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Summer of Fear

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3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,884 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
From the moment Rachel's family takes in her orphaned cousin Julia, strange things start to happen. Rachel grows suspicious but soon finds herself alienated from her own life. Julia seems to have enchanted everyone to turn against her, leaving Rachel on her own to try and prove that Julia is a witch. One thing about Julia is certain-she is not who she says she is, and Rach ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer
Still freakin' scary and still one of my best 7th grade booktalks. Lois Duncan knows how to work the fear nerve!
Eden
Rachel is fifteen, has a great boyfriend and a great family. But one day they get horrible news: Rachel's mother's sister and her husband were killed in a car accident. Their daughter, Julia, is now all alone. But Rachel's mother and father get ready to go get their niece. They hardly know her, but she is family. And Rachel is fine with this. Sure, it will take some getting used to sharing her room with someone, but it will be like having an older sister.

Everything was going well. At least for a
...more
girl writing
4 stars for content but gave only 3 because of edits.

I absolutely loved Lois Duncan's books as a young adult reader. They were creepy, twisty stories but not so scary, I had to sleep with the light on. This story is still a fun read as an adult. Reading it as an adult made me think of the draw of this story...a teenager who knows something is horribly wrong but none of the adults will listen to her and then they find out she is right. Who of us didn't have some kind of fantasy like that in the
...more
Abraham Nava
Jan 14, 2016 Abraham Nava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you like books about magic spells or witchcraft well this is the right book for you! The genre to this book is fantasy fiction with a little bit of realistic fiction. My opinion to this book is that it is great it is creepy in a way and makes you feel like you are actually there in the experience. There will be SPOILER ALERTS in the book so be aware.
So this book takes place in day and night in a house of this girl named Rachel. So what happens in this book is that what suddenly tragic just
...more
Wendy
Oct 12, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scary, read-in-rwanda
Reread for the umpteenth time. This book is so. freaking. good.
Luke Sewell
Dec 03, 2012 Luke Sewell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


The book Summer if Fear by Louis Duncan, in my eyes was one of the best books that I had ever read. The book is about a teenager named Rachel who had been looking forward to summer all year an when it finally arrives is overjoyed. She has a loving family, an amazing best friend, and the best boyfriend that a boy could ask for. All of they changed though when she came. When her family learned that their aunt and uncle had died they decided to adopt their cousin into their lives. This would be th
...more
Steph
Summer of Fear was written in 1976 for young adults and has won several book awards:
California Young Reader Medal for Vermont Young Readers Award, Vermont Young Readers Award and the New Mexico Young Readers Award. I chose to read this book for my "Lifetime of Books" challenge. If I hadn't had that challenge, I'm certain I never would've read this book. That being said, it was an entertaining read. I borrowed the audio version from the library and, although the narrator's voice didn't fit, IM
...more
Dana
Jun 21, 2015 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
I inhaled Lois Duncan's books as an adolescent. They felt dangerous, and sometimes mind-blowing (like the one about astral projection, for example!) without being the gore-fest of horror books intended for adults. I felt older, wiser, cooler, and harder for having read them. I decided to revisit one as part of my reading goals for this year. I wasn't aware when I checked it out that Summer of Fear was part of a rerelease of a number of Duncan's books, with edits for the modern reader. I don't th ...more
Mariana Nava
***Spoiler Alert* ** what would you do if your cousin was evil. i think this book is science fiction because there is lots of creepy things like black magic. In my opinion i really liked this book i love reading this type of book with mystery and suspension.

This book takes place in a neighbor hood in Mexico and took place in the percent. The main characters is Rachael, Julie Rachel's parents and Mike. This story talks about a girl named Rachel that seems to have a perfect life her parents love
...more
Sherri
Aug 12, 2011 Sherri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifteen-year-old Rachel’s life gets turned upside down when her orphaned 17-year-old cousin, Julia, from the Ozarks moves in with them when her parents are killed in a car accident. Not only does Rachel have to share her bedroom with her unfamiliar cousin, but Julia quickly wins over Rachel’s brothers and parents who are entranced by her charming ways. Only Rachel seems to notice the new unusual happenings, like how the friendly family dog immediately dislikes and bites Julia or how Julia’s tone ...more
Kelly Hager
Apr 07, 2011 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Carolina Dean
Jun 08, 2011 Carolina Dean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Summer of Fear is one of several stories written by noted author Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Hotel for Dogs) famous for her young adult novels. It is told in the first-person from the perspective of Rachael, a teenage girl living an idyllic life in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 1970's.

