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I Know What You Did Last Summer

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,305 Ratings  ·  651 Reviews
It was only an accident -- but it would change their lives forever. Last summer, four terrified friends made a desperate pact to conceal a shocking secret. But some secrets don't stay buried, and someone has learned the truth. Someone bent on revenge. This summer, the horror is only beginning....
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 6th 1999 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1973)
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Joshua Thomas Not really. It's completely different from the film that was made about it. There's not really a 'killer' in this book, it's more of a stalker who…moreNot really. It's completely different from the film that was made about it. There's not really a 'killer' in this book, it's more of a stalker who just watches and sends notes. It's not even that suspenseful. There's better scary books out there, like Trick or Treat by Jackson Sharp is one I'm reading right now that's quite creepy. But this book just didn't have the same effect as the movie. I don't say this much but the movie was better than the book haha. I'd give it a miss if I was you. (less)
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The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
281st out of 874 books — 9,336 voters
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YA Novels Made Into Movies
54th out of 104 books — 185 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Darth J
Okay guys, I read this book when I was in fourth grade (when the movie came out) so my recollection will be a little bit foggy. Just go with me on this, okay? (view spoiler)

So the plot of this story centers on Julie James (view spoiler)
Christian Guzman
I read this novel in one sitting. It wasn’t the most enjoyable book I have read, but it wasn’t unexciting either. I would have probably enjoyed this novel way more if I had read it when I was about 13 years old. The concept and plot of the book grabbed my attention which is why I decided to read it. Also, the length of the book was ideal, just in case if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t have wasted too much time on it. It was quite entertaining, but it lacked suspense for me. At first I found it to ...more
Aug 07, 2009 ChunderHog rated it it was ok

Hopefully you didn't just read that. For those of you who were smart enough to skip that spoiler you can now read in confidence knowing that you will not be told that the book was made into a movie. You will live in happy naivety thinking that the book is a self-contained form of media in which this narrative lives. Unfortunately, you will be wrong.

Since I have neither read the book, nor seen the movie. I can safely
Four kids drive home after a high-school-party, everyone - including the driver - a bit intoxicated and tipsy. Then happens what always happens in such situations: an accident on a dark road. They knocked over a young boy, riding with his bicycle. For fear of the police they don't administer first aid but instead do a hit-and-run.

One year later - they've almost forgotten the incident - they're reminded of it via mysterious letters. Someone outside of their circle seems to know their dark secret.
My mother recommended this book to me. She's not a reader, but she did remember that she read this in Junior High and that she liked it. I read it because now it's something that we have in common.

The feel of this book reminded me instantly of Richard Peck's Are You in the House Alone? mixed with a teenaged version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. There are differences as well. It isn't exactly how I just described it, but all three have the anonymous threatening letters involved
Nov 18, 2009 DVonte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
I've found that I love Lois Duncan's writing style, her stories, and her hidden layers, but this one fell a bit short. It's ironic since out of the stories I've read of hers, this is inferior, but it's the most popular because of the movie.

The film, by the way, is much different. We don't get a hand hook killer tracking down the teenagers. Here it's a mini mystery. The ending is rather simple and cheesy. Backstory is depressing, you feel for the victim and the consequences. I liked the main char
Carolyn  Storer
As with many of you, I watched the movie 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' many years ago and didn't realise it was actually based on a novel. I say based loosely as the film doesn't really have much to do with the book - whereas the film is much more in the 'horror' genre, the book is just a light thriller.

