Until Summer Comes Around: Glenn Rolfe
Reviewed By Miranda Crites
I’ve been a huge Glenn Rolfe fan for years. He’s one of my favorite authors. When he posted on social media that his new novel, Until Summer Comes Around, was available on NetGalley, I instantly had grabby hands, or was it sticky hands? Sticky hands like those little translucent gel hands I used to get out of the quarter machines when I was a kid and sling across the room snatching up papers or pens? Something like that, anyway. My hands, my heart, my dark soul itched for a Glenn Rolfe story about vampires. So, many thanks to Glenn, NetGalley, and Flame Tree Press for allowing me to quench my thirst for this book in advance of publication.
It’s the mid-80s. The smell of Aqua Net hairspray is strong and the soundtrack, on cassette, is loud. Rocky is fifteen and lives at the beach with his family. Summer is just getting started in the little oceanside town. Old Orchard Beach is booming with tourists. The carnival atmosphere is alive, and the food trailers scent the already salty air with nachos and cotton candy. It’s the ideal place to spend a summer. Or it was until people started to come up missing. Rocky’s mom is a bit protective, like a good mom should be, and tries to make sure he and his sister are kept safe. Tension gets higher as more and more children and adults disappear.
Rocky’s cousin who happens to be his best friend, Axel, has left with his family for a summer vacation, so Rocky is pretty bummed to have to spend the summer without him. He has other friends, but there’s nothing like feeling as though your best friend is leaving you behind all summer. Then, November walks into his life.
November is one of the new people who has come to Old Orchard Beach with her family for the summer, and Rocky has never seen anyone so beautiful before. They start spending a lot of time together, and he barely thinks of Axel anymore. November appears to be the distraction Rocky needed. Despite his fears, November seems to really like Rocky, even after she learns of his flaws, which he goes to great deal of trouble to hide.
It turns out that Rocky isn’t the only one hiding secrets. Some secrets are extremely deep and dark…and unforgivable.
Being a teenager is hard enough on its own, but with the disappearances and deaths getting closer and closer to home, what should have been one of the best summers of Rocky’s life, is horrible. And to block out any glimmer of hope toward making the best they could out of the summer, November’s asshole older brother, Gabriel, disapproves of their summer romance, and attempts to make their lives pure hell. Gabriel is a junkie for power, and when he’s flying high, he doesn’t care who he hurts.
Until Summer Comes Around reminds me a little of Stephen King’s Joyland. I guess it’s the summertime, beach town, carnival theme. I really loved that about both books.
Also, I’m a huge fan of Stephen King’s Christine, and I couldn’t help but see some of Arnie Cunningham’s mom, Regina, in Rocky’s mom. I didn’t see Rocky’s mom as hateful as Regina could be, but, of course, Regina eventually had a good reason to be hateful. Rocky’s mom was trying to be a good mom. Sometimes that comes across as a bit strict, I guess, but it’s good to see strong parents who care about their kids in books. It shows the family loves each other – their closeness.
Until Summer Comes Around is going to be the perfect summer read! It makes me want to go to a little seaside town, ride the Ferris wheel, get nachos and cotton candy before taking a swim in the ocean. However, I do NOT want to be in the middle of the bloodbath and killing spree of an insatiable vampire. That’s what Glenn Rolfe does, though. He sets the scene and puts you there in a cozy, realistic place. You walk around, enjoying yourself and eating ice cream, taking in the scenery, then – BOOM! – he splatters you and your ice cream with blood. That’s just the way I like it.
Until Summer Comes Around
When fifteen-year-old Rocky Zukas meets a mysterious dark-haired girl named November, his world is forever changed. The young couple falls under the spell of summer love, but not everyone approves. November’s brother, Gabriel, is the keeper of the family’s secret, and big brother is always watching, growing more sinister as his bloodlust gets the best of him. Directing his attention to Rocky’s family, Gabriel aims to make sure little sister knows who is in charge.
Miranda Crites is a reader, writer, book reviewer, photographer, and lover of horror from the ghostly woods of rural West Virginia.
The writing bug bit Miranda at a very early age. She was pretty much born with a pen and a camera in her hands. She won the young writers’ contest in first grade and received her first camera as a gift when she was nine years old.
When not writing, Miranda enjoys spending time with her family. She and her family spend a lot of time off the grid where they are building a cabin in the supposedly haunted woods.
Miranda is self-employed. She and her husband create large and small vinyl decals, t-shirts, signs, and a plethora of creative customized items.
Some of her many hobbies when time allows are: making unique crafts and artwork, painting, hiking, and, of course, photography.
She has a diploma for Writing for Children and Teenagers although most of her current work is horror fiction and poetry.
Miranda is a member of Team Kendall Reviews at www.KendallReviews.com where you can find her horror book reviews and her monthly feature, Miranda Snaps, which generally contains horror fiction and photography.
Miranda is one of “The Thirty,” which is a group of thirty authors who are each taking a turn in writing a chapter of an in-progress horror novel.
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