Summer of Fear

Summer of Fear

4.5 108
by Lois Duncan

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Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel's cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel's life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her—including Rachel's boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?


Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel's cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel's life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her—including Rachel's boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.57(d)
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

My birthday is at the beginning of July.

I have always loved birthdays. I have a chain of birthday memories that run all the way back to the year I was three, although Dad insists that no one can remember that far. I got a doll for that birthday, she had real hair, not the painted kind, and was dressed in a ballet skirt, and when I took her out of the box I thought she was alive.

So, you see, I do remember.

Later there was a circus birthday when I saw my first elephant and ate my first cotton candy. And there was the bicycle birthday, and the tennis racket birthday, and when I was twelve there was the birthday that brought Trickle.

But this particular birthday, the one on which I turned sixteen, there was no air of festivity. This was my own fault, for my parents wanted to give me a party.

"Sixteen is such a special age," Mother kept saying. "Don't you want to invite some people to celebrate? Or if you'd prefer to have it just family, we could go out for dinner someplace nice and then maybe to a play."

"No," I told her. "I really don't feel like doing anything. I've outgrown that sort of thing."

The truth, of course, was that I would not share my birthday with Julia.

Julia. Just the sound of her name was enough to make me feel slightly sick. When I heard my Mother speak it, her voice filled with warmth--"Julia, dear, you really must do some posing for me. It's a waste to have a beautiful niece and not to use her for a model"--my stomach churned.

"Julie," my father called her. Every time he saw her his face brightened, as though she were the second daughter he had always longed for.

I held myself apart from them all and watched, and it was a strange feeling, as though I were a visitor from another planet observing something of which I was no part. I watched Julia smiling at my father and calling him "Tom." I watched her helping Mother in the kitchen, moving deftly about with a pan or a dish towel, taking over chores that formerly were mine. I watched Bobby tease her into a game of dominos and saw Peter's eyes follow her about with a kind of hopeless adoration.

But worst of all was watching her with Mike. For the first time in my life I wished that he did not live next door to us, for it made it much too easy for him to wander over after work, for no special reason, to sit on the porch steps and chat. He was as nice to me as he always was--nicer, really--for he no longer tossed me playful insults or called me silly nicknames. He was politely formal and very kind.

"You look really nice today," he would say. "I like your hair like that," although my hair was no different from what it had always been, "Is that a new outfit?" when I was wearing the same tired pair of denim shorts and faded plaid shirt that I had worn all summer the year before.

But he was not kind enough to try to hide his reason for coming.

"Is Julia around?" he would ask avoiding my eyes. And Julia always was.

"You're not mad, are you, Rae?" she asked me. "It wasn't as though I could help it. These things do sometimes happen."

"You made it happen," I said bitterly. "You knew Mike was mine.

"He wasn't yours," Julia said in a reasonable way. "People don't own other people. You told me yourself the first day I was here that you weren't going steady. I didn't break anything up. Mike says you were just good friends, that you've always been like a little sister to him."

"That's not true." I tried to speak with dignity. "He may say that now, but he wouldn't have said it a month ago."

"Things change," Julia said with a shrug.

This could not be denied. Things did change, and the thing that seemed to have changed the most was Julia herself. When I think back now, it is hard for me to decide exactly whom to picture when I say the name "Julia." There were three Julias--all different. There was the Julia who arrived with my parents that first day, hesitant and frightened, the haunted, tight-faced girl who stood uncertainly in the doorway in the shadow of my father, and held out her hand to me and said, "Hello." Then there was the later Julia, relaxed and self-confident, the quaint touch of the hills gone from her speech. This was the Julia who plucked her eyebrows so that they no longer hung like bushes over her huge eyes and used my lip gloss to widen her mouth and make her thin lips fuller and warmer. This Julia laughed and chattered and used Albuquerque slang and went with Carolyn to the hair dressers' and had her thick mane cut and styled into a long shag.

"She's copied Carolyn," I remarked to Peter, who immediately bristled as though he had been personally insulted.

"You're jealous," he said. "You've turned into a real cat since Mike threw you over."

"Threw me overl" True though they were, the words cut me to the core. I could not believe that my brother had said them. "What about you? Do you feel thrown over?"

"I never went with Julia."

"But you would have if you could," I said cruelly. "You fell for her like a ton of bricks, and you know it. And you're not over it either."

"So?" Peter said. "That's why I understand how Mike feels about her. No guy in his right mind could help falling for a girl like Julia, and she's got a right to choose anybody she wants. It burns me up to hear you run her down just because she has something that you haven't."

"What is it she has?" I asked, really wanting to know. "What are the qualities that have you and Mike so enchanted?"

"I can't explain it," Peter said."It's just--something.  A kind of feeling.  A sort of--magic."  And he blushed, embarrassed at having used a word that sounded so romantic."She's just--special somehow."

Meet the Author

Lois Duncan is an acclaimed suspense author for young adults. She has published nearly 50 books for children, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was adapted into a highly-successful horror film, and Who Killed My Daughter?, a non-fiction book about the harrowing experience of her daughter's murder.

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Summer of Fear 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 108 reviews.
anastasha More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, i love the suspense build in it and all the weird events that happen in it. Read It!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really dont read but when ever i had to do a book report on a book i just went to the libery a picked up this book and started to read it and now i am read a lot of lois duncan's book b/c i love them!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad, but could have been better. I'm under the impression that this book was written for teenagers/young adults. The plot is very basic, and the author stays away from mature subjects and language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book i ever read. Its so fun to read a book i actually enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has to be my favorite book by Lois Duncan. I recommend this book 100%
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luv the book best book ever read its my fav book Lots of suspense makes you never want to put the book down it makes you say i wonder whats going to happen next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The auther is Lois duncan. By the way i am 10 years old and i can NOT wait to be a teenager!!! So i can read these kind of books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It has a really good twist at the end. It gets better trust me
Sweettea93 More than 1 year ago
This book was so good that I couldn't put it down and read it in only one day!!! It's filled with drama and has a supernatural twist. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This waa the besttt book. Will alwaysbe my faveorite in the world. Very shocking. And it is a page turner you don't want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book i ever read by the author and i absolutely fell for her writing! I started reading all of her other books afterward. It is hard to choose my favorite! I would recommend any of her books to young adults such as i.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not one of her best books but a good quick read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lois duncan writes amazing books especially stranger with my face it was amazing how the other twin (the bad one) was hurting everyone that is close to the other one (the good one).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is for anyone who likes a good teen conflict mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lois Duncan is definitely a great mystery author, but her books, in my opinion, are nothing special. She keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering, and creates interesting plots, that's for sure. This book is mostly for preteens, who enjoy a good mystery. I'm not really the mystery type....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting. It jumps into the story very quickly, which I liked alot. It was very suspenseful at times, because you wonder what Julia¿s true motives are. The beginning of the story it explains who Julia is and why she is living with Rachel and her family. Then throughout the story, weird occurrences start to happen, like Rachel¿s dog suddenly dies, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and her best friend leaves her. Everyone loves Julia but Rachel is the only one who see's her true colors. There is also a big twist at the end which was very unexpected. It was a good ending, but left a few unanswered questions. Although at some points it seemed unrealistic and too "planned out", it definitely held my attention and kept me reading. This would be a great book if you're looking for an easy, suspenseful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does she get back together with mike?!?!?!?!?!?!?
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