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Summer of Fear Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 1977


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (October 15, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044098324X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440983248
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,940,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel's cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel's life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her--including Rachel's boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?

From the Inside Flap

Why is Rachel the only one to sense the evil that surrounds Julia?

From the moment Rachel's cousin Julia arrives that summer, she seems to seep into Rachel's life like a poison. Everyone else is enchanted by her--including Rachel's boyfriend. But what does Julia really want?


More About the Author

Lois Duncan was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Sarasota, FL.
She knew from early childhood that she wanted to be a writer. She submitted her first story to a magazine at age 10 and became published at 13. Throughout her high school years she wrote regularly for young people's publications, particularly Seventeen.

As an adult, Lois moved to Albuquerque, NM, where she taught magazine writing for the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico and continued to write for magazines. Over 300 of her articles and stories appeared in such publications as Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest, and for many years she was a contributing editor for Woman's Day.

Lois is the author of over 50 books, ranging from children's picture books to poetry to adult non-fiction, but is best known for her young adult suspense novels, which have received Young Readers Awards in 16 states and three foreign countries. In 1992, Lois was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award, presented by the School Library Journal and the ALA Young Adult Library Services Association for "a distinguished body of adolescent literature." In 2009, she received the Katharine Drexel Award, awarded by the Catholic Library Association "to recognize an outstanding contribution by an individual to the growth of high school and young adult librarianship and literature." In 2015 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.

Six of her novels -- SUMMER OF FEAR, KILLING MR. GRIFFIN, GALLOWS HILL, RANSOM, DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU and STRANGER WITH MY FACE -- were made-for-TV movies. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER and HOTEL FOR DOGS were box office hits.

Although young people are most familiar with Lois Duncan's fictional suspense novels, adults may know her best as the author of WHO KILLED MY DAUGHTER?, the true story of the murder of Kaitlyn Arquette, the youngest of Lois's five children. Kait's heartbreaking story has been featured on such TV shows as Unsolved Mysteries, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, Sally Jessy Raphael and Inside Edition. A full account of the family's on-going personal investigation of this still unsolved homicide can be found on the Internet at http://kaitarquette.arquettes.com.

