Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman

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RATING: ★★★★☆


Last summer, Skye’s sister died in a tragic accident. Now she’s looking for an escape from reality. Her parents think that a holiday camp for bereaved teens might help her move on.

At first, camp doesn’t seem so bad. But when Skye starts receiving text messages from someone claiming to be her dead sister, she fears the past is about to surface…


Texts from someone who is supposed to be dead forms a major part of the first two seasons of Pretty Little Liars, a show I was a big fan of (until they drew it out ridiculously), which is why the description of this book immediately grabbed me when I read it on Goodreads. I love a good teen mystery so I couldn’t resist.

The story begins with Skye arriving at a week long holiday camp in the south of England. She has been given a place on the camp as part of a charity which helps bereaved teens deal with the loss of a loved one. Skye’s older sister, Luisa, died a year previously and she is struggling to come to terms with it, and all the changes that have occurred in her family since. She hopes that the summer camp will be a way to finally start her recovery from the grieving process and help her move on with her life.

The holiday doesn’t start very well – Skye isn’t particularly fond of her room-mates and her group leader keeps trying to persuade her to join in with the counselling sessions, which she is reluctant to do. However, as the week progresses, Skye begins to make friends and enjoy the activities more, finally allowing her mind to focus on something other than her sister.

That is, until the messages begin to appear from her sister’s account on a messaging app they always used. At first, Skye thinks it must be a mistake, but the messages get more and more specific and it becomes clear that whoever is sending them knows exactly where Skye is, and what she is doing.

Skye struggles with the memories and feelings that the messages bring back. The story is interspersed with flashbacks to the events that led up to her sister’s death the previous summer, gradually revealing how she died and why Skye feels so responsible.

Skye starts to question everyone around her at the holiday camp, feeling sure that it must be one of them sending the messages. Some uncomfortable interactions with one of her fellow camp-mates leaves her suspecting that he has something to hide, but she must work out a way to prove her suspicions.

Lying About Last Summer is definitely aimed at a younger teenage audience, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it. The ending kept me hooked – there ended up being two separate mysteries that Skye had to solve, and the outcome wasn’t as obvious as I originally thought it would be.

Recommended if you are looking for a short, easy-read mystery which will keep you guessing.


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