It was originally written in 1973 but I read the newly revised edition published by Atom. I'm not fond of revised books. I much prefer to read the original version, I don't like the idea of a
Amy Y.
Mar 22, 2011 Amy Y. rated it did not like it
"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is about these 4 teenagers named Barry, Julie, Ray and Helen had all coped with one little secret they had tragically kept for their whole summer. As things began to clear up, Julie recieves a threatning message... Immediately, Julie knew that someone has figured out her secret, a deadly secret. Julie and her friends undergo obstacles to find the messenger and put a end to their nightmares. They need to outsmart the killer before all of them dies before they eve ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Middle School Students
Shelves: power-player
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcus Simon
Mar 07, 2010 Marcus Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about some teenagers that went camping but the bad thing that happened when they were coming back home for their trip, there was a little boy on a bike who drove on the road. And the kids were drunk when they were driving so they didnt see him. So the teenagers hit the little boy on the bike, and they did kill that little boy. They made a pact to never tell anyone about it or ever bring it up again. It was working to, until this one little note that changed their lives forever.On th ...more
Graeme Cash
Sep 30, 2015 Graeme Cash rated it liked it
Four high school students, Julie, Helen, Barry and Ray are returning from a party when they accidentally hit a young boy riding his bike home. Other than stopping to make a call to report the accident the teens do nothing to help. Fearing the accident will ruin their lives they make a pact to never speak of the incident again.

A year has passed and the group has drifted apart. Julie has dropped the cheerleading squad and become a serious student, Helen has dropped out of high school and is the ne
Tanner Haws
May 11, 2015 Tanner Haws rated it it was ok
I Know What You Did Last Summer is set in a small seaside village. The four main characters, Julie, Barry, Helen , and Ray, are teenage friends who get into trouble on the fourth of July after their senior year. The group is driving down a winding road when they hit and kill a man who is standing in the road. The teenagers decide that the best way to avoid getting into trouble for the incident is to dump the body in the nearby ocean. Just as the group drops the body into the water the eyes snap ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Abbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating - 2.5

I didn't enjoy this one that much, which wasn't a surprise since I didn't like the other ones I've read from this author. It certaintly weren't the worse one, but most of the story was pretty dull, and I was glad when it was over.

Jun 09, 2014 Emily rated it did not like it
Wow. I remember loving this book as a 7th grader. Oh, how my tastes have changed. It was so bad. Nothing happens: boring, boring, boring! The only interesting part is what everyone already knows about the story.
Emma Lowers
Jan 09, 2014 Emma Lowers rated it really liked it
Ray Brunson, Julie James, Barry Cox, and Helen Shivers were fun, popular, outgoing high-school students returning from a rowdy party one dark summer night when something happened that would change their lives forever. With the effects of drugs and alcohol upon all of them, Barry took no notice of the outline of a bicycle straight ahead. Wham! The little boy, later identified as Daniel Greggs, was instantly killed. The cowardly, young kids decided not to report the hit-and-run and to never bring ...more
Sep 26, 2008 Allyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Great horror book for anyone who loves mysteries and horror combined!
So my group on Goodreads started the Blind Date Challenge again, and my partner and I picked this book. I was really interesting in this one, I heard a lot about the book and the movie, so I was curious if it was really as good as everyone said.

Sadly, it was not. It started off pretty good though, and I was really exited to read the book. The changing POVs were done really well (every chapter we had a different character), and the story was interesting. However as the book progressed I started t
Liz Sealey
May 28, 2015 Liz Sealey rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
In I know what you did last summer, the four main characters, Ray, Barry, Helen, Julie find themselves in a rather horrifying accident. The four college kids are driving late at night and they accidentally hit a young boy, who was crossing the street at that time. A year later, unexplainable murders begin to take place, this eventually takes a huge toll on them physiologically and one by one they become partly insane.

I think Lois Duncan did a good job of setting up a suspenseful storyline espec
Wayne Simmons
May 10, 2012 Wayne Simmons rated it liked it
Readers expecting a novelisation of the infamous 90s slasher of the same name may look elsewhere: this is a YA book. And an old-school YA at that. The premise is the same: 4 teens involved in a hit and run begin to receive ominous messages a year later, and the character names may be the same, but that's where the similarity ends. A fish hook slasher this book ain't.

The original book was written in 1973 and my main criticism is that the author tried a half-arsed attempt at updating the story fo
Apr 21, 2009 Mike rated it it was ok
Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer was a nonstop thrill ride. From the first chapter to the last, I was captivated by the chilling story involving a group of teens who accidentally killed a boy.

