Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.

Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?”-goodreads

First things first: This book was refreshing! Why? Because it was good, but it was a standalone. I felt satisfied with how it wrapped up, which I often don’t with standalone books, without having to read a sequel to get the whole story! Don’t get me wrong. I like series of books, however, I don’t appreciate it when EVERY book is a series– especially those times when you don’t even know it is/will be one. 

Saundra Mitchell’s writing. Ohmygosh. I read the Vespertine and really liked the story but my favorite part was Mrs. Mitchell’s writing style. It’s unique, rather poetic, and rather visual. Shadowed Summer is super creepy and gothic, emphasized by her writing. 

The whole thing was creepy, really Iris and Colette’s pretending to be witches gone wrong, when something ACTUALLY happens and there’s an actual ghost. Not a quiet ghost either, this ghost had a story to tell and a mystery to be solved. The whole thing wraps up in a way you wouldn’t expect; as the story goes on, Colette and Iris think they know what happened, and the reader thinks they do too; but then it’s not what you expect!

If you want a really creepy gothic type of book that’s written well and is a relatively short STAND ALONE read, then check out Shadowed Summer.