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The Summoning – Kelley Armstrong

The Blurb:

Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for ‘disturbed teens’. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

The Review:

So here’s the thing with me: I’m one of those people who get so involved in what they read that waiting to see what happens is tantamount to physical torture. I lost weeks and weeks of sleep over every installment of Harry Potter, my local bookstores began recognizing me and my pathetic expression in the days leading to the release of Breaking Dawn, and right now, the idea of getting my hands on Perfect Fifths and Tap & Gown is making me wonder if I should turn to Xanax and save myself the agony.

Yeah, I’m that bad.

So I was really afraid of picking this up before the entire series was out. I waited for a long time, as you can see, but seriously… I’d had enough. People have been gushing about this for so long that I had to see what it was about. I told myself I’d read slowly, and I had the sequel in my hands so I could really draw it out.

Man, was I sadly mistaken.

Unique concept, realistic voices, breathtaking action – this book has it all, and I guarantee any YA fan will lap this one right up. I was really afraid of the fact that Chloe Saunders, a fifteen-year-old drama school attendee, would make for a really annoying protagonist, but her maturity and humility astounds me. A teenager who doesn’t complain or rub in the fact that she’s had to move a lot? Move over, Bella Swan. The world has a non-whiny teenage heroine at last.

But seriously, there are traces of so much in here – a bit of Heroes, a dash of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, even some Rochester-esque male characters. The great thing about this is that romance does not play a huge role here. Sure, there’s minor crushes, but I didn’t find myself rooting for any one guy just yet. Way cool.

There wasn’t a whole lot wrong with this – just lost me a little on the technical aspects and explanations. But that might just be me.

A warning – it ends on the mother of all cliffhangers, right after one of the biggest shocks of the story… so invest in the sequel immediately. The Awakening is out now!

The Score: 4-crowns

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