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Cruel Summer

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  985 ratings  ·  158 reviews

One year after the suicide of their friend Janey, the rest of the group decide to spend the summer together in a holiday villa in the Mediterranean. They're hoping to get over the terrible events of the previous year, but then a new guest arrives, claiming to have evidence that Janey's suicide was actually murder. When the guest is found dead, it becomes clear that the kil

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Orion Children's Books
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  985 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Veronica Morfi
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4/5

Cruel Summer was the first book by James Dawson that I've ever read but it won't be the last.

The story of this book centers around a group of friends that had been estranged for the past year, after the death of one of their group Janey, and decide to spend their summer vacation together in a Spanish Villa. In that seclude place a surprise visit from someone who claims to their secrets will turn their summer into a nightmare.

This book was really great. One of the main narrators, Ryan,
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books, ukya
If you're aware of the video game 'Until Dawn', this is kind of like that, expect the killer is among one of the group of friends. 'Cruel Summer' fits well into its genre, and I really liked how aware the characters were of their situation, compared to a horror movie!
Stacey (prettybooks)
Who says fictional teenage murder cannot be fun? Not James Dawson. Cruel Summer is a brilliant mix of the adolescent drama in Pretty Little Liars and ridiculous humour combined with crazy violence in Scream. It's just what you need after a hard day's work.

For Ryan, our main character and star of the show, life is a movie (or, at least, a teen drama) taking place on a studio set, right up to the point where the chapters are called 'scenes'. He is currently hanging out at his good friend Katie's h
Lo O'Neill
"Everyone has the face they show people and the face for when they’re alone in bed with only their thoughts."

"In a weird way Alisha had got her wish – the old gang was back together again. For eternity. They were all bound together by their terrible secret, until the day they died. That was a terrifying thought."

Another Dawson Dazzler!

Juno Dawson is quickly becoming one of my favourite YA writers having devoured two of her books in as many weeks. I would highly recommend her book Clean whi
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve heard a million wonderful things about this book even before I picked it up so I was pretty sure I was in for a treat, but I would have never predicted how much of a nail-shredder it actually is and how much I fell in love with it by the end. If I had to sum it up in a nutshell, I would say Cruel Summer is like a modern, young adult version of Agatha Christie’s timeless classic (and one of my favourite books of all time), And Then There Were None. It’s just as twisted, just as gripping as C ...more
Sharon Mariampillai
This was an alright read. The story is set up like a play, and it was not that great. I was not really liking the characters. I did like the mystery, just wish there was more of it. I was pretty bored during the read. I had to put it down a couple of times. I thought the story had potential, but it lacked execution. The writing style was not for me. I will see what other books that this author wrote, hopefully I have more luck with those books. Overall, an okay read.
Leanna (daisychainbooks)
Can I please have more books like this? Ah-mazing! FYI: I figured out the 'who' before the reveal, but was wrong on the 'why'. Would make a very fun (in a dark and twisted 'Scream'/'I Know What You Did Last Summer' type way) movie (and the cast would be SO HOT!). Ryan did make me laugh. All the drama with that boy!

For fans of: Christopher Pike, Gretchen McNeil's 'Ten'.
I think I will stop reading this book by now, after reading to page 106, my gut feeling told me: "This person is really suspicious! (view spoiler)" So I skimmed to the last few chapters only to confirm my this person is the real killer!

Q: What a girl to do at this point?

A: Skimmed further into the story to learn more about the key parts of the mystery without lingering too long in
❧ Cristina ☙
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

You can check this review with more details on my blog (x)

OR my video review on my channel here - (SOON!)

“Everyone has the face they show people and the face for when they’re alone in bed with only their thoughts.”

