Summoner

Summoner

by S.D. Grimm
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Overview

Summoner by S.D. Grimm

When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.

And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.

Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640633322
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 09/04/2017
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 359
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

A.M. Rose is the writer of young adult novels, drinker of too much coffee (with way too much coconut creamer), and lover of all carbohydrates. Currently, she lives in Houston, TX with her three boys (yes, her husband is in that count) and three cats. When she isn’t writing, she is an avid reader, critiquer, (is that even a word?) and trampoline enthusiast. She is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication and a minor in underwater basket weaving. (Okay, maybe not the basket weaving part.)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Witching for bodies in a cemetery was not my idea of a fun Halloween dare, yet I stood at the mouth of a graveyard, divining rods in hand.

At least that's what Nell called them. Ten minutes ago, they were each half of a metal coat hanger. Nell's eyes had practically sparkled as she snipped the hangers with wire cutters by the light of her BMW's headlights, and then bent them into L shapes. Then she handed me the finished product and flashed a dimpled smile. No spells. No special witchy juju. I mean, how potent could these things actually be?

Though I had to admit, despite the late-October warmth, the thin wire felt almost cold in my hands. Unnerving. There had to be a scientific explanation.

My friends seemed mesmerized by the entrance to the cemetery, too, as if the moonlight made the familiar place completely foreign. It was the same looming presence that always sat at the end of my street, yet all five of us stopped in front of the two towering, brick columns flanking the asphalt driveway. Columns that reminded me of rooks in a chess game. Castle watchtowers with no watchers. Who would they protect anyway? Everyone inside was dead.

Vines clutched the weather-darkened bricks like black, sinewy fingers. No gate barred the way, only a cracked driveway that led into darkness.

A shudder rippled through me.

"You coming, Allie?" Hunter's voice snapped me out of my staring, and I watched the rest of my friends head up the driveway, disappearing into the black void one at a time.

Of course, it would be Hunter who waited for me — hand extended. Did my unwillingness to move forward have more to do with the cemetery or his full-of-subtext offer to hold my hand?

He tipped his head sideways. "Come on. I'm just being nice. Not asking you to change your mind." Well, as long as that was clear. The offer was tempting. Even if we were newly "just friends," perhaps holding his hand would banish my irrational fears away.

It didn't.

Weird, because none of Nell's other stupid dares scared me. Sure, they made my heart pound. Gave me a wild rush of fear that ended in laughter. And I'd screamed my throat raw during that first dare — the Freshman Year Fiasco — hiding behind Hunter and clutching his shirt so tight my fingers left indentations in the fabric. Turned out the old Anderson mansion was not in fact haunted — which I had believed until the very real colony of bats flew right at me to get out of the house for their nightly hunt.

Nell had laughed herself silly because she hadn't even planned that.

Stupid bats.

This fear was different. Heavy. Like unwanted pressure on my lungs. And cold. Cold enough to make my insides ache.

It was just a cemetery. Mom wasn't even buried here. But I ached anyway. Because I was different. My whole life was different. And I'd seen what that kind of change did to people. It stripped them of their friends. It happened to my best friend in elementary school, it was happening to Dad, and if I couldn't convince my friends that I was the same old Allie, it would happen to me.

Right now, I couldn't handle losing someone else. Probably why I'd hung onto my relationship with Hunter for so long. But he'd graciously told me he understood. And that he was willing to go back to being just my friend. I squeezed his hand tighter. He had no idea how much that meant to me. To not lose someone else.

My shoulder bumped Hunter's arm. The moonlight revealed his grin. I faked one in return and tried to embrace my old-normal self before calling up to Nell, "Tell me you brought flashlights."

She glanced over her shoulder and I imagined her devious smile — dimple included. "Are you kidding? We don't want to get caught. Just make sure you have those divining rods."

I held them up and twirled them in my free hand, not like she could see them in the dark. "And what am I supposed to do with these? Raise the dead?"

"Something like that."

I stopped twirling.

Mandy came up beside me, walking so close that her shudder shot through me, too. "Good thing it's a full moon."

Nell waited for us to catch up, fingering the moon charm on her necklace, its opal iridescence lost in the darkness. "Witching works best with a full moon."

Mandy stopped walking.

I exchanged Hunter's hand for Mandy's and pulled my best friend toward Nell. If I was going, she was going. "Nell, are you ever going to tell us what witching is?"

