The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

summerthatmeltedeverythingThe Summer That Melted Everything
By Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250131676
Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984:
the year a heatwave scorched the small town of Breathed, Ohio.
The year he became friends with the devil.

When local prosecutor Autopsy Bliss publishes an invitation to the devil to come to the country town of Breathed, Ohio, nobody quite expected that he would turn up. They especially didn’t expect him to turn up a tattered and bruised thirteen-year-old boy.

Fielding, the son of Autopsy, finds the boy outside the courthouse and brings him home, and he is welcomed into the Bliss family. The Blisses believe the boy, who calls himself Sal, is a runaway from a nearby farm town. Then, as a series of strange incidents implicate Sal — and riled by the feverish heatwave baking the town from the inside out — there are some around town who start to believe that maybe Sal is exactly who he claims to be.

But whether he’s a traumatised child or the devil incarnate, Sal is certainly one strange fruit: he talks in riddles, his uncanny knowledge and understanding reaches far outside the realm of a normal child — and ultimately his eerily affecting stories of Heaven, Hell, and earth will mesmerise and enflame the entire town.

Devastatingly beautiful, The Summer That Melted Everything is a captivating story about community, redemption, and the dark places where evil really lies.


My Thoughts

It seems appropriate to be reviewing a book titled The Summer That Melted Everything as I sit here drenched in our living room watching the thermostat slowly crawl towards 90. My only complaint would be the obvious fact that it is way too hot and that I postponed reading this book for way too long. I did have the pleasure of interviewing Tiffany. You can check that out here.

Read the synopsis and then read the book. I am not going to spend my time dissecting and recapping the plot (because I am recommending this to all) but rather explaining to you why this unexpected gem spoke to my most inner core not only as a reader but as someone who grew up in the surrounding area of which this story unfolds.

“A foolish mistake, it is, to expect the best, because sometimes, sometimes, it is the flower’s turn to own the name.”

It is hard to narrow down the success of The Summer The Melted Everything to one specific attribute, but if I were challenged to do so, I would give credit to its endearing and quirky cast of characters. Told from 13 yr old Fielding Bliss’s perspective, we are introduced to an ensemble that ranges from a young boy Sal who claims to be the devil to eccentric, often close-minded citizens of the town. I soon discovered a solid affection for Fielding and each in their own personal way. They are flawed, facing internal struggles and present a range of moral questions and dilemmas. They also feel viable and familiar. I found that it was easy to attach characteristics of each to my own acquaintances and family.

“This was what law and order looked like in Breathed. A house with a termite problem that made the gray boards like stewed wood.”

The setting of Breathed is based upon the area in which I grew up, Southern Ohio. And being a product of the 80s, I found myself immediately immersed into a world and summer that I knew. Every page offered recognizable aspects ranging from surroundings and dialogue to the behavior and mannerisms of the town folk.  The author spent her childhood summer’s in Southeastern Ohio and it is evidenced by her knowledge and presentation of each. The result is an enveloping and almost tangible experience that whisked me back to my own summer days.

McDaniel delivers her story with a prose that is lyrical and jarring at the same time. Carrying the reader through a triumphantly emotional tale that evokes an incredible range of feelings and questions. The entire process is highly impactful and heart-wrenching yet unfolds with tremendous ease due to her seamless pacing and narration.

“All love leads to cannibalism. I know that now. Sooner or later, our hearts will devour, if not the object of our affections, our very selves.”

The Summer That Melted Everything is an incredible exploration of humanity’s ugliness presented in perhaps the most stunning fashion I have ever encountered. Tiffany McDaniel addresses themes that include racism, a failing legal system, homophobia, the aids epidemic and religion in a poetic and nostalgic manner. With an authentic voice, she hands the reader the necessary elements of the familiar, quickly establishing a successfully strong message that speaks resolutely to the heart of good versus evil and the battle against intolerance.

TW: Includes themes and content that address racism, homophobia, violence, suicide and intolerance.

