Book Review: Cruel Summer by James Dawson

16275049Title: Cruel Summer
Author: James Dawson
Published: 1st August 2013 (Indigo)

A year after Janey’s suicide, her friends reunite at a remote Spanish villa, desperate to put the past behind them. However, an unwelcome guest arrives claiming to have evidence that Jane was murdered. When she is found floating in the pool, it becomes clear one of them is a killer. Only one thing is for certain, surviving this holiday is going to be murder…

A compelling and psychological thriller - with a dash of romance. [Via Goodreads]

My Thoughts
It's hard when the first book I read by Dawson was 5 stars, but the only reason for the 4 stars is because I didn't get the full surprise I wanted at the end (I saw what Dawson was doing and actually got my guesses right!!) 

Nevertheless, this book contained every obvious horror movie convention: the killer on the loose...scary silhouette, a dark cellar and, of course, deaths. With the twist of the horror format, this book twisted my guts even more than Hollow Pike because of these "horror conventions" that are build to be suspenseful and shocking. Every sentence screamed: "YOU ARE ALL SCREWED! SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN!" - literally....and it got me every time..

'But he didn't check everywhere.' Katie's voice was full of apprehension. 'Nobody looked in the cellar...' 

Dun dun DUNNNN!!!

I really loved Ryan. He was the key person who brought up the questions and pushed forward, equally loving his narration! (Well I loved the whole structure of the book). Like I said in my Hollow Pike review, I could imagine it on TV. Then I read this book, BAM, the layout is as if I'm watching a TV show! Nice nice, I like it...bonus points there! ;-) But it was more because of Ryan's way of thinking about life and I thought it was a really interesting way on looking at life (but then not really agreeing).

Even with the situation of the book, I liked how there was a merge of other themes that came with an individual. I think I am speaking more about Gregg. 

The highlights were when we got to read about two characters having a private conversation, which seemed to happen a lot in this book (Oooo, so many secrets!!!). These scenes are where we get to suss out our suspects as well as get our flash backs on the events surrounding Janey. 

Definitely a book to read.

Your mind won't be put to rest until the end...literally! 

** When I was telling my friend about Hollow Pike and Cruel Summer, she asked: "Did James Dawson just have a horrible time with teens and want to murder them all?" - I laughed. But a good question, don't you think? ;P


  1. It is definitely a good question! I really enjoyed this book. I've recently read Hollow Pike too. I'm definitely a fan of James Dawson's writing.

    1. Yes, same here! I can't wait for Say Her Name but I hear that it is a lot of horror...and I'm not sure how I'll survive it....hahaha

  2. Haha it's so tough to read a mystery without the usual horror components but this sounds great! Thanks for the heads up :) Love your blog by the way :D New follower!

    1. Aw, thank you Rebekah! I hope you enjoy my future posts and thanks for stopping by! :D

  3. Very good question :D And I'm so glad you liked this book! It was one of my favourites last year. :D <3