Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Story:
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

My Thoughts:
I'm not sure if it's something in the water, but I seem to be stumbling across quite a few books that I feel start off really strongly and then for some reason just descend into the mediocre arena. I finished this book out of sheer determination (and writing procrastination) because by the time I got halfway, I felt the plot had started to drag and couldn't get excited about it again.
           The strongest feeling I got out of this book would definitely be disappointment. I decided to read The Summoning despite the ghostly premise because the first few chapters were interesting and Chloe's voice was quite likeable. By the time she is placed in the group home, what I thought was going to be a novel about cool super powers turned into what I felt could have been a prequel book. 
          There's a part of me that acknowledges that the way Chloe acted in this book is probably the most accurate representation of how a teenager would rationalise their powers if this really did happen in real life. The super action/plot twist fan in me became very apathetic to the whole story after it took almost half of the book for Chloe to come to terms with her ability to see and communicate to ghosts.
          Once again, my biggest let down in this one was the characters. I didn't feel that they were distinct in any way so I found it difficult to separate the two female sidekicks. The only person with any real personality was Tori, the obligatory mean girl. 
          I'm glad I read this book to find out what all the hype was about, but it didn't hold my attention enough for me to feel compelled to read the rest of the series. 

The Rating:


  1. so sorry that you didnt quite enjoy so much of this book.. I guess its not for everyone, but I did love this series esp this book. Great review nonetheless x


  2. Lalaine: It's not that I disliked it or anything. It was just a lot slower than I had imagined. At last it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. And who knows, I might still read the next few books because everyone else seems to love it so much.

  3. It's such a pity when you come across such books because you feel like, where where the editors and beta partners.
    Lets hope the tide turns in teh reading arena.

  4. Wendy: I think I'm the problem because I seem to be steamrolling through books that are getting rave reviews and none of them inspire me!

  5. Kelley is one of my favorite writers, but I couldn't get into this series either. Excellent review, and appreciated that you gave your honest opinion! Hope your next read is more to your liking!

  6. I completely get why you'd fall for that. I felt the same about the vampire academy and craving perfect. while they are nice books i found they didn't live up to the hype. I must say though I am really tempted to read daughter of smoke and bone and there's another one whose name has skipped.

  7. Alexia: I might try some of her other YA series as they seem to be a bit more action packed.

    Wendy: I've just finished Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Mt review will be up soon. Still no inspiration.

  8. I just got this book from a book swap site, but I don't have super high expectations for it as it is. Still, I plan on reading it because it's a book I own, and I always feel like I have to read what I own (unless I drop it, of course).

    Maybe you're in a reading rut, and you need to read something fabulous to get you out of it! I'm going to start reading Shatter Me next week, so I'll let you know what I think of that. Unless you've already read it, which I'm not sure about, lol.

  9. Aww, I'm so sorry you didn't like this one as much as you hoped, Lan! I hate it when you pick up a book that has so much hype surrounding it and end up being disappointed -- that's the worst! I've read so many books like that too because I'm very weak when it comes to hyped-up books LOL. x)

    Still, this was an awesome honest review, Lan! This book WAS pretty slow-paced, but I guess I didn't mind it because I read it during my love-boys-like-Derek phase! ;)

  10. Cathy: I always feel like I have to read books I own/receive as well. Regardless of whether I'm into them or not. I think I am in some kind of a reading rut because nothing is doing it for me at the moment. Have been reading too many negative reviews and am getting all critical about everything. The disadvantages of blog stalking.

    Mimi: I'm weak when it comes to hyped up books as well. It's just a shame when they don't live up to the hype for you. I didn't mind Derek. It was just the whole thing was a bit flat. I'm glad he wasn't your typical hot guy though.

  11. I haven't read this one but I'm having the same problem with book. They start out strong or have so much potential and then...sigh!

  12. Well that sucks I have all three of these books and the gathering I think it is, but I have yet to read any. I agree though if you can read Shatter me definitely read it.

  13. Jenny: I hate when this happens. I think it might be because I am being way too critical these days.

    Ash: Just my impression of this book. You may like it. A lot of other people seem to!

  14. This was one of the very first YA books that I read. (I had been reading other genres before then) At the time, I really liked this book. I like Derek; he is my favorite character of this series. I appreciate your review and your honest opinions.

    I think since this book was released so long ago, it is hard to keep up with the books of today. (By so long ago, I mean 2008). The same thing happened for me in the Twilight series. At first, I was enamored with it. Now, since I have read so many books which I thought were better, it's not so spectacular.

    Young Adult Book Reviews

  15. Tammi: I see your point. I suppose the YA genre really has changed in such a short time. You're right. If I had started my YA binge on this book I probably would have thought it was genius.

  16. I have this book in my TBR pile and just havent gotten to it yet. I suppose I will someday, but it just doesnt pull me. The cover doesnt excite something deep in my bones and neither does the synopsis. It just looks common and boring. I guess its understandable that the way I feel about the book would be kind of reflected in the actual book as well.

  17. I read all of KA's other books so when I saw this in the young adult section - I bought it out of curiosity. I'm glad I did. It is about young high school age children but it's still her slow build writing that holds the readers interest without losing any of the detail of the world she creates.

  18. I am in the 7th grade,I LOVED these books! I couldn't put the book down!


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