Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Blog Tour & Review: The Summer That Melted Everything


PAGES: 310

FIRST LINE: 'The heat came with the devil.'

"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 expects that he will turn up. They especially don't expect him to turn up as a tattered and bruised thirteen-year-old boy.
Fielding, the son of Autopsy, finds the boy outside the courtroom and brings him home, and he is welcomed in to 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."

WOW. Just look at the front of that book cover! Isn't is a beauty? I would definitely pick this up in a bookshop if I saw it! But the question is - after reading it - would I be glad I picked it up? The answer is... yes! When Scribe emailed and asked if I would like a copy of this book and to join in with the blog tour, they said that if I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird, I would like this book. Well, you only have to mention that book title and I am SOLD. After reading the blurb, I knew this was going to be a special book. TKAM mixed with the devil? Add in some awesome names like Autopsy and Fielding and it makes for a very interesting read!

The story is set in a small town in Ohio named Breathed. It's pronounced 'Breath' (to take a breath) with 'ed' on the end (like Ed Balls), for anyone who was unsure. The protagonist is a young boy named Fielding Bliss, who lives with his father (Autopsy), his mother (Stella) and Grand, his older brother. The story starts when Autopsy publishes an invitation to the devil in the local newspaper. When a young boy appears in the town, people become suspicious of him. Is he the devil, or is he the runaway farm boy from the next town over?
I'm not lying when I say I haven't read anything like this before. Yes, it has similarities to TKAM: it covers racism and homophobia; it's set in a small town in the US, the father has an awesome name and works in law etc., but it's also completely different in the fact that most of it reads like poetry. The writing is exceptionally beautiful and I just know I'm going to go back through and copy down pages of beautiful quotes from it. The characters are deep and relatable, and Sal's depiction of both Heaven and Hell are hauntingly beautiful.

This is a truly beautifully written, thought provoking, deeply moving and original novel and I would recommend it to anyone. Especially if you're a fan of TKAM!


Now, visit the other blogs on the blog tour to read more about this wonderful novel!

Rachael Amy

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