Reviews by Domoni.
I want to thank the author for allowing me to read his book, The Summer The World Ended, and be a part of this book tour.
Riley is a typical 14 year old girl. She and her best friend Amber have planned the best summer to celebrate starting high school. When Amber’s parents surprise her with a vacation to Mexico they are super bummed and feel like their summer is ruined. Before anything can even start on the night of the last day of school, Riley’s mother passes away. Riley spends the next three days in a stupor, not even telling her best friend her mother has passed away. She doesn’t want to ruin her trip, or maybe she doesn’t want to face it. With no family to lean on she is adrift and in shock, until the father she hasn’t seen in 6 years shows up. Angry and not understand why he abandoned her, Riley tries to work through the pain and the shock at her loss while packing up her life and leaving her home to move to her fathers home. The change from New Jersey, to the middle of nowhere New Mexico, with a man she barely knows who seems to have a job with the government that can put her life at risk, is all alot for her to take in. Enter Kieran, the handsome local boy who may make the summer survivable after all. But is her dad paranoid, or is everything as scary as it seems?
I really enjoyed this book. I don’t understand how Matthew S. Cox can write a teenage girl so well. This is the second novel of his I have reviewed recently and both times I have been blown away with how well he captures the emotions of a young teenage female. He really grips your emotions and gets you attached to his characters early on. From the very first paragraph, I could empathize with Riley. I am impressed with the writing style that is so gripping you cannot put the story down.
I felt for Riley and her father. Thrown together after such a distance that neither wanted. One that Riley has trouble understanding and believing. It is hard to accept when someone tells you they left you to protect you but all you feel is hurt that they left. Why should she believe him. Her mother is gone and cannot back him up. Now she is settling into the home in the middle of nowhere. She doesn’t even have WiFi, how can she communicate with her best friend or play her beloved Xbox games?
All of the characters are well written. From the distrustful townspeople to the local kids. Kieran is newer to town too, so he understands how Riley feels about all of the changes. The fact that he is the first guy to seem to like her, and he is good looking too, go a long way towards warming Riley up to her new home.
This story was written with a slight jump forward in time. The world is very much what is happening now with Russia and the Ukraine fighting, and North Korea rattling sabers while the US looks on and debates where to get involved. Riley’s father works on software that helps track hostile forces. He rants about dangers and you wonder if he is serious or paranoid, but in a world gone mad, maybe everyone should be paranoid. While Riley’s world is changing, is the whole world falling apart too? The twists this story took kept me glued to it. I haven’t been so sucked into a book in a long time.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
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Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: June 29th 2015
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
As far as Riley McCullough is concerned, her best friend getting ‘dragged’ off to Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks of summer vacation was the end of the world―at least until the bombs fell.
Life in suburban New Jersey with her mother has been comfortable, not to mention boring, to an introverted fourteen year old. As if her friend’s surprise trip wasn’t bad enough, her expectations for the ‘best summer ever’ disintegrate when she gets sent across the country to stay with a father she hasn’t seen in six years. Adjusting to a tiny, desert town where everyone stares at them like they don’t belong proves difficult, and leaves her feeling more isolated than ever. To make matters worse, her secretive father won’t tell the truth about why he left―or what he’s hiding.
Her luck takes an unexpected turn for the better when she meets a boy who shares her interest in video games and contempt for small town boredom. In him, she finds a kindred spirit who might just make the middle of nowhere tolerable.
Happiness is short lived; fleeing nuclear Armageddon, she takes shelter with her dad in an underground bunker he’d spent years preparing. After fourteen days without sun, Riley must overcome the sorrow of losing everything to save the one person she cares about most.
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
He is also fond of cats.