Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Publish Date: February 2009
Pages: 192
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?
The girl on the cover of this book, I think it is supposed to be Iris, looks EXACTLY like this girl from my school. Every time I see the cover I have to do a double take because it is crazy how alike they are!
I honestly hadn't even read synopsis for Shadowed Summer before picking it up. I saw it at my local library, it had a cool cover, and I checked it out. On my drive down to Colorado I brought a bunch of books with me, and this was one of them. I was pleasantly surprised.
I loved the premise of this story. Ghost tales always intrigue me, and Shadowed Summer was no exception. The idea of Iris awaking Eli and solving his death sounds corny, but surprisingly I was intrigued.
There were several elements of this story I enjoyed. First, I love that the girls ran around playing make believe and magic, it reminds me of my childhood. Second, I loved that the girls were just playing around in the graveyard pretending when Iris accidentally awoke Eli. For some reason this just really excited me. I also loved how the story ended up relating back to her parents because at first I felt as though her father's character was under-developed. I also liked how they used the cliche crazy old religious lady in some way.
I felt as though the reason the story was so short was because it lacked character development. I never felt connected to any characters except Iris. I think the idea for Collette was great, but she was never explained in any depth. I wish the story could have been an extra twenty pages or so filled with more character development.
Overall Shadowed Summer was short and cute. If you need a quick read to fill a little bit of extra time, this novel is your best bet. 3/5

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