The Summoning by J.P. Smith – The You’ll Read Too Bookclub: OCTOBER 2021

Hi all!

Welcome back to the bookclub! In October, we read The Summoning by J.P. Smith for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!

Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘Wonderland’ by Jennifer Hillier.

Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

THE SUMMONING by J.P. SMITH – OCTOBER 2021 

PLOT SUMMARY 

Every year, as the anniversary of 9/11 inches closer on the calendar, Kit Capriol scans the memorials published in the New York Times. It’s a simple thing to look up a name and phone number, to reach out to surviving family members who might still be yearning for connection with their lost loved one… to offer assistance. After her husband went down in the north tower, Kit scraped by as an actress, barely supporting herself and her daughter. But now, Zoey is in the hospital, bills are due, and the acting work has dried up. Becoming a medium is almost too easy for someone used to pretending for a living—and desperate clients aren’t hard to come by. Now, though, something has changed. The seances Kit holds in her apartment are starting to feel unsettlingly real, and the intriguing man she met at a local bar could be more complicated than he seems. As the voices of the dead grow louder in her head and the walls of her apartment close in, Kit realizes that despite her daughter’s absence, she hasn’t been quite as alone as she thought…

OVERALL STAR RATING

I already reviewed this book in my wrap-up for the Breath of the Wild Readathon. You can check that out here. I enjoyed this story, but it did not go in the direction I was expecting. This is definitely more of a thriller novel than a horror. I think it’s important to go into this not anticipating something really scary. It’s also worth mentioning strong trigger warnings for gas-lighting and stalking. Go gently…this has some dark content but not in the way you would expect. I don’t want to say too much more. Check it out and make up your own mind. I gave it 4/5 stars. It was really well written. 

OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING

As mentioned above, this is not a horror novel. It has some slightly chilling moments, but if you’re looking to be spooked, this is not the book for you. I gave it a scare-factor rating of 1/5 stars.  

DISCUSSION TOPICS

1.) It is difficult to discern what is real and what isn’t. Did Kit ever actually experience anything supernatural? Why/why not?

I think she did. Especially at the end, when she becomes a ghost. A re-read will probably reveal that a lot of what she experienced when she was alive, was gas-lighting from David. It does seem apparent however, that Kit possesses natural clairvoyant abilities, despite starting out as a fraud. The ending also suggests that Kit wandered through the realms of her daughter’s future without realising it. 

2.) Do you think Kit made her clients lives better or was she committing an unspeakably evil service?

Honestly, I’m on the fence. As mentioned above, it does seem like she had naturally psychic abilities, but she didn’t begin that way. On the one hand, she brought a lot of solace to her clients. On the other, she was playing with their emotions and feeding them false information in order to make money. It certainly sounds immoral but I am still torn. 

3.) Why do you believe there is a recurring theme of people falling onto the train tracks to their death in this book? 

I don’t know if the train tracks themselves are of any significance, but there is a clear pattern of death and rebirth. Zoey witnesses a violent murder that pushes her into a realm between consciousness and unconsciousness. David’s previous victim is able to help Kit realise what is happening to her. Tony, who is causing issues for Kit, succumbs to the same violent fate. There is something almost karmically cyclical about the whole thing. 

TRIVIA QUESTIONS

Easy: How long was Zoey in a coma for?

Medium: What piece of music does Kit keep hearing on the piano?

Hard: What was the name of David’s ‘supposed’ former high-school

I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!

Peace & Love xoxo

TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: 3 years. Medium: Moonlight Sonata. Hard: North Rockland High. 

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