The Summer That Melted Everything [Review & Giveaway!]

The Summer That Melted Everything [Review & Giveaway!]
Hello there!
Title: The Summer That Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniels
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Published Date: 26th July 2016
Rating: 5 stars
*Thank you to the author for the review copy*
Synopsis: Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. 

As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. 

While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

Review: I
became a slave to this book. Not only did I want to consume it in on go but
unfortunately couldn’t, instead it had me awake at near 2am when I had to be
awake early the next day. I couldn’t put this book down and it messed with my
emotions. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A contemporary like
title, all this talk of a devil and then summer? It sounds like quite a mixture
of things. But really, this book is about humanity in my opinion, and what
makes someone human. Especially when it comes to involving our actions.
I’ll start with getting to the part I would most want to
have explained when it comes to this novel. Yes, there is some religious talk
here… but not much. Only what needs to be crossed when it comes to Sal, the
little boy, being the literal devil or not. Every now and again Fielding, the
main character would ask whether these particular actions would bring you to
hell or not. Or what hell is really like. Or what it feels like to be a falling
angel. I’m not saying I agreed with all the answers to these questions given –
I know I didn’t, but that’s okay because I can still read about it and be
intrigued by it – but the answers were incredibly clever. And it made me
realise that when it comes to hell, just like heaven, everyone pictures
something different. For some reason I just assumed everyone would be thinking
of burning and red and pain, but that’s not the case.
But there is much, much, more to this story. In truth,
this is about a family which has fears. Fielding has his own personal fears.
His mother blatantly has one seeing as she never leaves the house. His older
brother, Grand, is idolized in his eyes as an amazing older brother but he also
has his own fair share of problems. And all the people in the town of Breathed
do too. McDaniels managed to describe the secondary characters wonderfully, and
in so much detail that it made me connect to them as main characters as well.
But it never drew me away from the main storyline, which meant it was done
I must mention that in terms of the characters, the real
moral question this novel is raising is who is the real devil? Who or what is
the real evil here? There’s someone claiming to be the literal devil
themselves. There are the people of the town who come to hate the little boy.
There are many other characters who we could say are evil themselves. Sometimes
I even disliked Fielding and his choices and it made me question everything.
Maybe we get a certain answer to this question and maybe we don’t. I’ll leave
you to read about it to figure that one out. But you’ll definitely end up
thinking about it.
What can I say about McDaniel’s writing style? This novel
is the kind that should go down as a classic. The writing style is just so
beautiful, if it were an art piece I would buy it in seconds. It isn’t written
in the style of a classic, but it could be held in regard as one. There are
literary techniques used and the writing is so gorgeous that it is easy to
picture all the scenes she is describing. However, this writing is not
difficult to understand in a single moment. It doesn’t distract us from the
story at all. So again, I have to applaud McDaniel’s for her amazing balance
when creating this novel.
The title to the novel suits inside and out. It’s a
historical fiction, set in the past, but it’s got a relevant message for today.
Messages, I should say. It’s very much a character driven novel but it’s so
good I would recommend it to some plot based readers too. And lastly, I have to
say that the ending just made me sad. Things happened to people who didn’t
deserve them… and that end sends a resounding message itself. You should
definitely read it to find out what I mean.
Gif Summary: 


Giveaway: Enter to win a hardcover edition of The Summer That Melted Everything! US entries only.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: Do you let yourself stay up late
reading from time to time?
Olivia-Savannah x

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