BOOK REVIEW: Summer's Edge by Dana Mele

“The invitation is never the revenge, Kennedy. The revenge is what you’re invited to.”

I never understood the meaning of the term slow burn when attributed to books until experiencing Dana Mele's Summer's Edge; but now I understand it all too well. So well, in fact, that I question whether I will ever experience it again in the world of literature, as it evaded me up until this point; and I truly can't imagine any other book bringing the slow burn quite like this unputdownable gem right here.

Emily Joiner was once a key part of an inseparable group of friends. A group so devoted to one another that die-hard loyalties lasted, despite regular rivalries and the occasional red hot romance; and summers were always spent lazing at Kennedy's family lake house. Last summer, however, was different - more complicated. Instead of the usual friend group consisting of Emily, Kennedy, Chelsea {Kennedy's on again, off again girlfriend}, Ryan {Emily's twin brother}, and Chase {Emily's lifelong crush}; Mila has been added to the mix. Mila, Chase's new girlfriend, is disliked by the girl's on sight, and the summer...doesn't end well - especially for Emily, who winds up dying tragically when the lake house burns to the ground.

Fast forward one year. The lake house has been painstakingly rebuilt - a mirror image of its former self; the only difference being that death has been scrubbed out. Now ready for guests, and with the anniversary of Emily's death upon us, a reunion has been set into motion. The five former friends each receive an invitation, of which they accept, arriving at the house with hesitation; questioning if they should have RSVP'ed yes from the moment they emerge from their luxury vehicles. With tensions running high, the group elects to try and put their differences aside, and make the most of this memorial, for Emily's sake; but Chelsea, who has been locked away in a mental health facility for the past year, begins having terrifying visions that are pushing her towards the brink - visions that may be more accurate than anyone would like to admit.

With creepy events occurring within mere moments of their arrival; accusations begin to fly - accusations implying that Emily's death was no accident. Even worse, it becomes evident that the group may not be alone on the lake house property - someone else tagged along, and they're seeking revenge. Their survival depends on their ability to unravel the mystery, and unearth the truth; but that will take working together, and pushing past a whole lot of old drama, which this group of frenemies does not seem ready for.

When I say that I could not put this book down I am being 100% real with you - it was so good. And that ending? Mic drop moment. I read so heavily that authors rarely surprise me or keep me guessing, but Dana Mele did that tenfold with Summer's Edge. Comparing it to The Haunting of Hill House was so accurate because, like THOHH, this book was always a step ahead, using the assumptions we make as readers {or viewers} as leverage to catapult us into some new surprise that legit makes. you. think. NGL, I really couldn't stand any of the characters, who are toxic to a fault; however, I did start to find Kennedy a bit more interesting once I read the portion of the book told from her POV, and learned about her supernatural abilities.

Cheers to Mele for finally introducing me to the slow burn. And to everyone else, your summer will be incomplete without a read of this book - get. it. now. A little word of warning though, your perception of boat rides and late-night lake swims may change significantly after turning the last page. Just saying.

Star Rating: ****



ellie said...

Awesome review! Oh, it does sound like a great summer read. So glad you found one you enjoyed too. Wow!

Ivy's Closet said...

Very intriguing indeed! Love the review. I will definitely look for it now!

Caitlin&Megan said...

So cool to know of this one. Very intriguing. Definitely, one I have to look into. Thanks so much!

R's Rue said...

Happy Friday friend.

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