*I was gifted a copy of this book from the author. The above review is my own, honest and unbiased opinion.

tea cup

 

Pairs beautifully with an iced cold sweetened black tea and twist of lemon.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

signature

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

 

 

Sunday Sum~Up

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

Happy Sunday! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend ❤ We are struggling a bit here as our air has been out for a few days and it is nearing 100°. So I am admittedly sluggish. My symptoms and heat do not mix well. I will be keeping this brief and returning to melting on the couch under the fan now circulating hot air.

melting

My next newsletter will be out this coming week if the heat does not slow me down. You can always sign up here if interested. It is still once a month at this time. I am not sure what else will happen on the blog this coming week as I am seriously behind and headed into a reading slump. I may have to set aside my current reads and reach outside of the box for some inspiration 😉


Recent Reviews

nyxia unleashedNyxia Unleashed

i am still aliveI Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall


What I Am Reading This Week

Ok, so I am mood reading and cannot settle on a title. But I really need to start Seafire by Natalie C. Parker. If anyone has an ARC and would be interested in a buddy read, please DM me on Twitter or Instagram. Or you can email me 🙂

seafireSeafire
By Natalie C. Parker

goodreads-badge-add-plus

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

thedramateacherThe Drama Teacher
By Koren Zailckas

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Gracie Mueller is a proud mother of two and devoted wife, living with her husband Randy in upstate New York, her life complicated by the usual stressors and tedium—young children, marriage, money—and she’s settled down comfortably enough. But Gracie, underneath all that’s marked her life as average, has a lot to hide about where she’s from, who she is, and who she’s been. And when Randy’s failing career as a real estate agent makes finances tight, their home goes into foreclosure, and Gracie feels she has no choice but to return to the creatively illegal and high-stakes lifestyle of her past in order to keep all that she’s worked so hard to have.

Gracie learned from her manipulatively charming father how to steal identities in order to survive, and she eases back into her routine of lying and cheating with a wicked skillset and gritty resolve. Things begin to slip out of her control, though, when her web of deceit lands her a job as a private school drama teacher–a role that demands emotional honesty–and soon more questions about the truth of her past are raised, including all the ones she never meant to, or even knew to, ask.

Written with the style, energy, and penetrating insight that made her memoir Smashed a bestselling phenomenon, Koren Zailckas’s next novel confirms her growing reputation as a psychological novelist that can stand up to the best of them.


On Instagram

Connect With Me


Other Happenings

I watched nothing this week, which seems to be the current trend. My days were spent with plenty of thunderstorm and ocean sounds playing as I attempted to drown out some tinnitus and gain focus.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” 
~Groucho Marx

What are you reading this week? Do you have a go-to genre for beating reading slumps?

Happy Reading,

signature

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

 

Sentranced Saturday

sentranced (adj.): the state of being captivated by a well-written sentence.

Sentranced Saturday is a weekly meme created Kaleena @Reader Voracious that encourages you to share a quote that left you entranced. It makes you think. She has a little notebook that she carries with her everywhere to write down quotes that inspire her in some way, and she is sure that she is not alone! Everyone is welcome to participate, please be sure to link to her post so she can see all of your quotes!

Sentranced Saturday

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
~George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Wear your armour proudly, honestly and wisely, as it is what will define you. It took me quite a few years to come into my own, and I think that is ok. Life is a continuing process of learning and growing. We are constantly evolving. I personally believe that true happiness and success lie in embracing who we are during each step of the journey. This falls back on my last Sentranced Saturday post, but I am holding steady to the belief that real strength comes from self-acceptance and love.

There is little I find more rewarding as a reader than books I am driven to quote. Discovering those small pieces of the written word that speak to us on a deeper level are the moments I live for in books. I can often judge the success of a title by how many tabs I have placed throughout it upon completion. And GRRM has cost me quite a few tabs, so for that reason, I remain a devoted fan in spite of Winds of Winter.. or the lack of 😉

Do you have a favorite quote? What inspires you?

signature

Connect With Me: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram