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What Dies in Summer: A Novel
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What Dies in Summer: A Novel

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  747 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
“I did what I did, and that’s on me.” From that tantalizing first sentence, Tom Wright sweeps us up in a tale of lost innocence. Jim has a touch of the Sight. It’s nothing too spooky and generally useless, at least until the summer his cousin L.A. moves in with him and their grandmother. When Jim and L.A. discover the body of a girl, ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published May 1st 2012)
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Aug 06, 2015 Melki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, offal
Just the other day a friend asked me about the worst book I ever read and I couldn't come up with anything. A few titles that I'd had to read for various book clubs flitted across my mind, but I had to admit that none of them were the worst.

Well, I now have the answer to my pal's query. Yup - it was this one, a confused mess so muddled I'm not sure that even the author knew what he intended it to be. Here we have a tale of two cousins who find a body, though that seems to be a subplot. Most of
Maya Panika
The story is narrated by Biscuit, a teenage boy from Oak Cliff, Texas, who tells us about the summer he and his cousin LA found the raped and mutilated body of a young girl. It soon it emerges that the girl is not her killer's first victim, nor, it seems, will she be the last if Biscuit’s psychic visions are to be believed. The race is on to find the killer before he claims another life.

Biscuit and his cousin LA, live with their grandmother, both families broken by abuse and violence. You do beg
A slow paced poignant story of loss and the innocence of a boy Jim. He narrates to you the trials and tribulations that he faces and how they prove to be testing. He does feel an air of failure about himself, a naive boy at heart not highly intelligent. He posses more than the average strain of innocence and kindness for a man. Unspeakable horrors are brought to him and deaths arise. Amongst all the failure he feels he's had, he does prove to do an act that he can look back at as an achievement ...more
Aug 04, 2013 Teresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa
Não entendo os adjectivos na capa e contracapa deste livro: "Magnifico", "Imaculado", "Impressionante", "Perturbador", "Arrepiante", "Inesquecível", "Sedutor", "Comovente",...
Referem-se, com certeza, a outro livro...
Aug 31, 2013 Filipa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quem tiver curiosidade neste livro, lhe pegar e posteriormente o for ler, não liguem à sinopse, ou pelo menos ao que está escrito no fim da sinopse. Não se dá início a uma investigação que porá a vida dos protagonistas em perigo.
Pelo menos, não da maneira como é feita a chamada de atenção.

Todo o livro se desenrola com a passagem de adolescentes pela casa da avó no verão.
Todas as descobertas que fazem, tanto a nível emocional como a nível físico.
Um rapaz (James) no meio de duas raparigas (L.A.
Nov 27, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a wild ride of a book! A little like To Kill a Mockingbird, a little like Member of the Wedding - this book takes place in the area of Dallas, Texas. Cousins Jim (aka Biscuit) and L.A. (Lee Ann) live with Gram - L.A. has a deep dark secret and Jim just wants to learn more about girls. Their discovery of a dead girl leads to an explosive ending which changes both of them forever. There are several deaths in this story but the death of innocence is the one mourned and celebrated at once. ...more
Xime García
Aug 22, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Sometimes I wonder why we all do this - review books, I mean. All these opinions floating out there in the ether. Do they help people find books to read? Do books that deserve to sell really sell more if we say we liked them? Fortunately, whenever I start wondering that too much a book like What Dies in Summer comes along and I remember why I do this - I like blathering about books and I really like it when I find a debut author who impresses me.

What Dies in Summer almost immediately reminded me
Feb 07, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O facto de este livro ter sido mal rotulado como thriller ( que não o é nem aqui nem na China) fez as pessoas pegarem nele com outra mentalidade e quando começaram a lê-lo a insatisfação passou a opinião sobre o que leram.

Digo isto porque quando o livro saiu fiquei bastante interessada em lê-lo, mas à medida que ia lendo as opiniões de outras pessoas até cheguei a pensar que este livro era uma porcaria.

Neste momento estou na página 102 e posso afirmar que até aqui adorei tudo o que li.

De facto
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

With a down-to-earth writing style and in-depth human insight, this page-turning crime fiction novel is a quintessential summer read for those who like dark paranormal twists and a Southern Gothic flavor to their novels.

