Title: Lying About Last Summer
Author: Sue Wallman
The story centres around a girl called Skye, who is sent to a camp for troubled teenagers after her sister dies in an accident. However, once she is at the camp she starts receiving text messages from someone pretending to be her dead sister
A very brief synopsis but straight to the point. I bought this book last Summer after spotting it in my local Waterstones not long after its release, but honestly, the cover was one of the main things that drew me in because I loved the colours plus it’s textured! I picked this up as I felt myself starting to slip into a slump, so thought I’d read this relatively short contemporary book in an attempt to try and shake myself out of it. I think it did the trick, however university work isn’t quite helping me read as much as I would like to at the moment!
Just to mention, this book is set in England, which I surprisingly don’t read a lot of in books. So, Skye has lost her sister, Luisa, in an accident which leads to her developing certain phobias and means that she is in the grieving process. I am sure no matter who you lose in your life, it is so very hard to deal with the loss, and Skye loses her older sister who she is very close too. Following her death, Skye and her family move to London but Skye comes close to her old town when at a camp for those dealing with losses. At camp, she meets Faye and Brandon, among a whole host of other characters, who are also dealing with the loss of someone.
This book dealt with grief, but kind of in a round about way. It was about facing phobia, returning back to the scene of the accident to essentially try and help cope with what happened. Though there are talks of therapy, there is no actual session that Skye attends. I’m not sure if it would have been useful as obviously it didn’t work for Skye but for someone at a camp for dealing with loss, I kind of would’ve expected a scene featuring it.
I’ve given this book three stars as I didn’t think that much stood out to me. Skye was quite obviously very close with her older sister and had an ill, younger brother, but other than that, a lot didn’t stand out to me. I didn’t really feel like I knew all that much about Skye, other than the loss of her sister basically took over her life which meant that she isolated herself from her former lifestyle and friends. There was not much friendship in this book, as in Skye didn’t really get close to many people apart from perhaps Brandon, who helped her bloom a bit more, and Faye. There were also other characters, such as Danielle who I didn’t really understand the whole importance of. She was mentioned a fair bit but I was expecting a friendship to bloom out of it and nothing came.
There were also the text messages that come from her ‘dead sister’, however the reveal of who sent the messages was actually very disappointing. I feel like the ‘shock’ ending was there to try and wrap the story up nicely, but it just felt slightly forced, as if it was trying to really amp up at the end, but by the time I’d got to it, it just felt a bit deflated.
All in all, I enjoyed the pacing of the book as it was short and kept my interest, but in terms of the story itself, I’d probably rate it 2.5/3 stars as, especially now looking back on it, it just did not stand out to me that much and I just did not connect to the characters all that much.
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