author: Saundra Mitchell
published: 9 June 2010
publisher: Delacorte Press
genre(s): fantasy, gothic, horror, thrillers
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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?
Shadowed Summer takes place in the perfect southern, gothic setting of Louisiana in the summer, in a small town where nothing ever happens. Iris and Collette are best friends, caught in the awkward stage between growing up and playing childhood games. Their relationship, especially with the addition of a boy to the mix, is completely realistic. The author did an exceptional job of developing all of the characters in the story, making them all entirely believable. The descriptions were vivid, without being overdone, and completely pulled me into the story. The plot was perfectly paced and kept me guessing until the end, never guessing the true conclusion. While geared toward the younger side of “young adult” readers, I think fans of the genre of any age would enjoy the story.