Lois Duncan's personal web page is at http://loisduncan.arquettes.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 88 customer reviews
It is the best book written by Lois Duncan.
Mia
I first read SUMMER OF FEAR in high school and found it to be the first book I couldn't put down, actually reading it all the way through in one sitting!
Jason Paul Collum
I would recommend this book to teens and young adults.
ReNee S Edmond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jason Paul Collum on August 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read SUMMER OF FEAR in high school and found it to be the first book I couldn't put down, actually reading it all the way through in one sitting! Lois Duncan takes typical teenage angst and self-conscious paranoia and spins them together in a web of horror and mystery.
Rachel is the number one priority of her family until her cousin Julia (parents recently deceased) moves in. The two bond as sisters at first, but when Julia begins to receive all the attention, Rachel's jealousy kicks into high gear. The spin here is when "accidents" and deaths become common place. Rachel suspects Julia to be responsible, but the jealousy Rachel's family has witnessed lend them to believe Rachel is just looking for attention, leaving her to discover her "cousin's" evil secrets and legacy.
A great suspense novel I still reread occasionally. Check out the movie starring a teenaged Linda Blair as "Rachel" and Fran (The Nanny) Drescher as her best friend!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The author, Lois Duncan, has brought out the characters in this book, giving each of them unique traits. Lois Duncan has written yet another mystery novel that is filled with suspense and excitement. The story opens up with Rachel a seventeen-year-old girl remembering a summer when a strange incident happens. Her cousin Julia comes to live with them. Julia ruins Rachel's life and plans to take over. Julia starts by stealing her boyfriends and her girlfriends. During this story Rachel tries to convince her family and friends that Julia is bad. But of course her family does not believe her.
As Duncan travels the characters through the book she brings them through all of her troubles. I thought this book was great and I hope you will want to read it too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is awesome until the last gripping page. When I checked this book out at the library I was a little nervous because the cover art looked really scary. It turned out to be one of my favorite Lois Duncan titles yet.
The book starts out when Rachel's aunt and uncle die and their teenage daughter Julia comes to live with Rachel's family. Julia is incredibly beautiful and Rachel is jealous of her right away. Then she starts trying to steal Rachel's boyfriend and Rachel's brother. Rachel finds really strange things in the room she shares with Julia, things normal teenage girls wouldn't have. Rachel tries to warn her Mother and Father but they just brush it off as jealousy. Then the things go from bad to worse. You just have to read the story to find out!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read many other Lois Duncan books. I was not planning on reading "Summer of fear" until my friend recommended it to me. She said that it was really good, so I took her suggestion and read it. I agree with her. It is a wonderful book about a 15 year-old girl named Rachel who lives in Albuquerque with her parents and her 2 brothers when her aunt and uncle and a buisness associate drive off the side of a cliff in the Ozarks. Her parents go to pick up Rachel's aunt and uncle's daughter Julia. Strange things start happening and Rachel is convinced that Julia is somehow connected to them. The rest of the family thinks she's crazy. Lois Duncan is an amazing writer and this book is surely one of her best books. So buy "Summer of Fear" and start reading!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daniela on February 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A reader's first impression of Summer of Fear will more then likely be a story of horror and murder. But they may find out that the book is more then horror, it is a suspenseful thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The book also contains a type of love that over powers everything and could save the lives of your loved ones.
Rachel Bryant had a normal life with loving family and friends and the perfect boyfriend, but once her aunt and uncle die in a car crash her cousin Julia, that she hasn't seen since she was 3, comes to lives with them. Rachel is excited about having another girl in the house but once she finally meets Julia her feelings change toward her. She feels some type of magic that surrounds her but it isn't pleasant magic, it's sort of like black magic. Things start changing around Rachel and her family and Rachel is getting suspicious; her family starts to surround Julia with ever lasting love and is very protective about her feelings. Her mom and dad say that they need to help Julia (her cousin) with this awful tragedy, but it doesn't seem to be affecting her in any way at all. She doesn't really care that her mom and dad died a horrible death. When she first got there Julia seemed ok about the event that occurred, like she never cried. When her parent's things arrived from their house she didn't want to look at them at all, like she didn't care that they were actually gone. She never seemed to cry or feel any guilt when someone mentioned her parents. She never ever talked about them! Then when she got a letter from a friend she seemed to ignore it and not care about what was in it or about the sender.
More weird things change around her; her brother Peter gets googol eyes for Julia and becomes this sensitive guy towards girls that he has never shown before.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By somebody on May 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book starts out as Rachael is looking forward to another great summer, but the death of her aunt and uncle cut plans short. Rachael's cousin Julia is now coming to live with her. At first, the two girls bond like sisters, but soon Julia starts getting a lot of attention, and Rachael gets suspicious. Everyone, including Peter, Rachael's shy brother, falls in love with the beautiful cousin. Determined, Rachael does research, and digs into Julia's past. She finds out that Julia must be a witch. Only a witch could cause all of the `accidents' to happen. Even with nobody to believe her, Rachael keeps trying and never gives up until the end. Later, Rachael's mom invites both of the girls on a road trip, Rachael turns down the offer, but Julia doesn't. On the day of the trip Julia `plays sick'. Julia thinks that Rachael is in the car and purposely makes the car crash and run off a cliff. Luckily, Rachael got the truth out of Julia. But did she get it in time? Read Summer of Fear by Lois Duncan to find out what happens at the end.
I enjoyed the description that Lois Duncan put into the book using vivid words to put a clear picture into your head. What I disliked about the book was sometimes the story changed points of view. Sometimes it came from Rachael and other times it changed to a non-main character.
Lois Duncan used these words to describe Julia, Rachael's cousin. "She was a plain, thin girl with long, black hair that hung halfway to her waist. Her brows were heavy, her face narrow and shallow, but her eyes - even now, thinking back upon that moment, I cannot begin to describe my first impression of her eyes. They were deep and dark and filled with secrets. Haunted eyes. They were the strangest eyes I have ever seen." She put a picture into my head of what Julia looked like.
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