Title: Summer Sons
Author: Lee Mandelo
Published: 28 September 2021
Trigger Warnings: Cutting, self-harm, homophobia, death, torture
I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor in exchange for an honest review.
Andrew and Eddie were best friends, bonded more deeply than brothers. But Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, a few days before Andrew will join Eddie in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew not only his entire family’s inheritance and estate, but also a roommate he doesn’t want, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.
Andrew decides to search for the truth of Eddie’s death, and he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trust most, discovering a family history soaked in blood.
First off, for a debut novel, it was a great and fascinating read. The way Lee Mandelo cleverly weaved together this modern-day, gothic story was creepy and satisfying. It was so great to have it set in the South, and I kept thinking of the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood while reading this. I thought the journey that Andrew had to go on to confront the relationship between him and Eddie, along with his own self-discovery was what kept me reading. However, the story itself was okay.
I’m still not sure if I understand what the curse was for Eddie and his ancestors (the curse was passed down to Andrew when him and Eddie were children). The reveal at the end was kind of a let down as well, I was hoping for something a bit more juicy than what we were left with.
I truly appreciated the wide variety of characters! Andrew and Eddie had this interesting friendship (romantic feelings that were never acknowledged when Eddie was alive), along with many other LGBTQIA+ representations! There was Andrew’s new roommate who is in a throuple with a man and a woman, and then there’s the roommate’s cousin who is also on a journey of his own sexuality it seems.
Overall, it was a fun book to read, and I’m definitely looking forward to what Mandelo writes next!
Happy Reading Darlings!