Summer of Fear

Finished Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel’s cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel’s life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her–including Rachel’s boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?”

After Rachel’s aunt and uncle die in a car accident, her orphaned cousin, Julia, comes to live with the family. Rachel tries to be welcoming, but there’s something about Julia she doesn’t quite trust. It may be the fact that everyone is Team Julia all of a sudden and Rachel feels left out, but she’s pretty sure there’s more to it than simple jealousy. After a little research, she starts to suspect that Julia’s actually a witch (and it’s a little more like The Craft than, say, Sabrina the Teenage Witch). But how can she prove it? And how can she get anyone to believe her?

This book was really entertaining. I felt almost trapped with Rachel (although I also spent some time yelling at her because she left a key piece of evidence unguarded and really, REALLY, RACHEL?!), knowing that she was right and nobody believed her. It reminded me of that scene in the Blair Witch Project where Josh (or was it Mike?) was yelling at Heather and repeating “There’s no one here to help you!”

That was probably the creepiest part of this book, actually, watching this really close family falling apart and seeing Rachel try to figure out what was going on with no help. (And also, watching Julia just completely co-opt her life—and isn’t that something we’re all a little afraid of? seeing someone else live our life and doing it better and us not even being missed? No? That’s just me? Okay, never mind.)

I am so happy that these books are being reissued and I’m going to read them all. :) (I think you should, too.)

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