Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > The Summer Children

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
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really liked it
bookshelves: arcs, lgbtqiap, thriller-mystery

#1: The Butterfly Garden ★★★★★
#2: Roses of May ★★★
#3: The Summer Children ★★★★
#4: The Vanishing Season ★★

You can also find this review on my blog.

cw: sexual assault, pedophilia, domestic abuse, drug use, pretty much everything related to that

Spoiler-free Review of an ARC Provided by the Publisher

As with The Roses of May, I avoided reading any kind of plot summary beforehand, because I was positive I would like whatever Dot had in mind for the third installment of the series. I was so excited when I realized we finally get a book centering around the POV of Mercedes, who until now has been more of a side character. Mercedes is a queer latinx woman who, it is revealed, has dealt firsthand with abuse in her past.

If you were afraid of something in the light, wasn't it just good sense to be more afraid of it in the dark?

Again, as with the last book, this could be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading the entire series in order to provide a better context for everything going on and so you won't have to worry about spoiling the first two for yourself. A lot of the character interactions probably won't make sense without the background.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was scared of angels.

Then she met one, and she wasn't afraid anymore.

My only issue with this book is really the interpersonal relationships between the characters. I think a significant amount of people took issue with this in the last book and while it didn't bother me at the time, it stuck out to me a lot more with this one. It got to the point where it kind of ruined my suspension of disbelief. Obviously I don't know much about the inner workings of the FBI, and within the story the characters do emphasize that this isn't necessarily normal, but the kinds of relationships you see here just seem kind of unprofessional and unrealistic.

Besides that, I did find the book highly enjoyable (although that's a weird word for this kind of story) and a quick read. I haven't looked at any reviews yet, so I'm not sure what criticisms are out there, but I'm sure some people will accuse this of being "torture porn" and I can't really fault them for that, but it's kind of the theme of these books. I'll also add that while I originally rated the second book highly, I do think it would fall more flat for me on a second read. I think that this one comes far closer to the first book in terms of quality, although I still prefer the first.

If you enjoyed the first two books in this series, then I definitely recommend The Summer Children!
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Reading Progress

November 29, 2017 – Shelved
November 29, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 4, 2018 – Started Reading
May 4, 2018 –
9.0% "26 pages read in 20 min, via Leio ("
May 4, 2018 –
22.0% "38 pages read in 32 min, via Leio ("
May 5, 2018 –
30.0% "24 pages read in 19 min, via Leio ("
May 6, 2018 –
40.0% "31 pages read in 27 min, via Leio ("
May 7, 2018 –
53.0% "38 pages read in 31 min, via Leio ("
May 8, 2018 –
64.0% "32 pages read in 28 min, via Leio ("
May 12, 2018 –
75.0% "33 pages read in 27 min, via Leio ("
May 13, 2018 –
92.0% "32 pages read in 26 min, via Leio ("
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs
May 13, 2018 – Shelved as: thriller-mystery
May 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Rachel omg ok weirdly enough I actually completely agree with this review, it's just that your 'my only issue' paragraph was like... a MAJOR dealbreaker for me. I also liked this better than Roses of May lmao even though I gave that one 3 stars and I gave this one 2 - I've gotta fix that... but I definitely think the quality of The Summer Children is much higher than Roses of May. But neither come close to The Butterfly Garden :(

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