Rachael enjoys a loving, close-knit family (including two brothers), a best friend, and a dog named Trickle. Despite her hangups about her curly red hair, Rachael also has a cute boyfriend
...more
Sheila Beaumont
All of Lois Duncan's suspense novels that I've read have been fun, entertaining, and thrilling, and this one, in which orphaned cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after Julia's parents have been killed in a fiery car crash, is no exception. Bad things start happening soon after she moves in, and it soon becomes apparent that there's something not quite right about Julia, to put it mildly.

The book I read is the revised, updated version. The modernizing of the text wasn't necess
...more
Rayne
3.5 stars

In terms of the atmosphere in the novel and the general enjoyment that I got from this story, this should probably get a bit more than 3 stars. I am well aware that this is an oldie and that I am probably not in the target audience of this book any more, but I was a bit disappointed by it. I found it way to simple and a bit too predictable, but I did enjoy reading it, aside from that jerk of a love interest and Rae's parents, who had no problem calling their own daughter a witch, pointi
...more
Mj
Nov 03, 2015 Mj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great book if you plan on not sleeping.Lois Duncan has a way of scaring the readers without ruining their lives forever. Its filled with suspence and chills and horror.
Alice
Apr 06, 2010 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachael's cousin Julia is going to be living with her family. Julia's parents died in a car accident and Rachael's parents took her in. At first, Rachael likes Julia but as the story goes on, Rachael starts to become suspicious. Julia has "stolen" Rachael's best friend, her boyfriend, and her bedroom. Rachael then discovers that this Julia was not her real cousin. She is a witch.
I think that this book is good, and it's for people who like mystery books. i think that i can connect to Rachael a b
...more
Sarah
Feb 14, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast, simple read. It was the type of book I would have picked up when I was 15, but regardless I enjoyed it! I originally wanted to see the film starring Linda Blair and when I saw that it was based on a book by Lois Duncan i figured I'd check the book out first. I'm glad I did because it was a fun tale of good vs. bad, and how the bad people can usually convince everyone that they are the good person. I was flipping pages very quickly to see how this one was going to be resolved. I ...more
Kayla Hulse
Sep 09, 2015 Kayla Hulse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book Summer of Fear the story starts with Rachel having an amazing life until her family finds out that her aunt and uncle were in a car accident. So her parents go get her cousin, Julia, so she can live with them. Once Julia arrives Rachel's family isn't quite the same. Rachel realizes how different her family has become and tries to prove to them that there is something different about Julia that no one else seems to see except her. Some of the important characters are Rachel and Julia. ...more
Marna
Oct 04, 2014 Marna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had a really weird cover. A REALLY weird cover. A first edition discarded library book I got off of ebay. I am curious to see this (movie version) as all of her other books that were turned into movies (I Know What you Did Last Summer, Killing Mr. Griffith) were optioned years after the books were written which was not the case in this book, which was made into a TV movie (Linda Blair plays Julia, I think).

Umm...I actually didn't suspect exactly what was going on until the later half of the
...more
Astieber
Apr 30, 2014 Astieber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel is a fiftenn year old girl with a perfectly normal life. She lives in awrm New Mexico with her parents, her two brothers, and her dog Trickle. She even has a boyfriend named Mike. Life is great, until she finds out that her aunt Marge and Uncle Ryan were killed in a crash. Their car drove off a cliff and burned. At first Rachel thought this had nothing to do with her, but she was very wrong. Her parents told her that her older cousin Julia would be living with her. Right when Julia gets t ...more
Emily
Apr 23, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
So far in the book I've read 12 pages (chapter 1) and its going very well. The main character Rachel has just heard of her aunt and uncle's death and now hears that their daughter that the aunt and uncle had is most likely coming to live with her and her family. She feels very uneasy about the whole situation because she has never met this girl before in her life. This book (in my eyes) is starting off very mysterious and unsure in the direction this book is going to go. I very excited to contin ...more
Halcyon Daze
I didn't like this book. At first, I didn't understand why. I mean, it isn't too fundamentally different from Duncan's other books, which I typically enjoy.