"Eventually." With a flip of her blond hair, she led us deeper into the cemetery.

"Don't tell me you're taking us to the back, where the century-old graves are." Mandy's eyes pleaded with me —

me. Like this was my idea. Or like I had any control over Nell's schemes.

"Don't worry. You have one and a half strong guys to protect you." Nell pushed against her brother's shoulder.

"Ha. Ha." Derek's six-foot-something frame towered above us and he held his lit phone up to his chin, illuminating the creepy curves of his face. "Who dares disturb the dead?"

As if in reply, a thick cloud passed over the full moon and the darkness grew so deep it seemed to affect my hearing. The metal rods turned colder in my palms and I sucked in a breath.

"All right, give me these." Nell took the rods and warmth rushed back through me like returning blood flow. She changed direction off the main driveway and down a path between headstones. "Over here looks good."

"Ladies first." Derek motioned for Mandy and me to go ahead, then a deep evil-villain laugh rumbled in his throat as we walked past him.

I rolled my eyes. "So chivalrous."

"He's just scared." Mandy gripped my arm tighter.

"Yeah, right." Derek chuckled.

This had to be the oldest part of the cemetery. Under the cover of huge trees, the air cooled. A noise behind a headstone stilled me. I turned toward the boys. Why'd they have to walk behind like that? Something rustled in the grass beside them.

"What was that?" Mandy whispered.

I froze.

"I heard it." Nell turned around and her phone's flashlight momentarily blinded me. She screamed.

Derek screamed, too, his long legs dancing around as he raced passed us, and my heart skittered to a faster beat. The dark, humped form of a raccoon scampered away, and my fear abated.

I doubled over laughing. "Not scared, huh?"

The light shook as Nell leaned over, giggling.

"I was just startled. It's not the same as scared."

Hunter's laugh rose above ours.

"Shut up, Hunter." Derek punched his shoulder hard enough to make Hunter rub his upper arm, but not hard enough that Hunter lost his smile.

Nell shined her phone's flashlight on some crumbling headstones. "What do you think?"

Mandy wrapped her arm around mine, gripping it like a blood-pressure cuff. "You can't even read the names." She pointed to the right. "That spot looks less scary. And brighter."

Nell sighed but started in that direction anyway. Everyone followed. Mandy was right — moonlight made it easier to see, but the uneasy feeling in my stomach intensified as I moved toward that grouping of headstones. They were crooked and uneven. Like the ground beneath them settled a long time ago but never actually stopped settling.

The damp air made it harder to breathe.

"All right, what do I do with these things?" Derek took one of the L-shaped wires from his sister.

An involuntary shiver crept up my back as I recalled how cold those things were.

"Hold it like this." Nell held the smaller section of the wire in her hand, letting the larger section point straight out in front of her. "One in each hand." She gave Derek the other one. "Now, loosen your grip so they're free to move when they want to, and start walking."

Derek examined his metal rods. "You're saying they'll move on their own?"

"Yep."

"No way." Derek shook his head and tried to hand the hanger back.

"You scared?" Nell's teasing tone was evident in her voice.

"No."

"Good." Nell pointed toward the graves. "When you're over an actual body, you'll see the two points converge." She held her arms in front of her as if they were the metal coat hangers. Then she folded them and her fingertips nearly touched. "If one side still sways" — she demonstrated by moving her right hand a little — "then you've most likely hit a female."

"You can't possibly tell that." Mandy's voice was as breathless as I felt.

Nell simply shrugged. "We'll let the tombstones tell us afterward."

Did she have any fears? Was I the only one covered in a chill that seemed to cling to my soul? Maybe Mom's death had altered me in this area, too. Death wasn't this far-off elusive thing that I never thought about anymore. Death was real. Always present in my thoughts because of the hole it had left in my heart.

Derek tried to hand his sister the rods. "Maybe you should go first and show us."

Nell made chicken noises.

Derek shifted his shoulders like he was preparing to shoot a free throw. "I just don't want to mess up."

Hunter groaned until Derek started walking. At first, nothing happened. Then, as he walked past the headstone, to the other side, the metal rods twitched toward him.

"Whoa." He stopped.

Imaginary centipedes raced across my skin.

"Keep going," Nell whispered.

The rods moved as he took another step. They came together, making a straight line in front of him, just like Nell had explained.

Right. Because she'd explained it. That had to be it. Derek knew just how to the hold the rods. Maybe they'd practiced at home or something. Yeah. That made sense.

