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Rhinoceros Summer

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  40 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Lethal Ambition
A rare rhinoceros on the brink of extinction. A trophy hunter on the verge of bankruptcy. A young photographer desperate for fame.

Seventeen–year–old Lydia Gibb has no business setting foot in Tanzania, but a fluke opportunity provides a chance to leave her boring life, to capture beauty with her camera--to mean something. But nothing is what it seems, and
Paperback, First, 394 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Igneous Books (first published September 28th 2013)
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Rating details
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Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-awesome
***12/3/13 Received through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. Copy provided by author Jamie Thornton and published by Igneous Books. Thank you!***

Would I recommend this book to others?


Yes, yes I would. Yes I did.

This book is for individuals who want an original story with a bigger meaning and a dangerous adventure with a light sprinkle of romance. I recommended it to friends who enjoy the culture clashes and those who enjoy being submerged in foreign situations. Give it a shot, and let me know wha
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy from the author's newsletter

Honestly, I thought the story had an originality that was fresh and compelling to read, even though the book is not really my cup of tea. But, the world development and character development was lacking tremendously.
Amie's Book Reviews
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton

I received this eBook free from in exchange for an honest review.

Lydia is known to her classmates as PK Lydia. The PK stands for Pastor's Kid. That is what she is and that is how everyone in her hometown sees her. Having just graduated high school and turning eighteen in the next few weeks, Lydia wants to escape her mundane existence. She dreams of becoming a professional photographer, and she has the raw talent to do it. However, there is
Lillian Cummings
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unfortunately I wish that there was no truth to this story but illegal hunting & poaching is pushing more & more species to extinction. Lydia has a big dream of being a photographer but she fears that she will never get the chance. Her father has spoken to a friend from a long time ago that lives in Tanzania who owns a hunting resort and he has promised to look after her and give her the chance to takes as many photos as she wants. But Paul isn't really a good man he is only looking afte ...more
Briennai Jackson
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lydia is a seventeen-year-old girl who wants to be a photographer. Her father's friend from school offers her the chance of a lifetime: to travel to Tanzania and take pictures for him. At first, she is worried that her overprotective parents won't let her go. But when they do let her go, despite her mother's protests that Paul is not a trustworthy man. When she arrives in Tanzania, she starts to think that her mother was right, and that she is there to do more than simply take pictures. Soon, sh ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had expected a light-hearted possibly humorous read with some romance but was completely surprised. This was a dark, coming of age story with some complex story lines. Paul actually made me cringe. I felt sorry for Caleb as well as most of the secondary characters for having to deal with him. Getting a peek at life in Africa with the wildlife was enlightening as well as action packed. I received a free ebook for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.
Tom Davidson
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good read showing the dangers of poaching. I thought at first the heroine and her parents were a bit clueless and trusting but the story line did move right along.there was a good development of the characters.
Nicole Burns
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good book. A little bit of romance. Kept me intrigued to the end.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wasn't sure if I would like this storyline, but in the end I really did enjoy it
Martina Pichova
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved the story and the characters were quite believable.
Marion Marchetto
Lydia Gibbs is the daughter of a mild-mannered pastor and his wife. As such, she feels that she is type-cast by her classmates as the goody-two-shoes kind of girl. Lydia’s passion, however, is what drives her. Her passion is photography. She wants to work for National Geographic and take pictures that will make global impact. The summer she graduates from high school, Lydia finds herself in a dead-end job but she’s trying to save money to buy a good camera. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, a former class ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
Rhinoceros Summer is a coming of age story full of adventure set mostly in Tanzania. I really loved this book and I couldn’t put it down!

Thornton’s writing makes the book so easy to read. There’s always something happening, there’s plenty of drama and action and even a little romance. The descriptions of the wild Tanzanian landscapes as well as the city and villages were well written and effortlessly created vivid images in my mind.

