Ally Condie

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Ally Condie

It’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching new novel from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.


Together with her mum and brother Miles, 12-year-old Cedar is trying to make sense of her life, a year after the accident that took the lives of her father and little brother. Summer in a new home in her mum’s hometown tentatively offers Cedar fresh hope…but grief is never far away. Everything changes when she meets the energetic and enterprising Leo; working together at the local Shakespeare festival (and an old-town mystery) provides a wonderful tonic.

The internationally bestselling author of The Matched series for young adults makes her debut for younger readers readers and delivers a big-hearted story that is honest, sometimes sad but always life-affirming. Summerlost deftly explores the process of grief, the wonder of friendship and the power of family. I loved its spirit, its insightful portrait of emotional uncertainty and its gentle resolution. Highly recommended for readers 10–13, especially fans of Rebecca Stead.

Athina Clarke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Malvern.

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