Chloe is an unremarkable teenage girl. She is fifteen, spends most of her time alone with her father off on business trips, is not hated or loved at school, tiny but not particularly strange looking…Chloe is no one special. Until one day. In a very short space of time, Chloe dyes red streaks in her hair in the school bathroom, gets her first period, and sees a ghost. Yes, a ghost. Of course, this isn’t something she expects, so she freaks out entirely–enough to get her strapped to a stretcher, taken out of school, and sent to a group home for troubled teenagers where they tell her she is schizophrenic, not psychic. Lyle House predictably turns out to be more than what it seems at first glance, and so do Chloe and the other residents…

I almost gave up on The Summoning after 50 pages or so, but then I noticed that it was blurbed by Melissa Marr, who I think is totally awesome. I decided to trust her taste and keep reading, and I’m sure glad I did.  The start of this book did not shine. The prologue was intriguing, sure, but the writing and characterization are unremarkable. Those technical aspects of this book never got better. They’re not distractingly bad, and I suppose we did get to know Chloe a bit better, but they are, as I said, no reasons to keep reading.

But this book certainly has its redeeming qualities. Suspense, mystery, and an interesting mythology keep it going as it gets closer to the end, and by the last page, I was anxious for the sequel. I also enjoyed how Chloe’s ambition to write and direct movies was evident: she compared her life to movies, saw good shots, etc., almost like she sees life through a camera lens. Had that device been used more, and sometimes less awkwardly, it could really have improved the boring narration. However, I read to the end, something I certainly don’t always do. And I will probably read the sequel if it comes my way, though I won’t make any extra effort to get my hands on it. This book does not linger on in my mind. I enjoyed reading it, though, and sometimes that’s enough. Also, I have decided it might be helpful to sum up books in six words, my replacement for having ratings/grades, so here you go: in six words: Supernatural, mysterious, and fun but unremarkable.

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