Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

From the Jacket:
Where y’at Iris?
Summer in Ondine, Louisiana, is always predictable: hot and boring.
Not this one.
This summer, Iris is fourteen. This summer, she doesn’t have to make up spooky stories for excitement. Because a real one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before she was born, a teenager named Elijah disappeared. All that remains of him are whispers. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s convinced it’s the ghost of Elijah.
What really happened to him?
And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris?

Set in a tiny town in Louisiana, the novel starts with Iris and her best friend Collette casting spells and raising the dead in the cemetery. It’s all fun and games in the boredom of small town summer. However, the fun stops when a ghost whispers “Where y’at Iris?”

In the beginning, this book sucks you in. After the opening chapter you are salivating to know Elijah Landry’s real story. Every person in the small town of Ondine has a piece of the puzzle to solving Eli’s disappearance. I had my own theory of what had happened to him, and in the end it proved to be right. This is one of the reasons I didn’t like this book. I don’t like being able to predict the ending. There needs to be some surprise there or it’s just anticlimactic.

I set this book down a couple of times because I was bored. There are places throughout the novel where the pace goes from super fast action scenes to a very sluggish moving scene. It made the flow of the book feel awkward.

What I really enjoyed in this book were the descriptions. If I could describe things like Saundra Mitchell, I could die a happy person. She paints such a vivid picture that the images stay in your head for a long time after you read it. I was always tempted to grab an ice cube and cool down my skin from the Louisiana heat.

On the subject of characters, I loved how the townspeople were just so realistic. Each person had particular quirks that I found to be quite entertaining. The Delancie brothers, in particular, were my favorite due to their love of blowing things up. However, the main character, Iris, did not appeal to me. She seemed too perfect to be real.

My rating for this book is 6/10. I thought it was good, but there could be some improvements.


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