THE LOST SUMMER by Kathryn Williams

THE LOST SUMMER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Williams has all the right ingredients for a popular tale of lost innocence and fraught friendships. Unfortunately, flat characters and a predictable, painfully slow plot limit the appeal of this summer-camp story. First-person narration should make the events described feel more immediate, but instead brief, after-the-fact introductions to each section create a sense of distance. Helena tells readers about her fractured family, her best (camp) friend and her excitement at finally being a counselor, but it’s unlikely they’ll feel the emotions she describes. Her longtime crush on a counselor from a nearby boy’s camp is consummated in a hayloft, but even that momentous event feels remarkably pedestrian (realistic, perhaps, but hardly compelling reading). Subsequent misunderstandings with friends are followed by a boating accident that leaves Helena in a coma for weeks. The accident and its aftermath, including an epilogue, are squeezed into the last 23 pages, once again muting the readers’ potential emotional response. Midway between a thoughtful novel and escapist reading, this effort doesn’t succeed at being either. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: July 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0128-4
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2009




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