Poison Oak Summer (#1)
by AK Dawson
Published: April 24, 2012
My copy: Kindle edition
Genre: YA, Mystery
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads blurb: Eighteen-year-old Lucy came to California to have fun. But within hours of arriving at the summer camp where she is supposed to work, she discovers the body of a boy floating in a nearby river. At least that’s what she thinks she sees. The body disappears down a waterfall and no-one will believe her that it existed in the first place – not even the police. Lucy decides to find out the truth for herself. Along the way, she discovers that life is stranger than she thought possible and death stranger still.
Poison Oak Summer is a mystery in three parts. This is part one.
Link to Goodreads
I signed up for a free copy of this book to review through the Goodreads group We ♥ YA Books.
Right away from page one, I was drawn into the thick of this story. The main character, Lucy, believes she has seen the dead body of a little boy in the river near the camp where she is going to be a counselor for the summer, and the mystery begins. I love it when a book begins with a bang where the plot just takes off, and this was exactly that kind of book.
I alternated between feeling empathy and annoyance toward Lucy. She's in the U.S. and away from her mom who's back at their home in London; she was abandoned by her father; she's socially awkward; and she is too strict with rules when sometimes you have to be flexible, especially when dealing with young kids. There was also something odd to me about how much Lucy mentions her parents yet they aren't directly introduced. I just have a strange feeling that there's more to her parents than has been revealed so far.
As the book continues, I began wondering if Lucy really saw a body in the river, or if she just thought she had. She becomes obsessed with finding out about the little boy from the river, and though she's described as being extremely responsible, she keeps leaving the three young girls she's in charge of alone. I don't believe she's thinking clearly, and there's something strange about her, too.
I won't give away anything, but there are some shocking revelations. Even with those, I was left with such a cliffhanger that I've got to get my hands on the next book! It's out as well as the third one, so the great news is--no waiting to find out what happens next!