It’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.
This is a very sweet story about overcoming loss, finding friends in unlikely places and family. Cedar and Leo are two very sweet and caring tweens and I just loved how their friendship develops over the course of the story. There were a couple of times that I thought there would be more between them, but I was really glad that they stayed sweet and friends in the end. I think it is good for tweens to see solid stories about friendships between boys and girls without any budding romance issues. The mystery aspect of the story, is not the main story line. Cedar’s need to understand and cope with the loss of her father and brother is the main theme in this book, or at least the one that struck a chord with me. Even though the accident happened over a year ago from when this story takes place, Cedar is still grieving, but in a positive way. She remembers the good things about her brother and father. The mystery sort of twines in and out of this issue in a good way.
The narrator, Phoebe Stroll does an excellent job. She has a soothing voice, but can change it just enough to know when other characters are speaking.