Review of Heather Balog’s The Dead of Summer

Reviewed by Angela


The Dead of Summer is a Young Adult story set around the summer school holidays of fifteen-year-olds, Kennedy and Lindy. Lindy is gorgeous, slim, rich and bossy, whereas Kennedy is plain, plump, flat broke and bossed around by bossy-boots Lindy. They seem an unlikely pair to be best friends and there is an unexpected twist of personality strength towards the end of the book. When a gorgeous hunk, Carson, stumbles across them sunbathing in Lindy's garden, Lindy takes charge and starts her usual chat-up lines. Carson is more irritated than interested in Lindy and, much to Kennedy's amazement, she is the one he wants to hang around with.

The book is written very much like a teenagers chick-lit story with lots of girly talk of clothes, make-up and crushes on boys, but there are some good serious issues which beef it up to a higher level. Lindy is the spoilt brat character and has some vanity issues, but Kennedy is the interesting one. Apart from physically being unattractive and over weight, she has an agoraphobic mother which means that everything that needs doing outside the home is left to Kennedy. She spends much of her time in the town's small library, working her way through the books, and even dares to pick up an erotica.

One evening, Kennedy is locked out of the house after she snook out to meet Carson and her bedroom window has been closed. Her only option is to crawl through the cellar amongst the spiders, and hope that the cellar door into the house isn't locked. All goes well until, in the dark, she puts her hand on a dead man's face! You really need to read this book.

I am far from being a teenager, I can just about remember those awkward days, but I thoroughly enjoyed this well written, fast paced, fascinating book which doesn't contain gratuitous bad language. I can absolutely recommend to anyone from early teens upwards.

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