flashbacks were scattered more throughout the book then it would have worked better.

Verdict: It was ok.


TITLE:  Summer’s Edge

AUTHOR: Dana Mele

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2022

GENRES: YA Thriller/Mystery

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