Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer at Forsaken Lake by Michael D. Beil

Nicholas isn't sure how great his summer is going to be. His parents (recently divorced) have sent him and his sisters to their Great-Uncle Nick's place on Forsaken Lake. After living all of his life in New York, Nicholas isn't convinced that small-town life will have anything to offer him. Of course, that's before he discovers his love of sailing, the girl with an amazing pitching arm, and all of his father's secrets. Nicholas' dad spent his summers with Uncle Nick, and now Nicholas is uncovering a part of his dad's life that he never knew about. Secrets have a way of coming to the surface...but are some things better left hidden?

As much as I enjoyed this book as an adult (and I did), I think I might have loved it even more if I'd read it as a child. Yes, that would involve a bit of time traveling, but I can see it really appealing to a younger me. The possibility and excitement of a new life, even temporarily, is one of the great things about a summer setting. Nicholas, as a character, is engaging and strong; Charlie, the girl with the great arm, shines as a girl who can do anything that the boys can do (and, in many cases, do it a lot better). Their growing friendship strikes the right notes of affection and awkwardness. While I loved where this book ended (and think it ended on just the right note), I wouldn't be sad to see a sequel. Something tells me that Forsaken Lake has enough secrets and mysteries (and character) to sustain a few more summer adventures.

(The review copy I read didn't have the final artwork in it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the illustrations look like.)

Check out Michael D. Beil's website and see his own version of "The Seaweed Strangler."

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Random House.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamodour by Michael D. Beil
One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

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