I loved this powerful and emotional story. A harrowing read at times. Thought-provoking… most definitely. One of the best books I have read in a long time, and one that will stay with me for a long time as well. I loved the literary composition in the form of a dialogue which I found almost poetic, and the beautifully crafted characters each bringing their own personality to enrich the story.

Review 2
CRUEL SUMMER

A wonderful read.

An intriguing, beautifully written novel, set in New York during a summer suffering from climate change.

Enjoy the wonderfully descriptive imagery in this skilfully constructed multi-layered story where boundaries and friendships are tested. I could feel the tension mounting with each turn of the page as I quickly became engrossed in this compelling story.

Michael Daniels is a gentle, sensitive, seventeen-year-old boy who loves skateboarding with his friends in New York’s central park. Michael is a talented skateboarder who dreams of the day when he can enter skateboarding contests on a professional level, but his stepfather, Hank, has other plans for him.

Michael fears and despises Hank: he has suffered his mind games, verbal outbursts, and physical abuse for the last time. Still grieving the death of his mother, and with his sister Rebecca away on summer vacation with her grandparents in Denver, Michael finds solace in his friends, Alien, and Victor.

There were so many moving chapters, one comes to mind, it was when Victor visits his grandmother, Angela, in the care home and Michael accompanied him and he patiently reads her a poem. Very touching and sensitively told.

Beneath the streets of New Manhattan lie the shadowy underworld of secret laboratories. Conspiracy, and manipulation tangle Michael further in its web. Devious and cold-hearted the trap to capture Michael is set in motion, instigated by Hank Daniels, who is one of the leading scientists at the Roosevelt Island Research Institute. Michael’s condition descends deeper into depression when an unexpected friend reveals himself. Secrets, family drama, lies and squabbles, show the best, and the worst side of human nature.

I loved this powerful and emotional story. A harrowing read at times. Thought-provoking… most definitely. One of the best books I have read in a long time, and one that will stay with me for a long time as well. I loved the literary composition in the form of a dialogue which I found almost poetic, and the beautifully crafted characters each bringing their own personality to enrich the story.

It was interesting to note the skateboarding terms, the descriptions made me smile. Phew! Rollercoaster ride over, pity. What a gem. Well done, Bernard.

Highly recommended.

By Jane H. Wood, August 19, 2022, published on Amazon UKGoodreads and BookBub, 5/5