My rating: 4 stars out of 5

I was super excited to read this book since I read the synopsis a while ago and since it’s summer it seemed like the perfect time to do it. If you like mystery but not that super elaborated adult books that can get kind of boring this is
Beth (bibliobeth)
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only read one of James Dawson’s novels before which I enjoyed but I had high expectations for this one after a rave review from my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads, whose opinion I definitely trust if she thinks I will enjoy something. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed! The story revolves around a group of friends who meet for a relaxing break in sunny Spain but have barely seen each other since the previous summer when tragedy struck and one of their friends Janey lost her life. From ...more
Liz Barnsley
Right. I’d heard good things about this one so I was dying to get into it and get into it I did…it grabbed me by the throat and led me kicking and screaming through an enthralling tale of Friendship, Murder and Mayhem under the sun and didnt let go until the stunning finale. Then I needed a few hours sleep…..

A group of friends gather at a villa in Spain, one year after the suicide of one of their number, to reconnect and have some fun and frolics. Things don’t go according to plan however as it
Daphne (Illumicrate)
Ooh, solid murder mystery with a great voice. Reminds me of The O.C. and every other teen soap you love. Crazy ending, I couldn't stop reading it!
Rose  Heartfilia
So actually this book got 3 and a half star because it was difficult to pick between 3 and 4 but after some thinking I made it to 3. (GOODREADS HALF STARS PLEASE). However this book reminded me a bit too much of Pretty Little Liars, they were all perfect and all and the whole idea was craycray but that wasn't the problem, it was really the all in all vibe. At first I liked it but than the picture perfect was too much and I found it a bit of a shame. Not saying that it was too much like Pretty Li ...more
Cruel Summer was a great time, lots of suspense, lots of scares and lots of fun. The fun is had by me the reader and not the characters of the book, they get maybe 40 pages of carefree good times and then its a bunch of stress, terror and regret. There was a basement scene that made me a bit jumpy and in all honesty a bit screamy when someone made a noise in my house,
 photo jen_zps89e08cec.gif
reading is not for the faint of heart ...write that down.

Annnnnnyways back to Cruel Summer about a vacation that is sure to go wr
Lucy Powrie
If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m a big champion of UKYA, and Cruel Summer has been flitting across my radar since it was released. Having not read many books like this one, I was a bit hesitant beforehand but I was super pleased when the opportunity to review it came up and I jumped at the chance.

When Janey Bradshaw is murdered on the night of Telscombe Cliffs’ prom, nothing is brought up until her group of friends meet up the summer after in Spain. There’s Ryan, Katie, Alisha, Ben, G
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard so many good things about James Dawson’s writing for quite some time now. I haven’t read his debut novel, but I’ll definitely be purchasing a copy after reading Cruel Summer. Cruel Summer was a gripping, intriguing page-turner that I couldn’t put down. There are some amazing twists and James successfully always keeps the reader guessing. I have to admit, I did begin to guess who the killer was, but I had no idea why they would do it. It wasn’t until nearer the end of the book, just b ...more
Anuradha  Iyer
This book had some nice twists to it.

I feel that the reason the murderer had for killing a few of the characters was rather shallow and I wish the author had made the murderer's reason more substantial with more kick.

Overall this book kept me glued to it. I was looking forward to finding out who the murderer was and it sure did surprise me.

I tried guessing who it was and was half correct in relation to who was present when Janey died.

The plot wasn't anything entirely new. It was a bit simila
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I kind of feel bad for giving this 2 stars, it more like 2 and a half because it wasn't terrible, it was just a little predictable and written a but stupid.

I didn't click with any of the characters, they all annoyed me and we're self centered little bitches.
For most of the book nothing happened and if people hadn't have been killed it sounds like it would have been a shit holiday, they didn't leave the villa for 4 days! Losers..

