Book Review: Summerlost

April 17, 2017

Book title: Summerlost

Author: Ally Condie

Pub date: 2016

Reviewer: Terresa Wellborn

Summerlost is the first Ally Condie book I’ve read and it’s beautiful. A great fit for middle schoolers ages 11-13 and up, it would be a perfect summertime or anytime read. Condie, known for the dystopian world of the Matched trilogy, has now placed herself firmly in the shoes of the twelve-year-old world of Cedar Lee. Complete with Shakespearean Festival antics, mysterious gifts, and a dead actress, it’s a world worth visiting.

I’m a fan girl of Condie’s writing: she walks the line of succinct and poetic, a feat not all authors can accomplish. She starts the story with high stakes, Cedar’s dad and brother are already gone. It is through this grief and ensuing choices that Cedar (and ultimately us, the reader), learn lessons of the heart. I was surprised at the element of mystery in the novel but it works well, pulling the reader through the pages. The themes of the book touch on loss, family life, and coming of age. Condie ties together the different plot threads nicely, making this book a keeper and a gem: we grow through the experience of reading it.

April 19, 2017


  1. acw

    April 17, 2017

    I actually liked this one the least of all of Ally’s books (and I’m a fan). I thought the grief was so oppressive it was more than my middle school girls could carry.

  2. Karen

    April 17, 2017

    I really enjoyed this one. I have read the matched series also. I have been happy to see the different kinds of stories Ally can tell. I have an 11 year old and I wouldn’t have any problem with her reading this book this summer or next. Reading about problems and choices of characters in books can help all of us, kids and adults process our own problems and choices.

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