Summer, the warmest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from June to August and in the southern hemisphere from December to February, but not just summer, Summerlost. The Summerlost Festival as told in the story Summerlost by Ally Condie. Ally was in Denver on April fifth to talk about her book.
Ally Condie was inspired to write this when she visited her home town, Cedar City (which is the name of the main character, Cedar Lee, in the book) and also visited a Shakespeare theater that was about to be torn down.
In the book, it had been a year since there was the car crash that killed Cedar’s father and brother. But now they are spending the summer in Iron Creek where her mother grew up. She meets Leo Borlock and begins to work at the Summerlost Festival. Odd items start appearing at Cedar’s windowsill, items that her dead brother Ben would have enjoyed. Who is leaving these trinkets that start the memories flowing?
Cedar begins to wonder about the undying memory of the star that used to work at the Summerlost Festival, Lisette Chamberlain. Leo and Cedar start secretly giving tours about the Summerlost star. With Cedar giving all these tours about Lisette she starts to wonder if her ghost is the one leaving the trinkets because she was born there in Iron Creek.
This book was really personal to Ally, having dealt with a few losses herself, and also, meeting a boy when she was Cedar’s age. His name was Justin and currently his son’s name is Leo and that is how Leo Borlock received his name. She also has an autistic son who inspired the character Ben.
Ally has a very intriguing writing process. She usually comes up with the character first and then starts testing them out, like throwing a divorce or a problem their way and testing out how they would react and fix it. Then the plot and setting just come to her. She also comes up with expressions such as He** farts (a phrase Leo and Cedar use for bullies) because it would be something her friend Justin would have said.
Everybody looks for the cure of writer’s block. Well Ally has it. As an experienced writer her methods are running, walking, bike riding or just reading another book.
I thought this book was powerful. I really liked how the author made the book like a real life situation because a lot of people have lost loved ones and they can really relate to Cedar and this book. It had parts where you’re reading till midnight dying to know what happens. It is a book that is packed with action, adventure and friendship. This book is for ages 8-9 and up. I also think that kids 7 years of age could read it with a parent.