Summer of Fear
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Summer of Fear

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  3,038 ratings  ·  210 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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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
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
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.
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
Kate
I read this book in middle school along with Duncan’s other horror/fantasy novels and became obsessed with the paranormal. Like the main character, Rachel, I combed the library for information about witchcraft, astral projection, and psychic detection. I remember flying through Summer of Fear, reading late into the night to find out Julia’s real identity, gasping aloud at the outcome, and feeling soothed by the happy ending.

As an adult, the effect was almost the same. I read Summer of Fear in o...more
Kristine Shahverdyan
When I first started to read this book, I wasn’t planning to finish it. I had forgotten my reading book at home so I borrowed a book from the class library. I realized this was an incredible story so I continued reading. In the story the Summer of fear, Julia, Rachael’s cousin has to live with her family because Julia’s parents were killed in a car crash. There seems to be a twist in the story and Rachael is out to discover what it is. My favorite quote in this story is from page 219 when Rachae...more
Heidi
I've been inspired to read a bunch of books from my childhood. During jr. high I went on a major Lois Duncan kick, including the nonfiction work about her daughter's murder. Rereading Summer of Fear instantly made me feel like I was 13 again... the good part of 13 of course.

Rachel is your typical teenager, discovering love, planning a great summer, and then her family gets the bad news. Enter cousin Julia who throws the proverbial wrench into the works. But no one believes Rachel when she starts...more
Penny
Another Lois Duncan book from my childhood that I really enjoyed and wanted to read again to see if it was as good as I remember it. Like the rest of her books I was plesantly surprised. Lois Duncan always manages to take a normal mystery and put a great supernatural turn on it. I was totally unprepared for the twist at the end. I liked all of the pronounced foreshadowing and how quickly I could read this paperback. Although this book does have some merits, it is far from perfect. The ending was...more
Rozena Chan
Rachel finds out that her Aunt and uncle died in a car accident. Rachel's parents went to go get Julia. So her cousin Julia has nowhere to go and stays with Rachel's family. Julia stays in the same room Rachel does. Rachel's friendly dog, Trickle isn't that friendly to Julia. He would never growl but when Julia got here he started growling at her. Trickle never bit anyone but he bit Julia. Julia doesn't seem to care that her parents are dead. She has never cried when Rachel's family mentions he...more
Emily Flanagan
Lois Duncan always writes the best books so I was really excited about reading this one. At first I thought it was kind of boring and I didn't understand what Julia's intentions were. As I got further into the book though it got interesting. Julia started to take everyone from Rachael. It kind of aggravated me that everyone in the book fell for Julia's act except Rachael. Julia killing Rachael's dog made me dislike the book a little bit because it mad me sad. I don't understand why an animal alw...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...
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