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Summer Sons (2021)

by Lee Mandelo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4751753,079 (3.57)21
"Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost. Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn't know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him. As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie's death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie's nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble. And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall"--… (more)
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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I spent the majority of this book going between, my god this is beautifully gay and I don’t care about cars to I SWEAR IF THIS BITCH ISNT THE BAD GUY ILL SCREAM. It can’t be SAM I swear to god….I like that west took his shot and sued the school. And that the topic of racism and academia was handled well, not to mention homophobia in the south. I love that Sam and Andrew were left with possibilities and overall I am satisfied with the ending, however I would read about the beautiful train wreck of them finding their ways back to one another. You know Andrew is a mess and would be SO HUMAN and I just….

I love this book whole heartedly ( )
1 vote ChaoticGoblin | Jan 23, 2024 |
I've only recently started venturing into the 'Horror' genre and this is one of the best books I've read. Everything about it was perfect.

I loved the characters and story building. Tbh, I cannot come to terms with the fact that it's Lee Mandelo's debut novel.

All components of the story - the queer characters, handling of the composite emotion of grief, the curse, the hauntings, THE MYSTERY OF IT ALL worked so well to give us a wonderful time while uncovering the tale.

Also, the cover is chef's kiss. It's breathtakingly beautiful. ( )
1 vote AnrMarri | Aug 1, 2023 |
Well, this was steamy. It took a while to get going for me, but I'm glad I stuck with it because the characters and story did grow on me over time. Set at Vanderbilt University, it's a coming-of-age story, a coming-out story, a ghost story, a Southern gothic, a mystery, and a pretty hot romance--which in my opinion makes this an ideal vacation read. It's hyper-masculine, what with the hot cars and tight t-shirts, and as a result, the women characters are mostly sidelined, but this is not a book that claims to be about anything but men. It's probably not for everyone, and I have to admit that the interstate racing raised my hackles, nor did I care for the fact that the protagonist is a litterbug (seriously, why does he always throw his trash out the car window?). But I was definitely into the romance and rooting for the couple, and I dug the humid Southern gothic atmosphere dripping off almost every word. So it was a win for me, but I think my next book will have to have a lot of women characters to compensate. ( )
1 vote sturlington | Jul 24, 2023 |
Creepy almost dark academia? A lot of queer representation with some graphic scenes, and a lot of spooky supernatural elements. The characters are fantastic, and the plot unfolds at a good pace. ( )
1 vote KallieGrace | Jun 8, 2023 |
umm the ending was kinda really abrupt, idk i think i need to reflect on this one a bit. ( )
  zombierabbit | Feb 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
A haunting ghost story, a mystery, a queer romance, an Appalachian street-racing adventure: it’s impressive enough that Lee Mandelo’s debut novel, Summer Sons, doesn’t get lost in its potentially-contradictory impulses. Even more impressive is the way it pulls these threads together—or, perhaps, is pulled and balanced between them—to tell a vibrant story of love and grief....The characters feel real, the cars feel real, and Mandelo absolutely nails the setting, right at this very specific intersection of Appalachia and collegiate uncertainty: the heat, the drinks, the casual physicality, the habits borne of rural poverty that recent affluence and city-living can’t entirely erase. The ghostly and magical elements, though disturbing, feel organic....Ghost stories, of course, are a way to think about loss. Mandelo balances that almost positive sense of haunting—the absence, the ache, the desperate longing—with the negative, the spooksome: old debts, old crime, old guilt beyond the chance of reconciliation.
 
"VERDICT A great choice for readers who enjoy thought-provoking and engaging horror that asks its protagonists to come to terms with the monsters—both literal and metaphorical—in their past (such as Sam J. Miller's The Blade Between or Cynthia Pelayo's Children of Chicago). Also a good option for fans of dark academic thrillers, like Donna Tartt's The Secret History."
added by jagraham684 | editLibrary Journal (Jun 1, 2021)
 
Mandelo brings a queer goth aesthetic to the Southern gothic in their slow-building, brooding contemporary fantasy debut—with drag-racing, drug-use, and plenty of ghosts to boot. When Eddie Fulton dies of an apparent suicide, his best friend Andrew Blur inherits his fortune, house, roommate, research topic at Vanderbilt’s graduate program—and frightening sensitivity to ghosts....the central mystery provides few interesting twists. Instead, the novel shines in the tortured love triangle between Andrew, an intriguing stranger, and the ghost that haunts him. Full of angst and lingering spirits, Mandelo’s debut is like Tennessee molasses—dense, dark, slow-moving, and with a distinct Southern flavor.
added by Lemeritus | editPublisher's Weekly (May 3, 2021)
 

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Thanks for the memories -
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1990-2011
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come home
i'll be waiting
Received 8/6 3:32 A.M.
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"Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost. Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn't know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him. As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie's death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie's nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble. And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall"--

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Book description
Lee Mandelo's debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by a hungry ghost.

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom that hungers for him.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble.

And there is something awful lurking, waiting for those walls to fall.
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Lee Mandelo is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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