Review: The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
Published by St. Martin’s Press on July 26th 2016
Genre(s): Fiction, Comtemporary
Pages: 320 pages
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

WOW. This is a good book if I’ve ever read one. It’s beautifully written, with thoughtful characters, and a captivating plot. I’ve never read anything like it, which is probably why I’m having so much trouble trying to put my feelings for this book into words.

Here’s a short book trailer that I received from the author:

This story follows the life of a young Fielding Bliss, whose father, Autopsy Bliss (yes, those are their names), publishes a letter in the newspaper inviting the devil into town. His invitation is answered, but not by someone the townspeople are expecting; the devil is a dirty, young boy in overalls.

At first, people are laughing it off. He’s a kid. But with temperatures rising, and heat taking control, everything seems to falling apart, and the idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

A billion times the stars flinched and screamed, I’m afraid. 

The plot is very intriguing, and I did not want to put it down. It was definitely a fast read, but the story itself is very well-paced. Despite the many events that occur, each one had its equal share in the spotlight.

Also, there is a myriad of interesting and diverse characters, and no matter how insignificant each one may be, you are able to see character development in all of them. That’s really difficult to do well, but I caught nothing awry in this book.

This book touches upon so many themes and topics such as fear, prejudice, racism, suicide, love, and value of life. All of these sensitive and delicate subjects are weaved intricately throughout this book, creating a mosaic of contemplation. This book really makes you think.

It’s easy to be the boulder rolling through what is left of the dandelion field when everyone has their backs turned and are looking at the already flattened ground.

As well, I’m a sucker for magnificently-crafted sentences, and the author really hooked me in with her use of figurative language.

Yellch’s accusation was a lingering echo. A full-bodied thing, pumping and veering like poison dipped arrows.

I don’t think I did a well enough job describing what an amazing experience this read is. Everyone needs to read this book, it’s one of those books that will change you in tiny little ways after you finish it … I one hundred percent recommend!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All of these thoughts and opinions are mine.

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