Cruel Summer by James Dawson

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Title & Author: Cruel Summer by James Dawson

Publisher/Year: Indigo/2013

Genres: YA Thriller, YA Mystery

Format: Paperback (U.K. version)

Source: Book Depository

Other Books By Author: Say Her Name, Hollow Pike, Under My Skin, All of the Above,   Love Hurts

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

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.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Cruel Summer has been on my TBR list for about a year now and just a couple of weeks ago I finally got the chance to read it. It proved to be even more of a page turner and was packed with more mystery and thrills than I had been expecting. I loved the alternating points of view between two of the main characters, Ryan and Alisha. It gave two sides/views of what was going on as the two had different ideas about what happened to Janey.

I really liked all of the characters and the end left me in complete and total shock. I constantly changed my mind as to who I thought killed Janey and in the end while I was completely surprised, there was a part of me that was still shocked. I was also taken off guard by who the killer was. In my opinion is was the least likely character but once the reader learns why they are seeking revenge it becomes perfectly clear and all makes sense (the motive). Each character has a different personality but together they all seemed like a fun group of friends.

Cruel Summer was a page turner that I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen to them next. The ending wasn’t the one I was hoping for because let’s be honest we all want a happy ending, but it was perfect for the book. Cruel Summer paired with Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas would be one hell of a pair for you to bring along on your summer vacation. Both had similarities to me but different stories and I loved them both. If you have read either Cruel Summer or Dangerous Girls I’d recommend reading the other because they are like two peas in a pod. You can’t like one and not the other. I cannot wait to read James Dawson’s other YA book I have, Say Her Name. Once I do I will post a review for that as well.


Top Ten Tuesday 11/25/2014

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Surprisingly today is a double post day. I posted a book review earlier today and there was no way I was skipping out on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s topic is…

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR

I always have a insane amount of books on my TBR list so I’m going to do my best to narrow it down to my top ten which I can tell you now is going to be hard. I may need to add a few honorable mentions at the end.

1.) Secrets and Lies by Jacqueline Green – I just ordered this on Amazon and will read it as soon as I get it


2.) My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal – Another book I just ordered and am looking forward to reading


3.) The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher – I got this in the mail the other day but have a few more books I need to read first


4.) What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott – The next book I am going to start reading (ARC copy)


5.) Rooms by Lauren Oliver – Asked for this for Christmas and really hope I get it


6.) The Rain by Virginia Bergin – Seems like an interesting/different dystopian book


7.) The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont – Love her books and want to read her newest


8.) Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie – Have been waiting SO long to read this and am now just waiting for it to be delivered


9.) Very Bad Things by Susan McBride – Boarding school mystery…can’t resist


10.) Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff – I have heard great things about this book and want to read it for myself


Honorable mentions: Say Her Name and Cruel Summer by James Dawson, Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas, The Drowing by Rachel Ward, and of course a few wintery themed books…Snowed Over by Angie Stanton, Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne, Snow in Love by Claire Ray

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Top Ten Tueday 09/23/2014

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So I am totally loving my new banners and how well they go with my the theme of my blog. Hopefully they keep me satisfied long enough, I tend to get bored quickly and want to make new changes. Anyhow, I’ve decided to no longer post a review on Monday or Wednesday since I’m posting Top Ten Tuesdays on well…Tuesdays. If I post a ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ post I may or may not post a review on Thursday, but probably not. I’m trying to create these posts and schedule them a few days in advance. (For example I’m typing this and I typed 2 reviews on Friday the 19th.) I’m trying to have posts at least for the current week scheduled and a least one review or post for the following week just so I can stay on top of things.

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is, Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List, which may be the easiest and hardest post ever. Easiest because I have such a huge list of books I’d like to read this fall, an the hardest because I have no idea how I am only going to pick a top ten. I may have to list a few “honorable mentions”, although I’m not going to put really any of these except the first couple in order.

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List:

1.) They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire


2.) Get Even (Don’t Get Mad #1) by Gretchen McNeil


3.) The Murmurings by Carly Anne West


4.) Premeditated by Josin McQuein


5.) Creed by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie


6.) This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol


7.) The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes


8.) How We Fall by Kate Brauning


9.) My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal


10.) (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Karen Karyus Quinn


“Honorable Mentions” (Want to read just as much as the ten above): Wicked Games by Sean Olin, Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf, Thirty Sunsets by Christine Hurley Deriso, Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas, Cruel Summer by James Dawson, and way too many others.

