Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong

3.5 out of 5 hearts

Another find from my local Queens Library - Ridgewood Branch.  I was skimming through the Teen shelves and this caught my eye.  The reason I checked it out:  it is a NYT Bestseller.  I was surprised I never heard of it and it was published back in 2008.  It is the first book of the Darkest Powers trilogy, the last book published in 2010. 

Chloe Saunders is a normal pre-puberty 15 year-old high school freshman.  She aspires to be a movie director one day and she attends an arts school.  All of a sudden, she hits puberty like a normal world and her world flips up side down.  The begins to see ghosts and she can communicate with them, too.  However, the first incident occurs while she is at school.  She did not know she had this power, so when it happens, she completely freaks out, running through the school trying to get away from the ghost.  Some teachers hear her and try to calm her down but she kicks one, so the school forces her to go to a group home for a mental evaluation.  She lands at the Lyle House and is diagnosed as schizophrenic.

While at Lyle House, she tries to accept her diagnosis and gives positive feedback in her therapy sessions. She tries to have normal days and uses her "director" intuition to see the issues in a better light. She befriends most of the other teens at the home and with her new friendships, Chloe begins to piece together the puzzle of the Lyle House, which has a dark secret.  Everyone in the house is linked by one thing - a thing that may seem impossible, but is true nonetheless.  She fears that her friends and she are in imminent danger, so they devise a plan to get out.  But, nothing goes according to plan.

It was a very easy read.  I found myself flying through the pages.  I felt that it started off strong, simmered down in the middle, and started to really pick up at the end.  This is the reason that landed this book a 3.5 versus 4 star review, for me.  Also, the one thing felt that didn't belong in the story was an incident where Chloe is thought to be fooling around with one of the guys.  It feel like it contributed to the story and it was awkward to read.

The last hundred pages made it worth the read.  The twist of events were unimaginable.  I read most of it on the subway and I know I gasped out loud  few times.  It did end on a great cliff hanger, so I will most definitely read The Awakening, which is Book #2.

Check it out.

"The feeling that I'd miss out on something that would make my life tougher but might also make it different.  An adventure.  Special." - Kelley Armstrong, The Summoning

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by HarperCollins (first published 2008)
ISBN 0061662690 (ISBN13: 9780061662690)
Edition language:  English

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