"Congratulations. You just walked over a dead body." Nell's voice quavered and her hand flew to that charm on her necklace.

Nell, nervous?

Mandy leaned closer to me, if that could be possible. "Tell me this isn't magic."

Nell dismissed Mandy with a wave of her hand. "No magic. Farmers witch for water all the time. It's also called water dowsing."

Goose bumps sprouted all over my skin. What water? Wouldn't these bodies be nothing but dry bones? "So ... we're looking for water?"

Devious smile right on cue. "Of course not. You can witch for bodies, too. It's science, just like water dowsing. Isn't that fantastic? These rods are showing us where the bodies are. I got this new book and learned all about it."

Nothing about that comforted me. Nell's books were always full of dark, scary, skin-crawly stuff.

Mandy squirmed. "Aren't these bodies already marked?" Nell's moon charm landed in the dip of her collarbone. "Well, we have to start somewhere we know it will work. Besides, it's not like I'm trying to find lost bodies. Unless — " "No," Mandy and I said in unison. Derek and Hunter laughed.

"We aren't the Scooby Doo gang." Mandy let go of my arm and blood rushed back into the limb.

"Oh, Velma." Nell put her hand on Mandy's shoulder. "Stop being a killjoy."

"All right, give me a shot." Hunter reached for the witching poles.

Derek handed them to him. Time to call out the twins on their little hoax. Game over. Very funny. I pressed my fingers to my lips and glued my eyes to the poles as Hunter walked over the grave. They twitched.

"You're moving it. You have to be." Mandy's voice trembled.

Hunter held his hands steady, staring at the wires. "I'm not."

Another step. The poles swung together and we all gasped. Hunter stopped. "The right one is still moving. Is this a woman?"

Nell read the headstone. "Marjorie Stevens."

Goose bumps on my scalp.

He handed the rods to Nell and shuddered. "This is your best dare yet."

She took them, and her eyes widened as she started toward the graves. What? No "thank you"? No devious grin or flip of her hair? She had to be as scared as we were. That did nothing to put me at ease.

Her footsteps were slow, like a tightrope walker. We crowded closer together and watched. Moonlight seemed to grow brighter. A wire twitched out, back, seeming to have a mind of its own, like a dog sniffing the air to catch a scent.

"You're moving it," Derek said.

"No. I'm not." She shook her head.

"Yes, you are. Look how — whoa." The bars converged and froze. Derek stepped back.

She hurried off the grave and tried to give the wires to Mandy. "Your turn, Scooby."

Mandy stepped away from me. "No way. It's Allie's turn."

I shivered without her constant comfort and stared at the L-shaped pieces of metal. Not so scary. Right? Then why didn't I want to touch those things again? Nell's eyes started to narrow. Old Allie wouldn't have hesitated this long. I took the wires. They were warm and slick with sweat. As soon as I curled my fingers around them, they chilled.

Unwilling to give them back and reveal the depth of my fear, I loosened my grip on the smaller side of the rod and stepped forward, tombstone in my sights. Another step. Nothing happened at first. Then the ends of the wires twitched. I stopped and watched them hover for a moment, then I walked forward again. The wires vibrated.

Another step. The metal quivered in my hand, but the arms wouldn't swing together. One more step and I stood maybe two feet from the headstone. The bars swung together and one still moved. On its own.

"A girl." Nell gasped.

A girl. Shudder.

"Look how small," Mandy said. "I mean, she must have been short." She flicked on her phone's light and shined it at the marker. Her hand went to her mouth. "It's a baby. Eleanor Rose."

"A baby?" A shiver ratcheted through me and I stepped off the grave.

"That explains why it took so long to get a reaction," Mandy said, sadness tinged her tone.

"Try another," Nell said. "You're good at these."

"Really. Because I feel like I'm shaking." I was shaking. "Mandy needs a turn." I held out the wires for her.

She shook her head wildly.

"Come on, Allie, do another." Nell pointed to a grave across from me.

I glanced toward it and cold air blasted through me. "That one?"

"What's wrong, Allie? Scared?" Nell raised an eyebrow.

I gritted my teeth and stepped forward. A biting breeze touched my cheek. Uneven ground against the ball of my right foot threatened my balance. I focused on the rods. Something sucked all the autumn warmth from the air. It didn't feel like winter, either. Just left me cold. Cold from the inside out.