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Top Ten Tuesday 09/09/2014


While I usually post both a book review and my Top Ten Tuesday post on Tuesdays, I am going to cut back to just doing Top Ten Tuesdays today and every following Tuesday. That way I can schedule the review I would be posting today another day and can fill out the weeks a little better as classes get crazier. As you all probably know by now, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I am really excited for this week’s topic because I feel like I will easily reach ten authors with no problem, sooooo this Tuesday’s topic is:

Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in X genre

I am going to fill it in Top Ten Underrated Young Adult Authors. For pictures this week I am going to include a picture of my personal favorite from that particular author. I apologize if you think I misplace an author on here, but these are authors I feel like are underrated for whatever reason whether it be I don’t see many blog reviews on their books or I don’t hear people talk about them a lot.

1.) Alyson Noel – I love her books, especially her standalone ones like Saving Zoe, Laguna Cove, Kiss & Blog, Faking 19 and…


2.) Abbi Glines – I really liked The Vincent Boys which led me to read Fallen Too Far and fall in love with it

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3.) Jessi Kirby – After falling head over heels in love with Moonglass I have really enjoyed her other novel as well


4.) Nina de Gramont – I hadn’t heard of her until I randomly picked up Every Little Thing in the World and cannot wait to read her other books


5.) Miranda Kenneally – I love, love, love all of her books that I have read so far


6.) Emmy Laybourne – Everyone is all ga-ga over The Hunger Games, yet her trilogy Monument 14 was so much more terrifying and realistic


7.) Sarah Ockler – When it comes to me forget Sarah Dessen, I love Sarah Ockler’s books especially…


8.) Sara Shepard – Everyone only knows her for Pretty Little Liars, but she has written The Lying Game series, other novels and has another YA thriller-mystery series coming out soon (more or less underrated for her other novels)


9.) Lauren Barnholdt – Definitely one of my top ten favorite authors


10.) Susane Colasanti – I really have enjoyed every one of her novels so far but never see any reviews for them


So there are my Top Ten Underrated Young Adult Authors. This list was definitely the easiest and quickest I have made in the history of Top Ten Tuesdays.

Top Ten Tuesday 08/26/2014


This week’s topic may be the easiest for me yet. It is going to include both published and non-published books because there are a lot of books that are coming out this fall, winter and next spring that I absolutely cannot wait to read but obviously do not yet own. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and their topic this week is:

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet

1.) They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire – This is my top most anticipated releases this fall


2.) Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin – I own and have read the first and really want to read the sequel


3.) Nantucket Red by Leila Howland – Same as above


4.) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – Has been on my TBR list for a few months now


5.) The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings – Has also been on my TBR list for a few months


6.) Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn – I love summer based books


7.) P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – Sequel to To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before (pic of book 1)


8.) The Perfectionists book 2 by Sara Shepard – Just finished an ARC copy of The Perfectionists and am in love (pic of book 1)


9.) Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas – Author of Dangerous Girls, need I say more


10.) Cruel Summer by James Dawson – Sounds amazing, have to order from Book Depository


There are so many more books that I really want to read but either don’t own the book or haven’t borrowed it from my library yet. These are definitely my top ten though and I am hoping to own all of them by the end of this year (they are all on my birthday/Christmas wishlist).

Top Ten Tuesday 07/29/2014


Thank goodness for a super easy week for Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. So you’re probably wondering what is this week’s super, incredibly easy topic? Well this week’s topic is:

Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

1.) Sara Shepard (17)


2.) Alyson Noel (7)


3.) Susane Colasanti (5)


4.) Ann Brashares (5)


5.) Stephanie Meyers (5)


6.) Jenny Han (4)


7.) James Marsden (4)


8.) Sarah Dessen (4)


9.) Deb Caletti (4)


10.) Nicole Polizzi (Snooki) (4)


An honorable mention that just missed the list:

-Abbi Glines (I have 2 paperback copies of her books & 3 Kindle versions)


Yes, yes, yes…I have four books written by Nicole Polizzi (Snooki) and yes I have read all four of them and am no ashamed either. I was a fan of both Snooki and the show Jersey Shore and am still a loyal fan of Snooki. If you want to judge me go ahead but seriously if you are, get off your high horse. (Baby Bumps was actually a really good book and gave you insight to a real pregnancy. She didn’t sugar coat it like most do, she told it how it is and I liked that she was so honest.) Rant done.