This book was about four teens that were partying one night and hit a young boy. They were drinking and decided to keep the whole incident a secret, until they begin to get threatening messages form an anonymous person. They went their separate ways after the accident, but now they must unite t
Jul 05, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, library
So this is an example in which the movie is better than the book. Like WAY better. I added this to my book club list because I Know What You Did Last Summer is one of my favorite horror movies. I just love the cast, and the story, and it's just SO good and a forever favorite. I thought that the book would be just as good, but in my opinion, it SO wasn't.

Maybe it's the fact that it was written so long ago. I do think that things that were really scary back in the day probably aren't as scary now.
I knew this book had been originally written in 1973, so when I saw references to cell phones and GPS, I realised I was reading an updated version of the book. At first it was distracting, cuz even though these minor changes bore no importance to the story, I kept thinking to myself, "this didn't exist when the book was originally written!!" I soon got into the story and forgot all that though.

This was really good! I really enjoyed the twist as to who the stalker was and how he was tied into al
Ada Gao
Jun 16, 2013 Ada Gao rated it liked it
I Know What You Did Last Summer is about four high school friends name Julie, Helen, Ray, and Barry. This novel took place at the after a terrifying summer. These four friends hold a huge terrifying secret that only those four will know. Unless... someone tells. One day when Julie went to her mailbox, she was really excited to see a mail from the college she is applying to that she totally ignored the small mail that will change their life. In that small mail states 7 words that said "I know wh ...more
It's been a while since I read this book, but here goes nothing. It kept my attention, that's for sure. The mystery starts right from the beginning as soon as our four main characters commit their drunken hit-and-run. As much as I would like to think that something like this would be unlikely, I know this isn't true. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who would do something like this and keep it to themselves to save their own skins; especially teenagers. I know this is going to ...more
Marina (rinareviewsbks)
A group of teenagers returning home from a party late at night accidently run over a boy riding a bicycle. In panic they try to decide what to do, which results in a pact of never mentioning the incident to anyone. A year later a note arrives at the house of one of the teens that was in the car saying " I know what you did last summer". The group of teens get back togather to figure out if the note may mean the murder of some sick prank someone is playing on them. When things turn from bad
Jasmine C.
Oct 22, 2013 Jasmine C. rated it really liked it
Even when you think no one knows a secret, someone will find out. Four kids, who smoke and drink decide to go for a drive. While they drive, something terrible happens. What did they do? The four of them, cheerleader Julie, tutor Ray, football star Barry, and TV news reporter Helen make a pact to never talk about the incident again. They never talked about it, following the pact for a year, until someone is threatening to take their lives away. The secret is no longer a secret, and the horror is ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Kandee rated it it was amazing
- I Know What You Did Last Summer is a great descpitive novel about four friends, illegally smoking pot and driving drunk, who accidentally hit a young kid and make a pact that no one would tell about what happened that fatefull summer.

One day, Julie, one of the friends recieves a letter with the words, "I know what you did last summer" whritten on it. She ignores it at first, but then bad things start happening to the friends over that one deed that happened that summer.

Three Words; I Love It
Kayla Jones
Jul 14, 2016 Kayla Jones rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
2.5/5 stars

Not great but interesting enough. The movie was more fast-paced and had a much better story line in my opinion. Everything about this was predicable and there wasn't a lot of character development. They felt incredibly one-dimensional and I felt no connection to any of them because of this. Definitely not a great book.
Audrey Maran
Jun 10, 2013 Audrey Maran rated it it was ok
I grabbed this at a used bookstore on a whim because I had no clue the movie was based on a book. In my experience, horror stories do not transfer well to film sometimes, so I thought I would see if the book is any good. It is actually worse than the movie. Didn't think that was possible? Then be prepared to have your mind blown, because it is. Least likable characters of all time. Sometimes, an author does that purposely, and I love that. In this case, I don't think it was deliberate. On top of ...more
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz) was 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 grew up in Saraso ...more
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“aloud she said why not you ray you were involed in this as much as the resst of uswhy is it that bud never tried to do anything to you ?his armed tighted around her.'he knew the worst thing for me was a world without you” 13 likes
“she thought ray i'll never see ray again there was a time she looked into those green eyes and said i love you so long ago he'll never know i still do” 7 likes
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