BOOK REVIEW: The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale

Title: The Summer I Drowned
Author: Taylor Hale
Publication: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Genre: Teens & YA Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 336

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Five years after almost drowning, Olivia Cathart returns home to Caldwell Beach determined to face her fears and take some risks―not just by swimming, but by opening her heart. Hoping to rekindle her friendships, she’s excited about a carefree summer with her best friends Keely and Miles. But life in the sleepy town has changed, and no one and nothing is as it seems.

When a series of startling crimes threaten Olivia’s fragile state, she is plunged into a terrifying game of cat and mouse. Her only solace from the chaos is West, Miles’s disowned and ruggedly handsome brother, but even he can’t answer the question on everyone’s minds―is Olivia really in danger or is it simply all in her head?


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I had never read a book by Taylor Hale before, but just from the description I knew I was going to like this book. I’m so glad The Summer I Drowned did not disappoint.

This story had a really unique storyline. While the main story followed Olivia and her coming back to her hometown to face a fear instilled in her years before from a tragic accident, there were so many layers to it. I love how Hale was able to incorporate in stories of friendship and how friends can stay the same even when people grow apart. This book talks a lot about PTSD, which is not something you read too often, especially when it comes to teenagers. I think Hale did a great job really getting that feeling of panic and paranoia and anxiety that Olivia was feeling to hit the reader. I felt for Olivia.

The story had me feeling creeped out, which is not easy to do as mystery and thrillers are my favorite genre. Olivia’s paranoia was my paranoia and I was suspect of every last person. What I will say is the side characters really added a good support to this story. Learning all of Olivia’s old childhood friends helped shape her as a character and fill in the back story of her as al little girl and her now. That dynamic really added something.

Overall I loved The Summer I Drowned. The story line was unique and not one I’d read before or even come close to. The story flowed smooth with little flashbacks to fill in gaps in the storyline and helped me understand the main character more. West was hands down my favorite. Hale really took advantage of that “creep factor” and gave us a gut punch of an ending. I didn’t see it coming. Such a great book. Highly recommended for all!


Pick up your copy of The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your local bookstore. Also add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished.

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