DNF Review: Summoner by S.D. Grimm

Reviewed by Ronelle

When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie expects it to be just another one of Nell’s crazy ideas.

Turns out it’s not… at least not for Allie. While her friends are understandably freaked out, when Allie takes her turn, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.

And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.


The blurb provided in the original review request (it was a bit different than what’s on Amazon) grabbed my attention, and even though it was YA—something I usually avoid—I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately, I DNF’d it at about 30% because it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I wanted to love this book, I really really did, but I just couldn’t get into it.

Summoner exhibited everything I usually hate about YA; the overload of teenage emotions/hormones, the almost crippling character insecurities, wishy-washy/rollercoaster relationships, and all the soulful eye contact. Yes, I understand that these characters ARE teenagers and thus should be going through all the teenager bullshit. However, in this case, it completely overshadowed the paranormal aspects that so intrigued me. While we were constantly reminded that some freaky shenanigans were afoot, they didn’t really seem to be going anywhere coherent. The summoner thing—and the weird abilities that go along with it—felt a bit… slapdash and cropped up at random. There didn’t seem to be any rules about when, how, or where the spirits could contact Allie and the ‘different language’ thing didn’t seem to fit at all. I wish the author had put more thought into this very important aspect of her book.

Despite disliking the book enough to quit before the halfway point, I think I could have liked Allie and her friends (except for Hunter; he was just too cookie-cutter, testosterone-y, jealous ex for my tastes). The problem was that their development was excruciatingly slow and at times, Allie didn’t come across as all that bright. (“Summoned. As in, by a summoner?” Um…yes?) And if I had to read about someone’s eyes/the emotional eye contact One. More. Time. I was going to scream. WE GET IT, THEY HAVE EYES AND THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER! (sorry, I’m better now.) Allie and Cody and the others were age-appropriate characters, though, and seeing them interact with each other at that age level was kind of fun in places. I think I just wanted more paranormal and less high-school-relationship drama.

Bottom line: I usually don’t read YA, but the blurb was intriguing and I decided to take a chance that did not pay off. If YA is your jam, though, you might be able to get into this one.


**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Click to purchase: Amazon

by S.D. Grimm
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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