It was boring.

Our main character is typical American teenager Rachel, who's living the good life. She gets along with her family, she has a boyfriend whom she loves, she's well-liked, etc. One day, her cousin Julia is orphaned and brought in to live with them. Strange things begin to happen, and Julia slowly begins to take away Rachel's frien
...more
Pam Baddeley
Short, economical and a good suspenseful read although, having just re-read this, I'm not sure if I guessed so early on, when I first read this many years ago, the major twist about the villain. This time the suspense element for me was when the protagonist was going to work it out. Duncan does drop the clues in fairly unobtrusively and a younger reader probably would not spot them too early on.

The characterisation of the villain might not go down too well with Wiccans as it's based on the stere
...more
Samai Brown
Jan 08, 2015 Samai Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that i read was Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan, this book is about when this girl named Rachel finds out that her Aunt and Uncle dies in a car accident her and her family realizes that they have to take Julia under their wing and take care of her now , but when Julia enters their home, Rachel senses evil and odd things start happening,but no one notices it but Rachel. The longer Julia was there the worse things start to get, Rachel's family ,boyfriend, and her best friend turned against ...more
ElphabaNewlin
Have you ever felt overshadowed by a prettier, more popular relative? Maybe a sibling, or a cousin? Someone who you think is just the worst person in the world, but everyone seems to love and make excuses for? And no matter how much you protest, that person is always held in highest regard, and YOU'RE the hysterical and mean one?

Have you considered that perhaps your relative is a practicing witch? Because Lois Duncan sure has!

Rachel lives a fairly good life in Albuquerque. She's close to her par
...more
Ashley
Aug 23, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Although some twists and turns are fairly obvious early on, and some plot points are too convenient, this is a thrilling and compelling read. And when you take into account the age range for which this was written, the negative points are moot. Truth be told I did not contemplate what year this was written until more than half way through. This update of the 1976 book feels natural enough. The non use of cell phones does not interfere with the story. Smartly the original activities are left alon ...more
Adrienne
Not as exciting as Stranger With My Face but still a pretty suspenseful read.

Rachel's parents made me want to pull out every single strand of my hair - they were so incredibly naïve. Every single person in the book was blind to Julia's cunning and hateful ways which really complicated things for the protagonist, Rachel, who was the only one NOT bewitched by Julia. I felt all the emotions Rachel felt - the anxiety, helplessness and despair at the situation. It was just painful to read about the t
...more
Alexandra Holt
Mar 16, 2015 Alexandra Holt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
The unforgettable summer Rachel was expecting comes to a sudden halt once she finds out that her only aunt and uncle have passed away, leaving their daughter, Julia, orphaned. Rachel's family takes in Julia, the mysterious cousin that has spent her entire life in private schools across the country. Not having known much about Julia, Rachel tries to welcome her cousin with open arms but soon finds out that her cousin is not what she imagined; in fact, she is the exact opposite.
I really enjoyed t
...more
Heather A
I saw the movie version of this book recently and while the most entertaining thing about the movie was. Linda Blair's poofy hairdo the movie was reasonably close to the pot of the book. I found the book more enjoyable. A reasonably entertains YA thriller about a girl who's cousin comes to live with her family after a tragic car accident. Everyone is blown away by the cousin but the story's heroine, Rachel, realises really quickly that something is not right about this new cousin.

Of course no o
...more
First Second Books
I am so in love with these redesigned covers of some of my favorite scary books from childhood (even if the books themselves will still give me nightmares.)
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz, April 28, 1934) is an American writer and novelist, known primarily for her books for children and young adults, in particular (and some times controversially considering her young readership) crime thrillers. Duncan's parents were the noted magazine photographers Lois Steinmetz and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but gr ...more
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