As a book blogger and an author myself looking for representation, I find it hard to say no to any book request I get. Even if I later find out I was not interested in the book because the material didn’t spike my heart rate the same way four turbo shots in my Dunkin Donuts coffee might, but with Tiffany McDaniel’s debut, I found myself taken on a rejected Disney ride that ended up being the funnest ride they have yet to offer.
The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel was a big, cool glass of water in the desert even though I didn’t even realize I had journeyed that far. It was something I didn’t know I needed to read but nevertheless, now that I read it, I’m still attempting to make sense of what it all meant.
With a writing style that mimics Flannery O’ Connor, her prose swept me away in a sea of hot enticing madness, almost like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day or coffee after yet another sleepless night.
The book follows Fielding Bliss during the summer of 1984. A symbolic year of sorts. Synopsis from the back of the book follows:
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.
I’m happy I was asked to review this book by the author herself who happens to look like a Drew Barrymore look-alike, and also happens to be one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met.
Now as a reward for reading this review, I invite all U.S. entrants to enter The Summer That Melted Everything giveaway. The author herself is sending two personally signed copies of the book to the winners. How freaking sweet, right?!