One more step and the wire arms swung together. The right one quavered like a tiny pendulum. Another woman.

An airy voice swept through me like a hissing wind.

Help me.

CHAPTER 2

I stopped. The wires slid out of my hands. Not funny. I glared at my friends, but every one of them stared at me with rapt attention.

"Help! Don't let her hurt me."

Not one of my friends' mouths moved as I heard the throaty whisper.

I bent to pick up the wires. A cold breeze slammed into me.

"Please. She's going to kill me!"

It was like a shout that time and I didn't recognize the voice. I hurried off the body and handed the wires to Hunter.

"Creepy, huh?" He grinned.

"It's almost like they're talking to you."

"Talking? Really, Allie, you have quite the imagination."

Had no one else heard? Was it a prank? It had to be. I scanned their faces. The darkness stole the familiarity of what I expected to see there. I didn't know what to read in their expressions, so they all looked empty. My eyes begged for a hint of light to help me discern what they were thinking.

"No, she's right." Nell hugged herself and rubbed her arms. "It's like we're getting a piece of their story, like the baby. How small she was. It's still creepy, though."

I shivered and Hunter leaned close. "You cold?" His nearness didn't dissuade the feelings. The chill. The ache.

"No. Just ... "

"Terrified?" He chuckled.

"Shut up." I almost smacked his arm.

"Sorry." And there was something genuine in the way he said it.

Mandy checked her phone, and when the light I craved bathed her face, I noticed her tight features. She was scared. Had she heard the voices? "We should head back. Allie's dad will freak if she's not home by eleven."

"You didn't get to try." Nell's voice held a teasing tone that sounded forced.

Mandy shrugged. "Next time maybe."

"Chicken," Derek said to her.

"Yep."

Everyone laughed. Except me.

The five of us walked out of the cemetery into a world of streetlights and dark patches of neatly cut lawns. The air was warmer out here. The cold foreboding that had clung to me like a film slipped off, and I breathed deep until the voice echoed in my head as a memory. Help me. It had to have been real. What did that mean?

Had no one else heard the voices?

Maybe they were good at faking. Really good.

Derek and Hunter high-fived about something I completely missed, and Nell threw her head back in a laugh so loud that I half expected neighbors to turn on their porch lights and peek through their curtains.

Mandy looked at me and chuckled, shaking her head. I nodded like the conversation actually interested me. I'd have to stop zoning out like that or someone would notice.

