Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 416 pages
Release Date: July 1, 2008
Synopsis: 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…
After moving around so much, Chloe's early memories of ghosts die away and her concerns lean towards normal things like why she hasn't gotten her period yet, how she still looks twelve when she's not, her dreams of becoming a director and of course, boys. (very normal concerns for a fifteen year old right?) She never expected getting shipped off to a mental institution after having a bizarre encounter with a ghost in school. At Lyle's House Chloe's immediately branded with schzophrenia and forced to take meds that supposedly control her condition. Uncertain if she's truly sick or not, she tries to make the best of her situation but Derek, one of the boys at the group home makes it impossible. Dark and suspicious, Derek hints to Chloe to not believe everything that Lyle House tells her and to investigate deeper. Both curious and annoyed at Derek's badgering, she eventually does this and finds out exactly what her "condition" is.
Many IMM posts ago, I picked up The Awakening by accident; I had no clue that I did this, I just recognized the cover after reading some reviews on the book. I was pretty annoyed to realize that I didn't have the first book...so I couldn't read it. I went back to the library, returned it and didn't think much of the book series for a while. Eventually though, I told myself it was time to read The Summoning (after making sure it was the first book, duh) and give my two cents on it. Well... I personally thought it was great! I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. I couldn't sleep, I was so engrossed in the novel; insomnia+book=perfect solution! After finishing it, I desperately wanted to read the sequel (I thought about the book so much I even dreamt about it...) What did I find so fantastic about this book? The suspense. I did not want to leave any page unturned; the two brothers Derek and Simon were central to the story, pushing our frightened little main character towards the truth. Simon was the charming, attractive one with people smarts while Derek's caustic ways did little to help him make new friends. Rae, who's "thing" for fire might be a hidden talent, becomes Chloe's closest friend and helps her whenever she can. All of them are great characters (even the ones you hate: you really don't like them, period). The Summoning was thrilling, suspenseful and a series I definetely need to keep up with.