Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Cruel Summer, by James Dawson

Cruel Summer

Title: Cruel Summer
Author: James Dawson
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pub. date: August 1, 2013
A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Jane was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

A compelling and psychological thriller - with a dash of romance. -Goodreads

3.5 - 4 Stars

This is the first book I have read by James Dawson, but now that I have finished reading it I feel as though I have to read his début novel Hollow Pike because I enjoyed Cruel Summer so much. For those of you who skipped reading the summary this book is essentially a murder mystery, but with a twist and told in a very unique way.

Ryan, one of the characters thinks of his life like it is a TV show so instead of chapters there are scenes and everything from the start to all that follows is just a way for his 'TV show' to get ratings. If someone had told me before I read this book that one of the main characters pretended his life was a TV show I would have avoided it for that reason alone. I don't know why, but the idea just does not appeal to me. In saying that I had absolutely no idea what this book was about when I picked it up, I hadn't even heard of it before. I just liked the pretty cover and that was the reason I chose it. Right from the start though I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ryan's chapters because I would hear more about how the 'TV show' was doing in his head, it was a really interesting concept so don't let that scare you away from this book.

Another thing that you should know about this book is that James Dawson is not afraid to kill off the characters... I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil this for anyone who hasn't read it and is planning to do so, just know that you have been warned. It is a murder mystery after all.

Overall I really did this book and I would recommend this to anyone, even if you don't like reading murder mystery themed sort of books. I usually stay away from them, but as I said before I chose this book because of the cover and the cover alone, so I didn't know that it was about a murder... I even missed the "It's murder under the sun..." subheading on the front.

Can anyone who has read Hollow Pike tell me if it's worth getting hold of?


  1. This actually looks pretty interesting, despite my tendency to stay away from mysteries. also, it sounds pretty cool that the MC thinks he's in a TV show (opposite of you, lol) Great review, Tierra!

    1. Haha, that would have seriously pushed me away from the book had I known before hand, but I loved it! Thanks Summer :)