"You okay?" Mandy wrinkled her forehead.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Summoner"
by .
Copyright © 2017 S. D. Grimm.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Summoner 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story will capture your
VoluptuousBDiva More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this, and the tears are still streaming down my face in a continuous flow. Wow! What an utterly captivating read. This author has written a beautiful paranormal story with well-developed characters that reach out to you and not only pull at your heart strings but have you cheering them on. Allie and Cody are high schoolers, and each has suffered devasting losses in their lives. Little by little circumstances occur that continue to bring them closer to one another. Unfortunately, these circumstances may be deadly, and they face the battle of good and evil. This story has it all from misfortunes to ghosts to even moments that will have you looking over your shoulder. I highly recommend this book, and I look forward to seeing more of this author's creative mind. {I requested a review copy via NetGalley and Entangled Teen. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
A fast paced story, which had me bite my nails quite a few times. I hoped for the best, but it could have gone wrong and ended with more death in Allie's life. This book had it all to make for a success: a girl (sensitive and grieving her mom), a cute guy (cowboy style), girlfriends leading Allie into trouble and a ghost (evil and mad). And I really liked it from the start. I think it's a book for romantic readers as well as ghost stroy readers. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing!
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
in summoner, s.d. grimm introduces us to allie billings six months after the death of her mother. she's only just started to come out of the fog of grief and hanging out with her old friends is part of that. she's not thrilled that her friend nell has decided that they need to go witching at the local cemetery. at least her mother isn't buried there. but other are, and allie is weirded out when she thinks she hears them talking to her. that same night she meets her new neighbor, cody burkhardt. even in the dark she can see the scars that mar his body and the hand he is missing on his left arm. but she doesn't press him for answers. she doesn't want to make things awkward because for the first time in a long time she hasn't felt the need to pretend. cody understands loss. and he finds himself as drawn to allie as she is to him. it's just hard to trst it at first. he's too used to being the freak. but so is allie. and she's even more freaked out when she realizes that she can see ghosts. she can even see the outline of cody's missing hand. it's actually a phantom limb. but as allie learns more about the ghost world, she comes to realize that seeing the undead is more a curse than a blessing. and it puts her life, as well as cody's, on the line and there's a chance that both of them won't make it. the relationship between allie and cody blossoms quickly, but they have so many nice moments together, it's hard to be mad at how quickly they fall for each other. i really enjoyed this one, it's the perfect spooky romance for the fall. **summoner will publish on september 4, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (entangled teen) in eexchangefor my honest review.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
*3.5* I don't know about you guys but I love fall, and the one thing I love even more than fall is Halloween. It just has so much potential to be deliciously creepy with the right books, movies, and activities. Therefore, when S.D. Grimm's Summoner landed on my radar with its attention grabbing tagline of "One Night. One dare in a cemetery. One new, hot neighbor," I simply couldn't resist. Dares, a cemetery, AND a hot neighbor. It looked like the creepiness and eeriness of fall & Halloween had shown up early this year! The result? S.D. Grimm's Summoner did end up being not only eerie but fast paced; however, I will admit, it wasn't nearly as eerie and frightening as I hoped it would be. Summoner introduces us to Allie, a high school senior who is constantly suckered into sticky and potentially dangerous situations with her best friends. When the book first opens up, Allie is trying her best to be as normal as she can be, as it's been a rough year and it shows openly in the way she acts and talk to the people who are supposed to be her best friends - the people who understand her the most. I liked Allie from the get-go. It was easy to relate to her feelings over loosing a loved one, and I also admired how she easily accepted new people into her circle, no matter the "baggage" they may carry. I felt that Cody was a good match for her. Suffering an incredible loss himself, Cody is just as guarded and sheltered as Allie is - if not more. I really enjoyed watching them come together and develop this half playful and half serious relationship. There banter, in particular, had me laughing out loud at times. The one aspect I didn't like that came from Allie and Cody's friendship and potential romance was the fact that they completely closed themselves off from the rest of the world. Over the course of the book, Allie completely ignores her best friends, choosing to throw them to the side to put all her attention on Cody, and that just rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, you can have friends AND a boyfriend at the same time -it's doable! Additionally, I feel that having more time dedicated to Allie and Cody's friendships with others would've added to the story - I personally would've over to know more about Allie's crew. They seemed like a lot of fun! I found the plot in this to be interesting. I enjoyed seeing S.D. Grimm dig into what it mean to be a "summoner." I've seen books on the topic before, but S.D. managed to make it fun and interesting. It introduced some fun twists, and while some parts of the story I could see coming, some did manage to surprise me. I especially enjoyed how S.D. used the summoner line to further Allie and Cody's coming to terms with their respective losses. It was an interesting way to go about it. However, as hinted to above, I wish this book was just a tad more creepy. I wanted scare-my-pants-off/can't-sleep-with-the-lights-off-fright, and unfortunately, I didn't get that with this one. Summoner, though, is perfect for the fan who wants a paranormal thriller/mystery read on the tamer side. While I did have some issues with Summoner, it is still a worthwhile read - perfect for fans of paranormal with an extra helping of romance. Plus I will admit: that epilogue was perfect. I had such a huge smile on my face!! Grade: B-
