Saturday, 8 July 2017

Book Review: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

The devil has come to the sleepy town of Breathed, Ohio, in the form of a young boy. Fielding Bliss quickly forms a friendship with this fallen angel, now known as Sal, and he is welcomed into the Bliss family home. However, tensions quickly rise within the town, accompanied with soaring temperatures as the townsfolk begin to believe this child is actually who he proclaims to be.

"Sometimes this world is like red fences in the snow. There ain't no hiding who we really are."

Okay, I feel like I should open this review by clarifying that is NOT a horror book. It's not scary, it's not about the devil in a stereotypical sense. It's about so much more than that. It's about racism, looks at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, how we are so quick to judge people on some aspect other than who they really are. It gave me real To Kill A Mockingbird vibes, so if you love that book - pick this up!

The story moves between two timelines, Fielding's life in the present day and then him looking back at the summer of 1984 when the devil arrived in Breathed, Ohio. It's truly fascinating how McDaniel builds the story, dropping little details here and there, building the tension, building all the emotions. I love her poetic style of writing, the symbolism. I was fangirling all over the place. I was constantly messaging my fellow bookstagrammers saying things like "This book is SLAYING me".

The characters in this book, I loved them all. The relationship between Fielding and his older brother is so beautiful to read about. Having two older brothers I can understand the love and adoration you can have for them, the feeling that they can do no wrong, that they're almost at a hero status. As for the devil himself, Sal, his anecdotes and stories were so thought-provoking and the impact he has on those around him is profound. Fielding's parents as well were pretty great. An outstanding cast of characters.

Tiffany McDaniel's writing is just...I'm speechless. HOW IS THIS A DEBUT NOVEL. I feel like I'm reading some author who has been around for years and years and has finally found their writing style. It is beautiful, stunning, heartbreaking, touching, resonating. I think this is my favourite book of the year so far. No joke. My camera roll is FULL of sections that I wanted to record in order to note in my quote notebook at a later date. McDaniel is something special, I have a feeling she has a hugely successful career ahead of her - at least I hope so, anyway, because I want and NEED to read more from her!

So I give this book ALL THE STARS. There's a lot of capital letters in this review and that's usually an indication of how much I love something! This will be a book that lives long in the memory. I'm also severely dehydrated after all the crying... this book is simply magnificent.



  1. This review had all the ingredients in it that make me add a book to my TBR immediately. I'm going to be on the lookout for this one. Thanks Jo :)

  2. Thought this book was gonna be about global warming...disappointed ��


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