The story is written in the third person and provides different
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It occurred to me that the central character of Rhinoceros Summer by Jamie Thornton starts off as the mirror image of the central character of another book that I reviewed last year on The Unmasked Persona’s Reviews. Lydia Gibbs, the aspiring teen photographer in Rhinoceros Summer thinks that going to Africa will be a tremendous career-making opportunity. Jazz Hooper, the grief stricken teen with no aspirations in The See Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge, resents being uprooted by her father and h ...more
Juliet Wilson
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Seventeen year old Lydia Gibbhas, the daughter of a Sacramento pastor, works in a Christian shop and yearns to be a photographer. A missionary contact of her father's offers her a chance to travel to Tanzania, where she becomes ensnared in the cruel world of big game hunting and the complicated lives of an expatriate family with lots of secrets.

The story is told against the backdrop of the beautiful wildlife of Tanzania and the constant tensions between that wildlife and humans - whether hunter
Kathleen Schmitt
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Four stars

The cover for this novel grabbed me. It just “worked.”

Rhinoceros Summer unfolds as an adventure story. At first the adventure is in seventeen-year-old Lydia's mind: escaping a restrictive family into the glamorous life of a photographer, getting pictures published in the (USA) National Geographic, for instance.

Caleb, a little older than Lydia, has grown up with adventure, living in Africa, trailing after his wild life hunter father, learning to shoot at age five, and n
Angelina Justice
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an intense coming of age story about a sheltered young woman who is drawn into the wilds of Africa. Lydia is the daughter of a pastor and has lived in a loving, if confined world. Her father is contacted by an old missionary friend, about Lydia coming to take pictures of projects related to fundraising. Given Lydia's passion for photography, her father thinks this will be an incredible opportunity and arranges for his church to fund her "mission".

The only part that comes close to anyone'
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book, particularly the jungle and hunting scenes. The author did an excellent job bringing the story to life with plenty of action, violence, grit, and blood. It was suspenseful, and I often found myself having to read just a little longer not to have to stop in the middle of a particularly tense scene. I also enjoyed the coming of age aspect of the story, and the emotional need for the "preacher's kid" to create an identity for herself separate from her parents instead of ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won an e-copy from the author of this novel on Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This story certainly held my attention. It's about hunting/safaris in Tanzania, Africa. Since I've never been on a safari, I learned a lot about several aspects, especially hunting endangered species.

There is a light romance between a very young photographer anxious to get the best pictures possible for future use in establishing her career in photography and the young son of the crooked ow
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
[Disclaimer: I'd received a copy of Rhinoceros Summer through First Reads]

Due to having a hectic schedule, I read Rhinoceros Summer over the course of several months. Every time I picked it up again, I was able to happily reinsert myself into Lydia's world. From the beginning I knew I'd like Lydia because I was her in some ways (overprotective parents, introspective, loving to pore over National Geographic magazines and dreaming of exotic adventures).

This is an insightful coming-of-age story wi
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Part coming of age, part exciting safari adventure, part environmental commentary, part exploration of relationships we find ourselves embroiled in at various stages of life... Thornton uses the backdrop of one man's dark desperation for glory to smoothly weave together all these elements in her suspenseful yet poignant debut novel.
Andrea Stewart
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A thrilling coming-of-age tale, Rhinoceros Summer is hard to put down. Thornton deftly handles the heartbreaking loss of Lydia's innocence, and the triumph of wisdom gained.

If you like:
Endangered species
Life and death struggles
A well-rounded antagonist
A healthy sprinkle of romance
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a pretty good thriller geared a little more towards high school. As a teacher, I try to read young adult literature to find new books for my 8th graders to read. This would definitely keep their attention as it did mine. It's kind of an America meets Africa with an adventure!
Allison Joy Martin
Nov 02, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: won
Cant wait to read! I will edit my review as soon as I finish this book. (:
Marie (UK)
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am reading it right now and I found it interesting. Thank you for making this book! gotta share this to others :)
rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2015
Mia Redgrave
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2013
rated it liked it
Mar 04, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2013
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I am a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy novels. I like my characters strong and wounded, and my adventures thrilling and dark.

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I'm a voracious reader in many genres. I do sometimes judge a book by its cover art. Life is too short to spend time reading or reviewing bad books so you'll
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