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Now that the calendar (if not the weather) is starting to inch toward fall, I've been craving some darker, spookier reads. When I read the summary for Summoner, I wanted to read it as soon as I saw the words "witching" and "summon their souls." Summoner proved to be an interesting read, if not quite as creepy and scary as I was hoping for. It read more as young adult contemporary romance with a hint of paranormal. The story begins as Allie and her friends go "witching" in a graveyard on a dare. Allie ends up getting more than she bargained for as she accidentally summons the souls of the dead. Unfortunately, one of them wants revenge and needs Allie's assistance, whether or not Allie is willing to help her. Luckily, the new boy next door might just be more than he seems. Cody has just moved from Montana after an accident that cost him his hand and left him with demons of his own to battle. The part I liked the best about this book was the detail. I loved how much depth the author included  in the world-building. The concept of Summoners was explained really well and I liked how the truth was slowly revealed. The conversations with the ghosts were some of my favorite parts of the novel. Additionally, I hadn't expected the novel to delve so deeply into some of the themes that it did, such as loss and grief. I thought that the author did an excellent job of showing Allie and Cody's battles with their own inner demons. The characters were both likeable and I was really rooting for them to conquer their fears. The graveyard scene at the beginning of the book set my expectations quite high for the creepy factor of the rest of the book. However, this book wasn't as atmospheric or spooky after that scene, which left me a little disappointed. Most of the plot revolved around Allie's day-to-day life and how she slowly grew closer to Cody. Even though it had some aspects that I liked, I didn't like their romance as a whole. The progression from strangers to friends to more seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. Most of their interactions were focused around the graveyard and Allie's insistence on going back there, which didn't really allow me to see the chemistry between them. Additionally, while I understand that her grief changed her, I didn't like that Allie's friends essentially disappeared from the story once she met Cody. While there were a few things that bugged me, Summoner was an intriguing mix of paranormal and contemporary young adult romance. It's a good fall read that has just the right amount of creepy if you're not looking for a truly spooky novel. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Summoner by S.D. Grimm. Divining rods, a cemetery and a dare open the story. Allie's new next door neighbor, Cody, is nice and is dealing with the aftereffects of an accident. Cody's reluctant to discuss the accident and Allie eventually finds out why. For some reason, Allie is hearing a voice, blacks out and acts strange while she's hearing the voice that no one else hears. It's embarrassing her and she doesn't want to tell anyone about the voice. Cody and Allie bond a friendship and more, become best friends and help each other with the struggles they're both dealing with. The two of them fight together to end the existence of an evil that wants to conquer them. 4 stars for this romantic supernatural read. * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
onemused More than 1 year ago
“Summoner” follows Allie, 6 months after she lost her mother to cancer, as she rejoins her friends on a crazy dare. Nell seems to find the oddest things to do, and now she has them using a divining rod to locate dead bodies in a cemetery. Although creeped out, not wanting to be a chicken, Allie gives it a try and begins to hear a voice. As we soon learn, Allie has been cursed and can summon the dead- in this case, using a divining rod. At the same time, Allie is juggling some teenage romantic drama with her recent break-up and the new hottie next door, whom her friend can’t seem to stop hitting on. Cody has just moved from Montana and is haunted by the events of 2 years earlier, where he lost his hand. Allie finds herself drawn to him and luckily, he seems to reciprocate although he is hardly willing to jump into something new himself. To make things even more complicated, he turns out to be her Guardian. When a Summoner is cursed, they get a Guardian to try to protect them from the dead, who are trying to destroy them. The build-up to the supernatural/horror aspects is very slow, as we know as much as Allie and Cody do (which is to say, nothing). The big reveals come later in the book and we slowly piece together what is happening and how to stop it alongside Allie and Cody. Allie and Cody are both fiercely protective of the other, which may actually stand in their way when it comes to stopping the ghost which is haunting Allie and threatening her existence. Overall, it is more a romance with elements of the supernatural than vice-versa. The strength of this book is really in the demonstrations of the power of forgiveness and acceptance/overcoming guilt and moving past family death. The supernatural elements were just enough to make the book stand out from the usual contemporary YA romance but overall, it retained a lot of the same feel and personal growth as one without the supernatural. I found the ideas about Summoners/Guardians really unique- here, this isn’t a skill they were born with and didn’t find out about until now- this is a new thing placed on them somewhat at random and they have to figure it out entirely. No special community or anything exists to educate them (though they do get a little help on the way, thankfully), so it really seemed to set itself apart from other, potentially similar books. Largely for the romance/personal growth, it was difficult to stop reading this one (see if they were too stubborn to let the other one help with their problems), and I enjoyed seeing Allie and Cody’s relationship evolve. The supernatural elements were just the icing on the cake. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Mrs_Worthington More than 1 year ago
