The Summer We Forgot
Thomas Nelson Publishing
Published March 8, 2022
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About The Summer We Forgot
Some memories are better left forgotten.
Darby and Morgan haven’t spoken for two years, and their friend group has splintered. But when the body of their former science teacher is found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, they realize they have more questions than answers . . . and even fewer memories.
No one remembers—or no one is talking.
The group of reunited friends begins to suspect that a murderer is stalking the coastal highway 30A, and they must try to recover their memories as quickly as possible . . . before the history they can’t remember repeats itself.
Everyone has a secret.
As tensions rise and time runs out, Darby and Morgan begin to wonder if they can believe one another… or if they can even trust themselves.
Caroline George once again transports readers with lush, evocative prose, leading them to ask the question: what happens when we can’t even trust ourselves?
Going in, this book reminded me of something in the realm of R. L. Stine books. I liked the small beach town and all the descriptions of how things smelled and felt. That made me feel really present in the story.
The simmering romance between Darby and Morgan was also really well done. I liked that it drove the story forward, though a couple times I was like omg, figure this out already, guys! Haha. Looking back I feel like it was pretty well done, though.
I think one of my pet peeves with mystery/suspense books is when adults do all the heavy lifting and kids solve the mystery in conversations with them. There were a couple of moments in the book where I would have liked to see Darby and Morgan play a more active role in collecting clues and piecing things together. They did make some major moves, though, so all the solving didn’t happen in dialogue.
I also thought the cast of friends was kind of big. There were a couple characters that I kept getting confused, and I wonder if it would have been better to combine two of them?
On the whole, though, I felt like the dynamics between the members of the group felt pretty realistic. I enjoyed reading the banter between them and the goofy things they did together.
All in all, I think this book was enjoyable. I think fans of ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus will enjoy the murder mystery and friend dynamics of the book.
Content Notes for The Summer We Forgot
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Major characters are white.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Kissing between boy and girl.
A teacher’s body is found in a march and police begin a murder investigation. Someone appears to be following Darby and her friends. Darby has a traumatic memory of her brother holding her underwater when she was ten years old. A masked person attacks two boys, beating them up. Another person throws a girl into the trunk of a car. Someone jumps from a moving vehicle, injuring themselves.
Teens consume alcohol at a party in several scenes. Reference to smoking pot.
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