Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Take On The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong

 After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
 At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

 The first thing that struck me on reading this book was that it wasn't your typical supernatural book. Why? Because people actually reacted the way you'd expect them to if someone suddenly started seeing ghosts; they sent her away and gave her crazy pills. It was refreshing to see some realism. There was also very little sparkle in the plot, the writing was supurb, but I mean the world. No hallowed halls of learning, no grandios secret societies, no sparkly supernaturals or romanticised visions of shapeshifters. It was real and, at times, actually kinda gross.
 Another great thing was it was very easy to put yourself in Chloe's shoes1. She had realistic concerns, like not having her period at the ripe old age of fifteen2. The cast was all around great because they weren't typical. No Heart 'O Gold Jock, Witchy Cheerleader, or Hot Nerd here! No siree! Armstrong stepped out of the box and gave us something new. Hurray, new!
 Another new thing was the type of supernaturals. I know every author has their own take on all things super and or duper, but I really like Armstrong's. Their powers ranged from massively, terrifyingly strong to rating no more than eh on the shock and awe meter.
 The whole book took place in one week, which provided for a fast pace that damanded to be read in one sitting. The plot unfolded at a good clip and dialogue and character interaction kept me reading well into the wee hours. I inhaled this book and its sequel The Awakening, and they are now firmly planted in my Top 10.
 I give The Summoning...

...Five Zombies!
Highly recommended. Beg, borrow, or steal3 ask Santa for this book!

Happy Reading
Zombie Girrrl

1  Not that I've ever "seen dead people," I mean that's just crazy talk! *nervous-laughter*
2  Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt.
3  This blog and its author do not condone theft and cannot be held responsible for the actions of overzealous bookaholics or kleptomaniacs.


pirate penguin said...

yay! I'm so glad you liked it! I gave it high ratings too :)

I want the sequel! I need more of Derek and Chloe, plz.

the epic rat said...

Excellent review! :) It certainly makes me reconsider the book, and I have to agree with you on its realism (If you mark 'Y' to seeing dead people, then off to the mental ward you go!)

I've decided to hunt down the sequel after receiving everyone's comments - I am quite curious to see if I may like it more.

vvb32 reads said...

LOL - on your crazy talk. I've been eyeing this series. It's quickly moving to the top of my tbr pile. thanks for letting me know that it an out-of-the-box book. love 'em.


Great review! I think I'll be reading this book soon ;]

Taschima Cullen said...

This book was awesome, and your review was great!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I agree about their reactions. The opening with her at the school was great!

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