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Reviewed by Rolanda Lyles for Readers' Favorite
In Bernard Jan's Cruel Summer, Michael is a seventeen-year-old boy living in New York. Michael loves skateboarding and wants to ride professionally. He and his abusive father, Hank, don't get along, and his mother died a few months ago. Michael's sister, Rebecca, is in Denver visiting their grandparents during summer break. Both Michael and Rebecca miss their mother a lot and deal with her death differently. Michael goes to visit his mother's grave often. Michael begins to have visions where he can see things that happen and he tells his sister. His dad suggests that he sees a psychiatrist who becomes a trusted ally. Michael's therapy sessions are going well and his sister begins to find relief after their mother's death until something tragic happens. Their father is dead, and Michael is the assumed killer. It's summertime, but the weather is cold like winter, and this is turning out to be quite a cruel summer.
Bernard Jan's Cruel Summer is an emotionally gripping story, full of love, friendship, loyalty, family drama, and skateboarding. Bernard did a wonderful job of creating a beautifully written and compelling story that is very descriptive so that the reader feels immersed in the story. I enjoyed the detailed skateboarding stunt instructions at the start of each chapter. His characters were brilliantly written and very compelling. Bernard's writing is full of twists and turns that keep you interested from the very beginning. An excellent read. I look forward to reading more stories by this author.