Some memories are better left forgotten.
Darby and Morgan haven’t spoken for two years, and their friend group has splintered. But when the body of their former science teacher is found in the marsh where they attended camp that summer, they realize they have more questions than answers . . . and even fewer memories.
No one remembers—or no one is talking.
The group of reunited friends begins to suspect that a murderer is stalking the coastal highway 30A, and they must try to recover their memories as quickly as possible . . . before the history they can’t remember repeats itself.
Everyone has a secret.
As tensions rise and time runs out, Darby and Morgan begin to wonder if they can believe one another . . . or if they can even trust themselves.
I fell in love with Dearest Josephine when I read it last year – it had quite bit more depth than I expected, although it is certainly not perfect – and as soon as Caroline George announced The Summer We Forgot I was cautiously curious. Cautious because I do not gravitate towards murder mysteries (although after reading this book, I have some issues with this being characterized as such) in general – too often the suspense only makes me anxious, outweighing my enjoyment. Curious because I knew that anything George wrote would be interesting and enjoyable.
To be honest, it was George’s pre-release Instagram content that pushed me to actually request this book from the library, and I certainly don’t regret it. I picked up the book last weekend and ended up reading it in one day, a sadly rare occurrence these days.
“We don’t choose people. Our hearts do. And they’re little saboteurs, always trying to get themselves broken.”
At its heart, The Summer We Forgot is a story about friendship; friendship, growing up and trauma. It is a story about the consequences of actually forgetting that event or memory you have always wanted to forget. The reader experiences the pain of knowing something is wrong, that something is missing and having no idea what that something is. It is a fierce reminder of the consequences of poor choices and bad decisions, as well as the pain of forgiving yourself.
I fell in love with the characters, Darby, Spooner, Morgan and all the others. They were all so messy and heartbroken. I enjoyed watching them relearn friendship as a group, and the eventual healing that came at the end of the book was a sweet gift after experiencing their pain with them.
“Dad tells me there’s no such thing as easy, no foolproof way to get through life unscathed. Every decision brings challenges. So, we don’t get easy. We only choose our hard. And if us is even on the table, believe me when I say you’re the easiest hard choice I’ll ever make.”
George’s writing is enjoyable with bits of lovely prose sprinkled throughout the book. She managed to add unexpected depth to a YA mystery, telling a story that felt relevant to real life in many small ways.
The Summer We Forgot kept me on the edge of my seat. There were plenty of twists and turns, unexpected reveals and suspenseful moments. The conclusion was unexpected and interesting. I look forward to adding both of George’s books to my personal library, and revisiting Dearest Josephine in the near future.
*To avoid spoilers, I’ll avoid content warnings, but if you are curious, ask in the comments.*
Have you read The Summer We Forgot? Or Dearest Josephine?
What are you reading right now? Any favorite (or least favorite) recent reads?