By Ally Condie
Dutton Children’s Books, 2016. 249 pgs. Young Adult Fiction
Internationally best-selling author, Ally Condie is best known for her Matched trilogy. But Condie's latest novel, Summerlost, is quite different from what readers are used to. Summerlost is a contemporary novel about 12 year old Cedar Lee. Cedar is facing the first summer since the death of her father and brother when Cedar's mom decides to move what's left of their family to the small town of Iron Creek. One day, Cedar see a strange boy, Leo Bishop, ride his bike past her house in an old fashioned peasant costume, and she decides to follow him. Before long Cedar has a new job at the Summerlost theater festival, a new mystery to solve involving one of Iron Creek’s most famous residents, and perhaps a new best friend.
I loved this book! The main character is well written and a genuine portrayal of a young girl adjusting to new circumstances and finding happiness in spite of tragedy. I also liked the development of Cedar and Leo’s friendship, and the theme it portrayed of understanding those around us even when they seem so different. The balance Condie creates between Cedar’s bittersweet self-reflection and the exciting twists in the mystery Cedar and Leo must solve make this a story both teens and adults will enjoy!