As for the rest of the books, I felt like Sara Shepard was a given. She’s written 17 books in the Pretty Little Liars series so far with one more coming this winter, and she also wrote The Lying Game series which I serious need to finish. I’d say about half of the author’s books that made my list, I haven’t even read yet. I will get around to it but as of now they are pretty low on my priority list.

Did any of the authors that made my list also make yours? If so which ones and how high or low on your list were they compared to mine?

Top Ten Tuesday 06/03/2014


Yay my first Top Ten Tuesday since I’ve been back! And this is definitely one of my favorite Top Ten Tuesdays as well because if you know me, you know I am a sucker for summery, beachy books. As always, Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is….

 Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag or Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

(Warning I may exceed ten books and all books will have a beach or summer theme to them)

1.) The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han – Absolutely perfect books for the summer and beach and if you haven’t read any or all of them, add that on your summer bucket list and you can thank me later.

2.) Five Summers by Una LaMarche – I’m a sucker for a good summer camp story too and this one was soooo good. Seriously, put it in your beach bag!

3.) Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin (and I’m definitely putting the sequel Since Last Summer in my own bag) – Once again just staying with the summer theme and when there’s a sequel it makes me happy because that means the story isn’t over yet.

4.) Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red (although I have not read the sequel yet) by Leila Howard – Just like Rules of Summer, a great summer book and now has a sequel. Yay!

5.) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – All you Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour Fans, you really need to read her second book. Warning though, wear your sunglasses when reading because you may shed a tear…or many in my case.

6.) Any of Hailey Abbott’s books (My top choices are Boy Crazy, Flirting With Boys and Getting Lost With Boys) – All of her books are summer based and not too long so they are the perfect beach read.

7.) Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – If you have never picked this book up I urge you to go and buy it and read it ASAP. It’s really good.

8.) Cruel Summer and Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel – Her books are also fairly short and both of these make good beach reads.

9.)Snapshot by Angie Stanton – Surprise another summer camp book, but this one is really good and it follows the characters after summer camp is over. It’s a companion to another one of her books as well.

10.) Lost Summer by Alex McAulay – This is a good beach read that is a bit of a thriller too. (Bonus if you’re staying in or have been to the Outer Banks because you’ll know the fictional references. Also it’s $18 new on Amazon. I bought mine for a penny used in good condition and paid $4 total with shipping.)

11.) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – I just finished this book and oh my god it was good. I finished it in two days because I couldn’t put it down and didn’t until I went to sleep. It’s a mystery and although it’s a little long it’s an easy read. *I’ll be posting a review after this post.*

12.) Moonglass by Jessi Kirby – Loved, loved, loved this book. It was short and sweet and takes place on the beach.

13.) The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks – Obviously this is a good beach read and the movie is pretty good as well.

14.) Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally – Summer camp again but goes on after camp is done. Really really good. In fact I am buying it right now. (Rented from the library.)

15.) Sleepaway Girls and Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita – Two great books that go hand in hand and make for perfect beach books.

So that is all of the books I can think of for now. They are all great books to bring on the beach and I will probably reread some of them while I am at the beach myself this summer.

Top Ten Tuesday 01/28/2014


Yay! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday again and I absolutely LOVE the topic The Broke and the Bookish made this week. I have been waiting until the clock turns to midnight so without further ado…This week’s topic is…

Top Ten Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In / Characters I’d Never Want to Trade Places With

So without rambling on any further here is my top ten list:

1.) This will probably be the most popular one today but Katniss Everdeen/Panem. Yes some people think The Hunger Games is so overrated now, but I would not want to have to fight til the death in the annual hunger games, I would not want to be a target for the other tributes, and I certainly would not like to live through the first to only have to go through it again for the quarter quell. I’m not sure anyone would so that is why Katniss and Panem (because they seem to go hand in hand) makes the first on my list.

2.) Assuming worlds can also mean the futuristic world, Monument 14 takes the number 2 spot. My anxiety is horrible and I have witnessed an earthquake before and actually got so worked up, I got sick to my stomach. I wouldn’t want to deal with a massive hail storm, earthquake, and a chemical weapon spill all within a week, in addition to not knowing if my parents were safe or not. I am also blood type O, which means one deep breath of the polluted air and I would turn into a raging monster out to kill. Not exactly my idea of fun.

3.) Aria, Spencer, Hannah, and Emily from the Pretty Little Liars series are four girls who I would never ever want to trade places with. They are tormented, the people they love the most are injured or killed, and they have a psychopath stalking them every second of the day. I think if I were them I’d change my name and move to Canada, but knowing Ali, she’d probably still find them. I wouldn’t be able to take looking over my shoulder every second of the day to wonder if she is watching me or not..I’d go crazy, and the guilt I’d live with for the rest of my life if someone I love was targeted and then hurt or killed because of me would be unbearable. Thank goodness those four girls are fictional and don’t have to put up with all of that in the real world.

