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The Boys of Summer

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Both a haunting coming-of-age story set in North Texas against the backdrop of a deadly tornado, and a character-driven, deeply-affecting supernatural thriller.

In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life.

Four years later, Todd awakens to a wor
Paperback, 436 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Night Shade
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Lucy I would say it is appropriate for teens, all except for small parts, and chapter 65.

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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  375 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this book considering it was labeled as a "science fiction" book and I rarely ever venture into the world of sci-fi. I found this title online after my son was sick for 3 days and I ended up binge watching "Stranger Things" (yes, I do watch tv on occasion). I loved the show so much, and like a true bookworm, was devastated to find out that such a great show was not backed by a great book. That being said, I set out to find books that were similar to ...more
Nov 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
The book had a good premise and fine start. From there, I don't know what the author was thinking. It felt cliched and hollow. There was good potential in the early pages and then it floundered. The writing style left much to be desired of the characters, as there wasn't much to care about them. Switching time frames and character perspectives can work, but not in this book.
Michelle Lancaster
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Richard Cox
The Boys of Summer: A Novel
Night Shade Books
Paperback, 978-1-59780-878-1 (also available as an ebook), 436 pgs., $15.99
September 6, 2016

The tornado that struck Wichita Falls, Texas, on April 10, 1979, serves as the catalyst for this coming-of-age story. The Boys of Summer are Bobby (the jock), Jonathan (the brain), David (as in King), Adam (the born-again), and Todd (the cipher), nine and ten years old when the storm alters the trajectories of all of their live
Kathryn Bergeron
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I liked the idea of this book, but I was disappointed. It seemed almost like a lot of other books. It had the life changing disaster that impacts a whole town of Judy Blume's "In the Unlikely Event". Still, the author didn't explore any deeper character development.

It progressed almost like Lauren Beukes' "Broken Monsters", seemingly mostly normal except for one character. Unfortunately, it missed the spectacular ending that turns the story on its head.

The whole book seemed "almost". At the end
Amy Casey
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it
The Boys of Summer is a suspenseful page-turner to be certain. The concept of the novel is strong, and the characters' struggles are deeply compelling. It's a very Southern Gothic landscape, riddled with fire, booze, psychotic breaks, and the occasional monster tornado. Cox steadily builds our sense of concern for the characters, who feel and act very real... at first. While reading, I became obsessed over the mystery surrounding the disturbing secret that shifted reality--albeit just slightly e ...more
Abbe Macbeth
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelvin Pau
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This book had cool ideas, but ultimately half-way through the characters and plot started feeling consumed and overwrought by the same ideas, leading to a disconnect with the book in general. That might have been the intention, but it led to the book not leaving so much of an impression on me overall.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
You're gonna have this suspicion about the way this thing is gonna end, and you'll think to yourself, "No, no way is he gonna go there."

(SPOILER: He goes there.)
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thin characters and a nonsensical plot. The story had potential but ended up being a dull "It" rip-off.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
3.0 Stars
Boys of Summer will likely appeal to fans of IT by Stephen King, as it had a similar plot and narrative structure. This book was incredibly atmospheric with the weather playing a major role in the story. Slow paced and character focused, the story was well written, yet not particularly engrossing.
Joe Piccoli
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fifteen hour tribute to Don Henley's The Boys Of Summer!
I'll admit I listened to the song about a dozen times while reading. I thought it was a great book, well written, creative and it held me captive until the very last clever line. A solid four stars. I will try another Richard Cox novel.
Rob Solka
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, blerg
We were all rooting for you! How dare you?! When my mother yells at me like this it mean she loves me!! I've never yelled at a girl like this in my life! Learn something from this!! -- All joking aside, most of the time I was reading this book I couldn't understand how it got three stars and then I got to the last 100 pages. Interesting start and premise but the execution just didn't hold up.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, horror
I picked this book up about a year ago, thanks to reading a lot of good buzz about it. Aside from its comparisons to King, it also was mentioned on a couple of the "Books to Read if You Liked Stranger Things" lists, which helped it make the cut. As a result, my expectations were pretty high.