Anyways, I saw the killer coming but not for the reason why, that
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 100 or so pages I felt just mehh about the book. I wasn't sure I liked the characters and felt like it was going to have a predictable ending. I couldn't have been more wrong. The rest of the book had me completely gripped and that ending was just wow!
I also didn't realize that I actually really liked some of the characters until the end, Although I still think that they had the spoilt rich kid air about them, they grew on me. I recommend this to anyone who likes murder mystery books w
Karen Barber
A difficult review to write, as I enjoyed this book but it was all just too knowing for me (without some of the elements you get when it's done really well).
The book opens with a chapter called 'Fade In'...telling us about the moment Janey died. It's strongly hinted that she was murdered. The book ends with a chapter called 'Fade Out' where we leave our characters with all manner of secrets revealed, and most of our questions answered. In-between this frame we are given a series of scenes tellin
Actual rating 3.25/5

Okay, so going into this I had no idea what to expect and I was also a little worried, because it's not even close to the type of novel I usually read XD I normally go for novels with fantasy elements, with the occasional highly-recommended contemporary novel thrown in. This one was a bit of a wildcard that I read as part of a Group Buddy Read.

From the start I was kinda thrown by the formatting of this novel, it seemed like a cross between a play and a Wes Craven movie and
Gabrielle Signor
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Cruel Summer” by James Dawson is a book full of drama, romance and adventure. The book begins with a flash back to prom night, where a girl is dying, which remains to be the mystery throughout the story. This mystery is about a girl who was thought to have committed suicide, but it is brought to the attention of a group of friends reuniting at a Spanish villa that their friends death was not a suicide but in fact a possible murder. Throughout the story a tension now builds about who was respons ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, amazinggg

CAUTION: reading this book may result in serious jaw pain as your jaw will be permanently hanging wiiiiiiiide open!

i have finished this book for the second time & it was as AMAZING as the first time! The edge of the seat/bed sitting!!! the screaming! the anxiety! the feeeeeeeeels! the omg-what-is-happening recations! the nail biting! the JAW DROPPING! the gasps!

reading this book, just keeps me like completely on edge. I was reading it
Review originally posted on Beautiful Bookish Butterflies

When it comes to James Dawson's books, I could lie and tell you that I've known about him for a long time but in reality I only really heard about him when he wrote Say Her Name.Though I haven't read it yet I was intrigued by how much everyone was going on about not only the book but the author himself, so I set out to find one to read. I came across Cruel Summer in one of my local libraries and knew that I wanted it, it since set on my sh
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read a lot of thrillers, since I'm so picky about them, but I really got a Christopher Pike vibe from Cruel Summer, which reminded me of the time when 12 to 16-year-old me would devour his spooky books and not sleep at night because of them. I really enjoyed this book and I did NOT expect that ending!
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spanish villa, seaside back drop, school friends and tragedy. First James Dawson novel and it won’t be the last.
Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
4.5 stars!

Cruel Summer was my first read from talented UK YA author James Dawson. I’ve been on a YA Summer Thriller kick this year and so was immediately interested in checking this book out after reading the synopsis. Then in came the glowing reviews and my book blogging friends telling me how much I’d love this one and so I decided to read it ASAP and promptly read the entire thing in one sitting because it was that good!

In a nutshell Cruel Summer is about a group of friends who haven’t seen
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
Words are supposed to be powerful, aren't they? Wow. They bloody are. As James correctly said, it's all about the feels. There's nicer feelings, obviously, but certain feelings aren't really going to leave such a... mark. I've never read anything that could be compared to Cruel Summer. There's obviously books which may share a smidgen with Cruel Summer but really... there aren't books like this published frequently.
This book will make your jaw drop; it will then precede to hang there for a few m
I loved James Dawson's debut novel Hollow Pike so I've been looking forward to getting my hands on Cruel Summer ever since I first heard about it. I'm happy to say it completely lived up to my expectations and I loved every minute of it! Cruel Summer reminded me of a British version of the movie I know What You Did Last Summer and I could easily picture this being turned into a film in the future (I really would love to see that happen!). It also has a flavour of the old Point Horror books I gre ...more
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Cruel Summer by James Dawson - Restarting March 20th 2018 74 172 Mar 20, 2018 10:44AM  
Who did you fancy most and why? NO SPOILERS! 1 23 Nov 10, 2013 11:20AM  

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Raised in West Yorkshire, James eventually moved to Brighton where he wrote for local papers and magazines whilst working as a primary school teacher.

In 2011, James left teaching to write full-time and now lives in London.

Hollow Pike is his first novel for young adults.
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