Kelley Armstrong’s YA paranormal, The Summoning, tells the story of Chloe Saunders, a 15 year old girl who is either insane or actually seeing dead people. Following an incident at school, Chloe is forced to enter a group home for ‘troubled’ teens. Once in the home, things are not quite what they seem, and as Chloe begins to unravel the mystery surrounding Lyle House, she discovers that friends can be found where you least expect them and that some things are better left alone.
Chloe is not your typical YA heroine. She is small for her age, awkward, a bit of a goody two-shoes, and cast as the ‘damsel in distress.’ But I found this to be one of the most refreshing things about the book. So many YA books these days portray a bad ass heroine who snubs her nose at authority and is capable of quick, wity responses and rarely needs saving. Chloe felt more real to me; her personality was more like that of girls I knew growing up, more like mine when I was a YA.
The concept behind the book was also engaging. (Warning – sort of spoiler coming up). Although the school for kids with special abilities is a well-known concept, I think Kelley Armstrong did a great job reinventing it, making it something new and unexpected. By placing it in a mental hospital, new challenges were presented that are missing in the other school for wizards/genetically-engineered kids/kids with special powers/x-men stories. I really enjoyed what she did to make this story her own.
And finally, I loved the mystery. I wanted to know what would happen, so much so that the second I finished the book, I bought the next book in the series, The Awakening. So would I recommend this book? Absolutely.