About: In a Southern town during the early 1970’s, a young teenage boy named Jim (aka Biscuit) lives with his grandmother after his stepfather has beaten him badly enough to leave him in the hospital; and it’s not the first time. When h
Oct 24, 2015 Lénia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Que livro maravilhoso! Não sabia bem ao que ia, mas queria muito lê-lo - a capa é fabulosa, a sinopse também. Li-o devagar - é daqueles que pedem para ser saboreados, sabem? Não consigo - nem quero - resumir a história. Digo apenas que não me admiraria se, em vez de Tom Wright, o nome que consta na capa fosse João Tordo: o mesmo género de universo narrativo, o mesmo tipo de personagens, a mesma carga dramática. Sendo Tordo o meu autor português vivo preferido, isto é um elogio.

Nota extra para a
Nov 08, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I loved this. Tom Wright uses first person to tell this story of Biscuit, or James, and his summer with his cousin L.A. and his other friends. There is a killer in the community, and L.A. has secrets that she will not share, and Biscuit struggles to understand the female mind, support L.A., love Diane, and protect himself, his Gram, and L.A. against the various threats from family and the unknown. Wright's descriptive prose hooked me just as much as the story did.
Sid Nuncius
Oct 15, 2015 Sid Nuncius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. It is exceptionally well written for a first novel and it held me engrossed throughout.

The story is set in Dallas, Texas in an unspecified time, but before computers and mobile phones. (Judging by some of the musical references, it seems to be around 1970.) It is narrated by Biscuit, an adolescent boy living with his grandmother and this is really a coming-of-age story with crimes more-or-less in the background for much of the book. For me, even the denouement and
Jun 16, 2012 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a slow burner to be sure. I liked the narrator but the book seemed to pull its punches a bit too often. Yes there were some horrific things that happened in the story and to the characters but it almost seems as though the author shied away from these moments once they arrived. Perhaps I'm used to authors like Gillian Flynn, who goes stomping toward the horror with big black boots, but this seemed too gentle, even as grotesque or unspeakable things are happening.

The writing style was lush
Heather Boustead
What Dies in Summer
By Tom Wright

Jim Beaudry is a teenage boy whose dreams are haunted by a young woman, a dead young woman. One day Jim and his cousin L.A. stumble upon the dead body of the girl that has been haunting Jim’s dreams she had been brutally raped and murdered. Over the course of one summer these teenagers who have been through so much in their short lives find out that there is more hell that they must eventually endure.

Tom Wright creates two characters whose lives are so troubled t
Jul 01, 2016 Zach rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has to be the most pitiful excuse for a thriller I have ever read.
The majority of the book is taken up by mundane and disjointed events that seem as though they are building up to some kind of plot, but ultimately never do. It is obvious who the killer is just half way through and so everything else that happens in the meantime is essentially worthless filler. All of the characters are bland, one dimensional and exist solely as a plot device. Even the main protagonist who narrates the whole
Chris Gifford
Sep 05, 2015 Chris Gifford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This a not your standard murder mystery. Spoken through the voice James aka Biscuit, a teen boy that is coming of age in a very painful way. His mother's boyfriend not only beats his mother but beats on him too. He goes to live with his "Gram" in Oak Cliff a suburb of Dallas in the 1970's. His cousin Lee Ann aka L.A. also shows up one summer day traumatized. Back in the 70's kids could run the neighborhood safely. But things were starting to change when James & L.A. find the body of a dead g ...more
Douglas Lord
Besides mayflies, droughted crops, and Gore Vidal, what dies in summer is poor, murdered Tricia Venables—and this very title that brings her to us. Despite some lovely moments, few readers will have the patience for a shitshow that has about as much continuity as a slug after attacking a pillar of salt. The story’s centerlessness infects the main character, a 1960s Texas tween named Jim, with incoherence. Jim lives with his Grams ‘cuz his mom don’t want him, and he’s around 12 when his cousin Le ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book out of order within two books featuring the characters Jim Bonham and LA. The second book is "Blackbird" however, there is about a twenty year gap in time between books. This is Tom Wright's debut novel and reviewers called it "seductively suspenseful," "lyrical and realistic," "unusually accomplished and evocative," while I thought it was ok but very interesting. It's a coming-of-age story with more than a few sometimes dark twists. Heck, the whole book is dark and twisted with a ...more
Jun 14, 2016 Colleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, audiobook
I'm not having good luck with audiobooks from the library lately. This one is decently narrated, so I did get about half way through it. It's the lack of plot and cheap misogyny that drove me away.

