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Summer of Fear

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,342 ratings  ·  229 reviews
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?
Paperback, 219 pages
Published October 15th 1977 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1976)
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(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!
Luke Sewell


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
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
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, IMO...more
Sherri
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
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
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
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
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
Alice
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
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
Marna
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
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
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
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
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
Heather
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.)
Tori
This one was really weird, more about the supernatural. Kind of interesting, but strange.
Abby
This book was very good, but it was very aggravating. I don't like manipulative people but that's what made this book very engrossing. Rachel was very irritating though. I know that in the situation that she's in, it's hard to handle everything sometimes, but I don't see why she couldn't have planned out certain situations the n afterwards, worked them out. Plus, feel like the ending wasn't particularly rushed, but it could've been wrapped up better. For her to just to give up and leave doesn't...more
Sarah
fave boooookkkkkkk
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marii
Debido a un accidente de trafico que se cobra la vida de los padres de Julia, los progenitores de Rachel deciden traerse a vivir con ellos a la pobre y desdichada sobrina huérfana. En un principio Rachel se muestra totalmente de acuerdo con la decisión de sus padres, es mas, esta totalmente dispuesta a colaborar para que la primita se sienta como en casa, pero un primer vistazo a la misteriosa mirada cargada de secretos de Julia, hará no solo que Rachel se retracte en su decisión, sino que ademá...more
Ruo Xi Lim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luke Sewell
In the book Summer of Fear a teenage girl named Rachel had the perfect life. She had a loving family a perfect best friend and an amazing boyfriend whom she cared for deeply. When summer came around she had always thought that it would be perfect, a new pool in town had just opened up and she expected to be there all day every day. Then the news that her Aunt and Uncle had died in a terrible car crash arrived at their house, and because of this predicament her cousin Julia was coming to live wit...more
Cinthya
This book was just incredible! I really think this book was written for someone who really enjoys mystery and suspense. I thought this book was interesting and surprising. I didn't think this book would be at all interesting but it really changed my mind towards the middle. It really got me curious and allured into the story. I felt angry on how Julia betrayed Racheal and took advantage of her by stealing everything she has, from her boyfriend, killing her dog, her parents, and even her room. I...more
Julianna
I truly don't even know where to begin. This book disappointed me in soooo many literary aspects that when the word disapppointment is searched for on the internet this title should appear. A very interesting librarian pointed me towards this novel assuring me that was 'as blood-curdling as a Stephen King novel'! I had no reason to doubt her review, but just to be certain I looked on goodreads for confirmation of the fear this novel is told to bring; every review argued that this book is a wonde...more
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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
More about Lois Duncan...
Stranger with My Face I Know What You Did Last Summer Killing Mr. Griffin Down a Dark Hall Locked in Time

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