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Reviewed by Ronél Steyn for Readers' Favorite
Jordan Elizabeth’s Dreadful Summer: Hayview Manor Book One brings us the story of seventeen-year-old Annie Carmichael. Summer is approaching, which means lazy days helping on the family farm and scorching days spent at the lake. Her family has also hired a very attractive new helper who seems to be interested in Annie as much as she is in him. When her sister’s best friend suddenly disappears, leaving behind a three-year-old son, no one can believe the stories that follow. With everyone assuming that Nora finally left to start afresh somewhere else, Annie is determined to find the truth. All is not as it seems when Annie discovers other facts regarding the people around her, leaving the Carmichaels changed forever.
Written in the first person, Jordan Elizabeth brings the entire story closer to the reader, creating a more personal experience. The characters are perfectly relatable, and all play their part in this beautiful novella. From the start until the very end, I was wholly absorbed in the lives of Annie and the other Carmichaels. Nestled in the spaces between the words, I could smell the earthiness and feel the summer heat on my skin. I could see the darkening sky and taste the falling rain. When authors put this much soul into a book, you know it’s worth the read. Suitable for young adults as well as older readers, this book is filled with mystery, friendships, summer flings, and the unbreakable bond of family. Dreadful Summer will have you smiling, crying, frowning, and unable to wait for the next story.