Friday, May 14, 2010

Book Review: Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

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?

Part of 1 Arc Tours

Shadowed Summer, Mitchell's debut, was a book that kept me in suspense from start to finish. While there were a few things that I think could have improved, I really enjoyed the story.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about the book was the setting. Mitchell described summer in Louisiana in a way that made me feel as though I was there (that was pretty impressive, considering it was only 30 degrees the night I finished the book). Mitchell's description of life in a small town was excellent as well. I grew up in a small town, and I've experienced the extreme boredom that comes along with it. At least in Ondine, Iris had a few places she could spend time.

I think that some of the characters could have been developed a bit more. Particularly Collette, who I thought was a bit predictable. She became jealous of Iris, and I thought it was easy to predict the conflict that would arise because of that. This book was also a fairly short read. While some people may really enjoy this aspect, I thought that more length could have allowed Mitchell to offer a bit more insight into her characters.

Overall, I thought that the paranormal aspect of the book was handled extremely well. I wasn't able to figure out what had happened to Elijah, and parts of the story gave me the creeps. The plot was unique, and I appreciated Mitchell's ability to describe life in a small southern town. There were a couple issues that I had, particularly with Colette, but I thought it was a strong debut.

Shadowed Summer
By Saundra Mitchell
Published by Delacorte
192 Pages
Rating: C+


Tales of Whimsy said...

Awesome review :) Happy weekend :)

Aubrey said...

agreed! Great review! I really enjoyed it, but its not one I will own or read again.

Emma said...

Beautiful in depth review! I want to read this now.

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