Review: Cruel Summer by Minerva Zimmerman (Shattered Ones #2)


Cruel Summer by Minerva Zimmerman // VBC ReviewCruel Summer (The Shattered Ones #2)
Minerva Zimmerman
Published: Dec. 15, 2015 (Fireside Fiction)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events from the previous book in the series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Take on Me.

At the end of Take on Me Alex and Hannah packed up the car and were relocating to Atlanta. Upon arrival, it turns out that Atlanta might not be the fresh start that both of them were hoping for, and in fact holds more reminders of the past.

First off, Hannah’s grandparents live there and haven’t been formally apprised of her new situation in life. And as it turns out Alex has ties of his own to Hannah’s grandfather. Of course what those ties exactly are will be steeped in mystery for the time being, but that mysterious aspect seems like it will be par for the course in this series.

For all that mystery, I still found Cruel Summer to go a long way towards answering a lot of the questions left up in the air from Take on Me. Following in the same pattern as its predecessor, we get yet more flashback sequences from Alex’s past. I really enjoyed these scenes because unlike Take on Me where there was some driving action in the plot, Cruel Summer, was a bit more like a bridge book laying out what is to come. The flashbacks provided a bit of action and intrigue especially towards the end, and many dots are connected between the past and what might be coming in the present.

I also liked being introduced to more people in Hannah’s family. They are all “Halloweds” as is the term. Meaning, they all possess some kind of supernatural ability. It becomes ever more apparent that being a Hallowed is the recipe for being able to change into a vampire and you get to take that power with you when you change, which adds something else to the list about Alex that we don’t know yet.

As Alex and Hannah continue to live together and get to know one another, it’s clear their feelings for one another aren’t entirely platonic. At this point, I really don’t know how I feel about the way things are developing between them. First off, we don’t really know how old Alex is or the age at which he was turned. Despite what I gather are his young looks, he’s still lived a long life. Secondly, Hannah is only 17 and even with her life experiences, she still has moments where she comes across as young (because she is) and she’s still not entirely comfortable with being a vampire. As it stands, Alex too is of the mind that starting something with Hannah would not be wise. I’m not getting upset when either one of them shows an interest in someone else or goes on a date with someone else, but I think I could get on board with things deepening between them as the series continues. Right now is too early.

Being familiar with the characters and the writing style made Cruel Summer more easily accessible for me. I found myself not minding so much the vague, sometimes outright deflected, answers I think because I enjoyed so much what we did end up learning. If things continue in this same vein, I’m thinking this series will be one to get stronger with each book.

Sexual content: kissing

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