Tags: YA, paranormal, series, ghosts, demons, werewolves, mental illness, mystery
On the day that fifteen-year-old Chloe Saunders finally gets her period, she sees the ghost, her first since her childhood. It freaks her out so much that she is sent to the hospital and then referred to Lyle House, a private home for mentally ill adolescents--otherwise known as a place to lock the crazy kids up in.
At Lyle House, Chloe takes medication for her diagnosis--schizophrenia--and attends to a strict schedule of chores and schoolwork. But she continues to encounter strange occurrences, such as the ghost who's attempting to contact her. It just might be that there's more to herself than she knows... and more to Lyle House and her housemates than others are letting onto. Chloe and her newfound friends may be in much more danger than they expect.
After hearing so much hype about Armstrong's upcoming sequel, The Awakening, I'm very glad I picked The Summoning up. It felt to me almost like Harry Potter with a female protagonist and fewer subplots. The strength of this series lies in its idea: these teenagers with supernatural powers are funneled into this peculiar house for possibly sinister purposes! The characters' interactions with one another are spiritful, the dialogue vibrant; the characters themselves, though, do not stand out to me in the heavily populated world of YA paranormal fiction.
The exception may be Chloe, who is wonderful, constantly changing and growing and doubting herself--all the things that a normal teenage girl should do, all without being petty or annoyingly shallow. I also found Derek interesting, and would like to see much more of him in the future. Perhaps there will be a romance between him and Chloe...?
But that's a minor complaint, for the story more than makes up for the less-than-outstanding characters. The Summoning ends on a suspenseful, slightly disappointing note as readers wait for the sequel impatiently to find out what happens to Chloe and her friends.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5