Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

Title: The Summer That Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Released: July 26, 2016
Source: Review Copy provided by Author and Netgalley
Summary: It's the summer of 1984 in Breathed, Ohio. The sun is out, the days are long, and the town is happy. It starts out as just another summer for Fielding Bliss and his family. It is also the summer that Fielding's father puts an ad in the paper, inviting the Devil to come to Breathed. The Devil answers the call in the form of a coal black boy with piercing green eyes and overalls, named Sal. With Sal also comes a heat like the town has never known. A heat that permeates everything. The Bliss's take Sal into their home, feed him, clothe him, but will inviting the Devil in cause good or harm? This will be the summer that changes everything for Fielding and his family, his life will never be the same.
My Thoughts: I was contacted by the author, Tiffany McDaniel, who asked if I wanted to review her book. Of course I said yes. I was intrigued by the idea of sending an invitation to the Devil and having it answered. Having the Devil show up at your doorstep and seeing what will come. I also said yes because Tiffany is a very nice human. This is her debut novel, and I'm really happy that her dream of being published is a reality. So congrats Tiffany! and thanks for letting me review your book! Also thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the e-arc to read and review.
I really enjoyed the premise for this story. The idea of the Devil coming to town, having a face and a name, and seeing the consequences that come from it. Very interesting to contemplate and consider. I also really enjoyed the writing. It had a nice, lyrical style to it and was just nice to read.
I don't think this was my type of story, the kind of book I would usually pick up and read. Now, I like to think that I give all books a chance. I'll read everything from Middle Grade to Adult Fiction. Fantasy to Contemporary. I don't think this was my type of book though. It was very deep, it explored many serious issues. It might even have been a little too deep for me, I'm not sure I understood all the messages that were being conveyed or all the things I was supposed to get from it.
It also wasn't a happy story. There was a lot of darkness in this story, and not a whole lot of light. Everything Fielding had known and loved was kind of destroyed when the Devil came to town. It was a depressing read. I'm not sure I liked all the darkness. There's no happy ending to this tale. When the Summer of 1984 is over, Fielding's life doesn't get better, it kind of gets worse. His whole family lives just a half-life after that summer. Inviting the Devil kind of ruined everything. And was he even really the Devil? Sal did seem too smart to be a little boy, but could the Devil really have any good in him? I don't know. Too deep for me.
So while this wasn't my type of book, I'm happy I had the opportunity to read and review it. I know there will be people that read this book and love it. It's a very interesting story with great writing, lessons, and themes. Sure I didn't understand everything this book was trying to say, but someone else's life could be forever altered and impacted by this story. If this sounds like your type of book, pick it up and give it a read. I'm only a reviewer giving my own opinion, I don't speak for everyone. Thank you so much Tiffany for letting me review your debut work! And Congratulations, I'm sure you'll have many more books to come.

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