It's from the POV of a teenage boy and is so obviously not the voice of a teenage boy. I don't mean the narrator's actual voice, I mean the internal dialogue and the focus on what everyone is wearing and the detailed descriptions of how Gram irons and has windmill cookies set out or how he and LA made
SIMON Karine
Je tiens tout d’abord à remercier Les Editions Presses de La Cité, pour leur confiance. J’ai apprécié ma lecture, et même si j’ai quelques bémols à émettre, ça reste une belle découverte.
Au premier abord, je pense que ce qui m’a manqué dans ce livre c’est le suspens, je m’attendais en effet à un thriller, et ce n’est pas le cas. Du coup, je suis ressortie de ma lecture quelques peu déçue, et c’est vraiment dommage, car en fait mis à part ce rythme un peu "lent", je pense sincèrement que ce roman
Alejandro Olaguer
Dallas, dos primos adolescentes viven con su abuela, el chico maltratado por su padrastro, la chica abusada por su padre. Asistimos al despertar de estos chicos a la vida adulta. Por momentos los chicos parecen tener una especie de poder extrasensorial, hay visiones, lluvias de peces plateados y sueños premonitorios. Hasta ahí todo parece una novela iniciática, de fin de la adolescencia. En un momento los chicos encuentran el cadáver de una chica, entonces todo parece inclinarse hacia el policia ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Celisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik geef het om precies te zijn 3.5 sterren. Het is een goed boek en het leest ook snel omdat de hoofdstukken kort zijn.
Ben Larken
Jun 19, 2012 Ben Larken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, engrossing read. The reveal of the killer's identity isn't a big surprise, but that seems beside the point. The characters are fully fleshed out and fully fascinating. I loved the main character's voice and the supernatural elements that lurked around the edges but never took over the story. Plus it's set in Dallas in the 70's, which was an added layer of cool for a Texan like me.
Mar 22, 2012 Naomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be really honest in saying that I didn't like anything about this book...the way it was written, the storyline, the characters, etc. I just thought that nothing about the book was really developed and it was really lagging. I actually believe that I think whoever wrote the jacket description for the book did a better job than the author in writing it. I was just really disappointed.
Roger Miller
Mar 13, 2015 Roger Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In the last chapter these are too quotes about one of the two villains in the novel. He did not want to destroy me, he wanted

to destroy his own weakness. A Lost boy too sacred to cry-a quote. This is the type of insight into evil and redemption that

Tom Wright brings. Sadly, it is clear he also fully understands family dysfunction and the sins of mothers and fathers. A

sordid religious book, that in the end the Jim find forgiveness and redemption. But in the end some of his characters choose

Mar 14, 2012 Nolan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars is more accurate. A valiant first effort with some interesting character ideas, but I felt it had struggles with identity. It jumped around a lot with a murder mystery and a coming of age/loss of innocence story and couldn't quite commit to one or other and/or couldn't find the balance. Keep at it, Mr. Wright. You'll get it.
Samidha Kalia
Jun 21, 2015 Samidha Kalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What dies in summer is the book I loved from start till end.
It had me hooked like something. I had taken to read it while I was at a family vocation and during those times you generally don't read books because you're busy enjoying but this book had me spend at least 2 hours each night.
I rushed through the chapters like anything.
I liked the fact that biscuit had given his POV, and that his cousin L.A. Was so headstrong.
Also the major turn out of the book is so real and possibly people now-a-day
Zulma Rios
Mar 11, 2014 Zulma Rios rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo que muere en verano nos habla de como las familias esconden secretos, que muchas veces ni los miembros de la misma, se imaginan, de lo difícil que es vivir en una situación de violencia domestica,donde incluso quienes se suponen que están ahí para protegerte te hacen daño, o se hacen de la vista gorda, como si nada pasara, en esta historia encontramos a monstruos reales, monstruos que bien pueden pasar por un ciudadano normal, mientras que en la intimidad, en su vida privada, son capaces de c ...more
Dave Tuck
Sep 05, 2012 Dave Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to have enjoyed this more than previous reviewers. I've noticed many referring to the serial killer storyline but to focus on that detracts from the real story which is the central character's development and loss of innocence.

Biscuit has had a difficult life, his Mum is alive but he lives with his Gram and shortly his cousin L.A joins them. Along with his girlfriend Diane these are 3 main people in Biscuit's life and it's his conflicted feelings about being the only man and protector whi
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What did I miss???? 1 5 Nov 05, 2012 06:54PM  
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Tom Wright is a practicing psychologist and received his doctorate from Texas A&M University. What Dies in Summer is his first book. He lives in Texarkana, Texas.
More about Tom Wright...

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