A review of Amy Mason Doan's debut novel THE SUMMER LIST


Laura and Casey were best friends throughout high school, and they planned to leave their small town and move to the big city after graduation so that they could attend college together. They had their immediate future all planned out were getting set to put their plan into motion when Laura overheard a conversation that led her to believe that the people she loved the most had betrayed her. Instead of seeking answers, Laura fled her small town and never looked back. Seventeen years later, Laura is tricked into coming home and reconnecting with Casey. Casey's mom forces the two women to go on a scavenger hunt (an activity that used to be the highlight of the summer weekends). Through the scavenger hunt, Laura and Casey confront their pasts and reconnect with each other. They also learn a shocking secret at the end of the scavenger hunt.

The Summer List is a wonderful novel that takes the reader on a scavenger hunt along with Laura and Casey. The novel is told from Laura's perspective, and it jumps back and forth in time from the past to the present. The present follows Laura and Casey through the scavenger hunt as they work through their problems with each other and within themselves. The chapters about the past reveal how the two became friends, the highlights of high school, and the scavenger hunts that kept them entertained as teenagers. There are also chapters written from another character's perspective that offers the reader clues about what Casey's mother's big revelation will be. Overall, The Summer List is an intriguing read, and it was wonderfully plotted out and written.