Friday, July 22, 2016

The Summer That Melted Everything

Title: The Summer That Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 320
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review
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Everything changed for Fielding Bliss the summer of 1984, the summer the worst heat wave he'd ever experienced swept over the small Ohio town of Breathed. 1984 was also the year Fielding found himself friends with the Devil. But that's really a small thing, considering just what went down that blistering hot summer.

Published by St. Martin's Press, The Summer That Melted Everything is author Tiffany McDaniel's debut novel. I'm just going to repeat that- debut novel. This is the first thing she's ever published, and I am truthfully blown away.

I finished this novel sometime around midnight, and I was honestly so stunned. How had a debut novel managed to leave me speechless, unable to move I was so emotionally affected. I'm not the type of person to hand out 5 stars to books left and right. If I give something all 5 stars, it means I really liked it. This novel completely deserves each of those 5 stars. This is definitely a new favorite book for me. 

I love books that take place before the 90s. That era just speaks to me- the simplicity of it all makes me feel at home. I could list off plenty of books I've enjoyed through my life as a reader that takes place during the 20th century that I've just completely loved. This novel, as mentioned in the synopsis, is about Fielding Bliss looking back at his summer in 1984. That particular summer is the summer that Fielding's father invited the Devil to town. And the Devil arrives, along with a nasty heat wave that makes national news. However, the Devil isn't anything like anyone expects. He's just a boy. Innocent, youthful, and wise. Fielding's family adopts the boy, who goes by the name Sal, and he joins the Bliss family. However, when you go around telling people you're the Devil, people start to believe you. And people liked having someone to blame for their misfortunes and wrongs. 

The Summer That Melted Everything deals with many issues that are sometimes difficult to talk about. Sal's race (black) causes prejudice in the town. People are even faster to judge and dislike him. And there are a couple homosexual characters as well, who also get judged by the townspeople. It was interesting to see how these aspects intertwined with the themes of prejudice and hate throughout the story. 

If you've read To Kill a Mockingbird (one of my all-time favorites) you'd get a similar vibe reading this book. Just the way it handles race and law reminded me of that particular novel ( in a good way). This debut novel is extremely powerful, leaving me in tears more than once. The writing is absolutely beautiful, and it's been a little while since a book has so emotionally affected me. Its fast moving plot, along with the way in weaves subplots together to create one complete novel calls for something truly amazing. It's difficult for me to describe how I was feeling after finishing the story. Speechless, perhaps would be a good word. Because I honestly couldn't function. I couldn't believe the novel was over- I couldn't believe everything that'd happened- happened. 

So please, please read The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel. It'll be released July 26th, so mark your calendars, because this is one story you do not want to miss. I'm so, so thankful to have been given a copy to review. I have no clue if I would have picked this one up if I hadn't, and that means I'd never have read one of my new favorite books. I'll be rereading this one. 

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