This was such an amazing read. Truly, I started it with the honest thought of, "just one chapter tonight, and I'll read more tomorrow, after I finish editing." Ha! The first chapter had me intrigued. The second chapter had me hooked. The third chapter had me wondering how well I could function the next day with no sleep. Even now, I have no regrets. It was well worth it. S.D. has such fascinating characters with well-rounded backstories that reach into the chest and squeeze the heart. Then there's the story itself. The pacing is amazing, constant, riveting, and had just enough breathing room that I wasn't a complete bundle of nerves. (now, once I got the last third of the book, that changed, but it's to be expected when so close to the climax.) Honest confession: I only skimmed the premise of the story before I picked it up. So I didn't know what to expect beyond Allie had gone witching with friends, something happened that made her regret it, and a guy was involved somehow. *laughing* Oh, is it so much more than that! Which made reading it even better, as I had no idea what to expect. Yes, Allie had gone witching with friends, and yes, she regretted it when she accidentally summoned a not-so-friendly ghost. And yes, a guy was involved--as her guardian and romantic interest. But these simple descriptions pale in face of the depth of these characters, the depth of how every details is so intricately placed, the depth of the hurt and healing woven in the plot. I shall be perfectly honest: This is going to be one of my go-to reads when I want a single book to read that will keep me emotionally invested and enthralled the whole way through.
BookPrincessReviews More than 1 year ago
*Thanks so much to Entangled Teen for sending me over a n advanced copy! I really appreciate it!!* September and October always bring out the need to find books that I can curl up around an imaginary campfire, bring out the fuzzy sweaters, sip some tea I don't even like, and read a ton of ghostie novels. I love me some ghostie novels, and up until Halloween, I try to read as many of them as I can. This book was the absolute perfect way to begin the fall season books, and it was a lot of fun! First, I loved the premise of this book. It was something slightly different in the ghost story genre. I loved the idea of witching and accidentally summoning a presence that you can't control. It was also super intriguing about the idea of the guardian, which I hadn't seen in a ghost story before. I was super intrigued throughout the whole story as to where this would go next and what would happen. The romance was really sweet as well. Okay, I will warn you - it is super instalove. However, it was instalove done sort of right? Well, if that makes any sense. I kept going, well, I know this is instalove, but I really like this two together and they're so sweet that I'm just going to say forget about the madness I should be feeling over it and JUST LOVE THE SHIP. And it ended up working out because I really did enjoy the ship, and Cody was just a sweetheart! P.S. The summary sounds like he might be "saving" her from her grief - but really he does help her through it - no "saving" involved. I also really did like Allie. She was a great heroine, and I understood her motives and liked her for them. She is struggling with her grief, and she really does take a lot of accountability for what she does. She solves her own problems, and I was so rooting for her throughout the story. Grimm also has a natural writing ability, and the atmosphere she created was wonderful. It felt like I was reading this book on a chilly, fall night on Halloween. The mood and setting was wonderful, and if you're looking for a quick, breezy read to get you into the holiday spirit, this is the book! The only reason I knocked off a crown is for the clicheness at parts. I could predict quite a few things that happened and while I did enjoy the instalove, it still was instalove. However, this was a really enjoyable novel and I was super invested until the very last moment. This book got the season off right, and I'm so now in the mood for lots of ghosties and Halloween books. Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
SippingTeabytheSea More than 1 year ago
Every now and again you read a book that absorbs you and settles in your soul as you read it. The moment you finish, and the first read experience ends, you feel the cold seep into the hollow left by the end. You have to sit, the text heavy in your lap, as you mourn and readjust to the world around you, as you untangle yourself from the characters, world, and words the author wrapped you in. Grimm’s characters have a raw honesty that pulls you in. Allie and Cody’s pain reverberated within me. It was nuanced. It was aching. It felt so real. Not only that, but hats off to Grimm for providing two characters whose chemistry grew and was founded on an understanding of each other and their boundaries. Their relationship progressed with a natural flourish. Not only that, but the staccato writing mimicked the breathlessness and dizziness of a crush seamlessly. Summoner revolves around a fascinating and eerie concept that tickled the back of my mind and whispered what ifs that haunted my dreams: divining for dead bodies and accidentally summoning souls with the wit and conniving of fae. As I tried to put the puzzle together, I had fifty different ideas for how things would resolve. Well. It the end had me crying and surprisingly none of those ideas proved quite right. I enjoyed Grimm’s side characters. Lawson reminded me of Odin: gruff but kind old man who knows more than he lets on. Allie’s best friends, Nell and Mandy, had their own quirks and personality. I do wish that they played a bit more of a prominent role. Allie’s narration made sure that we knew how much they meant to her, and I would like to have them enter more than just at plot crucial moments. Derek and Hunter fell flat after they had entered and served their purpose: barely even to return in dialogue. Overall, the binge reading of S.D. Grimm’s Summoner, gave a great escape to relax from a long week. Allie and Cody’s building relationship and sweet, slow burn had me smiling and curling around my phone in joy while the eerie paranormal elements kept me on my toes and kept my mind racing. Additionally, anything with awesome dogs immediately has me sold.