My rating: 1 of 5 stars
There’s only so much suspension of disbelief you can have in a single story. I think in Alex McAulay’s “Lost Summer”, that suspension was used up well before the book hit the 10% mark, at least for me. Even in the most far-fetched of horror/suspense/thriller books, there has to be something connecting the reader to the characters, their respective situations, things that are still within the realm of plausibility. Much of this book was drama for the sake of drama most of the time.
To briefly describe this story – Caitlin is a young woman who goes to North Carolina for a summer with her mother and little brother. The relationships in their family are strained. The father is distant and doesn’t want anything to do with his “pill-popping” wife. Caitlin is assumed to be a spoiled rich kid who doesn’t want anything to do with her mother, and her little brother is a pretty vulgar kid who has a penchant for quoting a series of adult movies ad nauseum. Their trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina is supposed to be for all of them to clear their heads in the middle of a family drama, but ultimately throws them all for a loop in a series of events that include, but isn’t limited to a hurricane. I felt this book had worn me down far before the storm hit, however, and much of that was due to the insufferable characterizations, wooden dialogue, offending humor, cliches, and frequent foul language. Normally I don’t have a problem with language in a work, but when you use four letter words almost every other page, it gets more than a bit annoying. And when you have an adult character sexually advancing himself on a minor and then threatening her and saying that she has “diamonds in her pussy” – that’s when I’m ready to throw the book several times against the wall.
What even makes it worse is that all the adults in addition to the children in this book are pretty messed up. Caitlin tries to tell her mother about the assault and what does she do? She believes the word of the harrasser (her ex-boyfriend Bill) over her daughter. Caitlin also witnesses an incident where a boy accidentally shoots his abusive father, and she goes to tell the boy she loves. What does he do? He slut shames, bitch-slams her and calls her a liar. I finished the book, but my mind saw red too much to really care about what happened in the epilogue.
This book was a nightmare, and not for the intended reasons at all.
Overall score: 1/5