Review – Summer in the Elevator by K.J. Sutton

Title Summer in the Elevator

Author K.J. Sutton

Description from Amazon

Summer Fridley is comfortable. She has a steady job, a bearable apartment, and a longtime boyfriend. Her only plan for the hot months ahead is to stay afloat and continue the course. She’ll also avoid her mother as much as possible. She doesn’t believe in ghosts or magic. Every moment is known, every hour is predictable, every day is the same. 

Until June 11th, 2018.

Her cell phone chimes with a text message from an unknown number. A simple message from someone named Isaac Fishburne. Summer doesn’t know that he died in the elevator and has remained there ever since. For years, Isaac watched the tenants of the apartment building. Something about Summer intrigues him. For the first time, he reaches out to someone living. 

It may be a summer that changes them both… forever.

Initial Thoughts

I loved K.J. Sutton’s writing style and when I saw she was looking for reviewers for a re-release of her novella, Summer in the Elevator, I jumped at the chance. I have been in a bit of a slump myself lately and Summer’s story felt so familiar.

Some Things I Liked

  • The supernatural element was anything but. This was not a ghost story or anything spooky. It was, at its core, a coming of age story. Summer finds herself in that elevator and while she is technically communicating with a man who died in 1939, this story does not focus on the non-realistic elements.
  • The length. I loved that this was a novella. It’s hard to find good recommendations for novellas because the best ones often accompany a series. I loved that this was a standalone story.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • I really loved this story. But, if I had to change one thing, I wanted a bit more of an ending. No spoilers, but there’s a good amount left to the reader’s imagination about Summer’s future. My inner happily-ever-after-chaser wanted a smidge more (but I totally understand why it was left out).

Series Value

I could easily see myself diving back into this world. I’d love to read more about Summer and how her life is turning out and I could also easily see this becoming a series about Isaac and the people he meets in the elevator. While this was a masterfully written short work, I would love to see it evolve into more.

Final Thoughts

Summer’s struggle hit home for me in so many ways. I definitely know what it’s like to kinda be mad at the world and to feel like your life is just not moving in the way you want it to. This novella was just what I needed. K.J. Sutton has once again completely captivated my attention and brought me to a world rich with characters I loved and long to learn more about. It also gave me a chance to really think about my own life. It’s a truly magical feeling when you connect with a story this much. I’d recommend that everyone read this novella.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Smoke and Key and Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton – these books are VERY different from Summer in the Elevator and from each other, but I strongly recommend checking out K.J.’s other works. She is an incredibly versatile writer and as a reader, I have really enjoyed exploring the different types of worlds and characters she creates.
  • Flawed by Becky Bird – this title isn’t out yet, but I had the complete joy of reading an ARC of it. The main characters are a bit younger but I loved that this was also a shorter work and it’s a true coming of age story about learning to love yourself as you are. Look out for it on September 30, 2019.

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