Beyond it being set in the '80s and featuring a group of kids (one of them psychic) returning to their home town to battle something that affected them as children (and, now that I think about it, some of the
Paolo del ventoso Est
Libro a tre marce; parte benino, scala paurosamente nella fase di presentazione dei personaggi, si riprende col terzo atto. Una storia che pesca qui da Lansdale e là da King andando a inserirsi in quel filone dei revival anni '80 con sfumature nere ed esoteriche, un po' alla Stranger Things.
Cox dunque è un epigono temperato di questi rovistatori della cultura pop, dotato di uno stile abbastanza ordinario per quanto abile nel gestire la sovrapposizione delle fantasmagorie alla storia reale (il to
John Zeleznik
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I went completely hot and cold on this book. There are parts of this book that I'd rate a 5 and there are parts that I'd rate a 1. It's a good thriller and I agree with some of the comparisons to STRANGER THINGS and Stephen King that it's garnered, but it lacks the overall heart of STRANGER THINGS and the creepiness of King. It feels like Cox was trying to write a coming of age novel mixed with a thriller and then threw in some of the supernatural stuff to hand wave some of the things that happe ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, it started good, classic story with bunch of kids and something paranormal. But the book was too long , too long for this story. Characters sometimes feel flat, especially towards the end of the book. Nothing is explained in the end, I still have no idea why it all happened.
The premise got me interested. The writing kept me hooked. The story is set in Wichita Falls, Texas, the site of a real-life tornado in 1979. In the story, the tornado wreaks havoc on the lives of four boys, one of whom, Todd, falls into a four-year-long coma. When he awakens, he befriends the others, and they spend a long, hot summer exploring their world. Todd seems to have been left with some strange abilities following the coma, though, abilities even he doesn't understand. When the boys com ...more
Gary Hermann
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found that it took me quite a while to finish this book. Not because it was bad read, but more so because the author constantly goes back and forth between different viewpoints and perspectives of each character respectively. The plot, overall, was enough to keep me guessing on what the end result would be, but more often than not I would be torn away from my interest and tossed into a jumble of dialogue that felt unnecessary at times. I will say this though, when there are high points in the ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The Boys of Summer by Richard Cox is a combination of coming of age novel, a mystery, historical fiction and fantasy. A tornado hits Wichita Falls, Texas on April 10, 1979. People are killed, lives change forever: 9 year old Todd falls into a coma for 4 years and when he awakes seems to be able to tell the future. Creepy. He befriends 4 other youths and they become a club, The Boys of Summer, named after a song that Todd hears while in the coma although the song was written a year later. 25 year ...more
Chrystal Hays
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really, really enjoyed this work.
It is twisty and unpredictable.

I feel now as I did when reading it that:

The first sections could have had another 25-50 pages. They felt more like outlines, scant on detail, which I wanted more of, to help me fix characters more firmly in my mind. I found myself wanting to flip back and forth as I moved forward for a good portion of the book...which should not have been necessary. If a screenplay, these would have been glimpses...but it is not.

Nonetheless, I st
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is catalogued as science fiction/fantasy, but it is far more like many of Stephen Kings books. A group of 3 teenage boys live in Wichita Falls, when a tornado hits. They survive but members of their families don't. Also a kid survives the storm but is in a partial coma for 4 years, when he wakes up he later becomes friends with the other 3 teenagers. The participate in an act of vandalism that forever changes their lives, and finally are forced to confront what they did, or else.
This w
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to warm up to this book. After all, the "see them as teenagers, see them as screwed-up adults" trope is ground that many authors have already walked. And this was probably not my favorite version of the story, because it almost felt like it couldn't decide whether to be a supernatural story or a thriller.

I found the storytelling to be uneven, in spots. And when you come to find out the one secret phrase that will tie all the storylines together, it was a bit of a let down.

Cyn Cooley
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Though this book does fall into the science fiction category, part of what made this interesting was the regular interactions and complicated relationships between people. The science fiction aspect was fairly well done and I like where the author was going with it but it felt like he left a few things unexplained at the end. It was definitely suspenseful and I can see why it made a list of books to read after watching Stranger Things, it has that kind of feeling to it.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: coming-of-age
A coming of age story. A tale of a curse and a devastating tornado...and a group of boys and a girl, who had their lives changed by a tornado in Wichita Falls.
Now they're adults and some strange things are going on...bringing them back together.
Reminiscent of a Stephen King tale or two and, yes, he is mentioned.
Veronica Faith
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute masterpiece! The plot and the characters were so well written! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves science fiction and a bit of mystery! What a great read and you won’t be disappointed I promise!
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Era da molto tempo che non trovavo un libro così ben scritto e coinvolgente. È il classico libro che ti tiene incollato a sé. Concordo con chi inserisce questo romanzo nel filone thriller/fantascienza alla It o Stranger Things.
Joseph S
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dianna Steiger
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I devoured that :)

This is a fantastic read, the characters are well developed and it moved so well that it felt as if I was watching it instead of reading. Thank Richard Cox, I look forward to your next yarn.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable book! I couldn't put it down!

**I only read this one time not twice as this update states. A laptop or desktop computer makes updating much easier. However Goodreads is hard to navigate through already and often when I update using my phone or tablet, it makes mistakes and doesn't give me the same features when I use a computer.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo consiglio a chi ha amato IT !
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Bloody Good Horror: August '17 Reading: The Boys of Summer - Richard Cox 16 29 Aug 28, 2017 11:09AM  
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Richard Cox believes he was born in Texas and now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to multiple Internet sources, he has published four novels: The Boys of Summer, Thomas World, The God Particle, and Rift. Richard has also apparently written for This Land Press, Oklahoma Magazine, and

However, you can’t believe everything you read. Or see. For all you know, you’re not eve