4.) This is probably a character that is not widely known, but it doesn’t change the fact that I wouldn’t want to be her and that is Gemma from Stolen by Lucy Christopher. This book was so intense. First she is abducted and her abductor expects her to love him even though he has taken her away from her life. Second, no matter how far she runs or how badly she tries to escape, she can’t. She is stuck in the middle of the dessert and would die from the heat and dehydration before she could make it to any town. I get the chills just thinking about being in her place because I honestly have no idea how I’d deal with it.

5.) Another character not widely known, but an absolutely amazing book and one of my favorites, The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. I would not want to trade places with Colt (even if he’s a boy and I’m a girl). Having a secret love for a year with Julia and then she dies. I’d be pissed if I were him. Because the relationship was a secret and she was in a completely different social circle, Colt couldn’t publicly show his emotions over the incident and then on top of that, Julia’s brother gives Colt her journal and now he has to read everything she was feeling and thinking when she was alive and all of the things she had left unsaid between the two of them. I would be a emotional wreck but so pissed at the same time and those are two messy emotions when added together are even worse and I would not want to be dealing with that.

Well….that was only 5 and I cannot think of anymore worlds I wouldn’t want to live in or characters I wouldn’t want to trade places with. I know there’s so many more books I could use as examples if I had read them, but since I haven’t I don’t feel like I should include them. So instead, I am going to finish this list with 5 worlds I’d want to live in or character’s I’d want to trade places with. Add a little positive in with the negative and it would bother me if I didn’t have an actual top ten list in some form.

6.) Very cliched but a world I’d love to live in (although it is our world just with some fictional characters) is Twilight. I read the first three books in the series years ago, never finished the fourth, but I would have killed to be Bella. I didn’t care about all the problems she faced with being in love with a vampire and having a werewolf being in love with her. Edward was the description of the perfect guy, well besides for the fact that he was undead..but I fell in love with a fictional character and I am so embarrassed to even admit that but hey whatever it’s true.

7.) I’d love, love, love to trade places with Belly in The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy. I loved those books and although parts of them weren’t always happy and sometimes left me angry or depressed, I envied her summers at the beach house and her relationships with Jeremiah and Conrad. I loved how she got a chance with both boys to see which one worked out better, even if that is a little weird to date both of them since they are brothers. I just loved the books and the characters and would have loved for that to be my real story of my summers.

8.) I’m taking this whole “worlds” thing probably the wrong way, but whatever it’s my interpretation of it, but I’d love to live in these summer camp novel worlds. I love books where the character goes off to summer camp for the first time, heads back to summer camp, or like Five Summers, has a reunion at the summer camp she used to spend her summers at. I don’t know why I love these kind of books so much. Maybe because the bond between the friends are just so strong, and they’re always doing something fun that you would only associate with a summer camp. Plus the added summer flings or boy drama always makes the story better.

9.) My third unknown character that I am including in this list is Colby from Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel. I would love to trade places with her. She has to spend the summer in Greece with her aunt which she is not thrilled about, but Greece is the country I’d like to travel to the most. I think it is gorgeous and would be ecstatic to spend my summer there. Plus the cute local boy Yannis is a plus even if she doesn’t realize it right away. If I were in Colby’s place, I probably would never want to leave.

10.) This will be the most childish answer, but Wendy from Peter Pan, is the last character I’d like to trade places with. I don’t know what my obsession is with Peter Pan, but it has always been my favorite children’s story and my favorite Disney movie. I want to be able to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, see the mermaids and even come face to face with Captain Hook, of course only if I am guaranteed to survive like Wendy did. The one question I still can’t answer is if I’d stay in Neverland and never grow up or if I’d get tired of that after a while and go back home.

So that is my Top Ten Tuesday list for today. I am kind of annoyed at myself that I don’t have a full list of ten worlds I wouldn’t want to live in or characters I’d want to trade places with, but I haven’t always been a really big reader when it came to the dystopian books or depressing books where something bad happens. I usually stick to my girly books usually involving drama and romance. I do have some dark, dystopian books on my to read list as well as a few YA thrillers so maybe at the end of February when it is choose your own Top Ten Tuesday, I will redo this topic with a whole list instead of just a half a list.