Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele

The gist: In the wake of a fatal tragedy, a group of frenemies get together at their favorite summer-time lake house/mansion. Eerie happenings ensue when the a vengeful spirit leaves cryptic messages in the dead of night. Someone or something caused that fire and the culprit might be among them…dum dum duuuuuuuum! 

What I liked: Well..to be honest, I didn’t like much about this book except for the cover. When I saw this beautiful hardback on the “Spooky Reads” endcap at BookPeople, I just had to have it! Let’s see…what else? I guess the isolated lake house setting was cool and creepy, but that’s about it. 

What irked me: All the bickering!!! Aside from innocent animals getting killed in horror stories (thankfully, that didn’t happen in this one), my biggest pet peeve is incessant bickering and petty arguments amongst insufferable teenagers. While reading this, I kept wondering WTF did these people agree to get together when they clearly despise one another? And why return to the scene of a horrific tragedy? Why not just reunite at, say, a Dave N Busters or something? To be fair, the author answered this question in the very end, and I’m really surprised I even made it that far. 

The multiple narrators: This book is primarily told by Chelsea, who is beset by psychological trauma in the aftermath of the fire that killed her childhood friend Emily. Then it flits from one narrator to the next–and good luck trying to tell them all apart because their voices all sound the same. We’ve got the creepy loner guy, Ryan; the rich girl and hostess with the mostest, Kennedy; and Mila, the interloper who nobody wants around except for her problematic boyfriend, Chase. And yes, there is a love triangle. Sorry, just had to warn you in advance…groan.

The whodunnit: In the vein of “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” we’re dealing with a whodunnit involving a dead girl who may or may not have been the victim of premeditated murder. This is probably the best aspect of the entire book, but I pretty much saw the “Gotcha!” plot-twist ending well before the final chapters, so no shockers for me. 

Overall: If you’re looking for a campy, spooky lake house mystery, I suggest giving this a pass and picking up “The Lake” by Natasha Preston. Or, if you really want to scare yourself silly with a lake house-themed horror story, I HIGHLY recommend “Where They Wait” by Scott Carson.

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