Alexis is a photographer, a loner, a trouble-maker, a class-skipper, a protester, an independent with pink hair. She lives a big, old house with a big, old tree in the front yard. Her mother is a workaholic trying to move up the corporate ladder. Her father is frustrated and spends most of his time watching sports with his friends. Her sister Kasey is only a couple years younger but insecure and needy with a capital “N” to the point where she acts much younger than her age, which could explain why she is so obsessed with collecting dolls. Lots and lots of dolls. Alexis is Kasey’s champion, her rock, her support system so it is Alexis who is really the only one who begins to see the change in Kasey. Kasey is having blackouts, not remembering being in a place when Alexis clearly saw her there. Kasey is conversing when seemingly no one is there to talk back. Kasey has sudden violent episodes. Kasey is stealing from her classmates. Kasey’s eyes sometimes flash brilliant green when in fact they are blue like the sky. What is going on with Kasey and what is Alexis going to do about it?
Reaction: I picked up this book because of the cover. Really, who could resist it. I don’t usually pick up ghost stories; in fact, I don’t know of many in teen lit. I’m sure they’re there, I’m just not aware of them, though I enjoyed this one so much I might have to seek out some others. As much as I enjoyed the creepy ghostly elements, I enjoyed the story because of the characters and their relationships. When I started the book and read Alexis’ description I thought, oh no, another book about some loner teen with no friends who will suddenly make friends with some relatively popular people. And, ok, that happened, but it was done in a great way. First of all, Alexis’ lack of friends was well explained and it wasn’t that she had no friends, she doesn’t didn’t feel close to any of the people she hangs out with. There were certainly times in my life when i could relate to that. Second, the supporting characters, the “to-be” friends, turned out to be more than Alexis thought they would be. For instance, Megan, the cheerleader. From the beginning, Alexis envies Megan because she supports many of the same causes as Alexis but Megan usually finds a more receptive audience, mostly because she is more tactful in her approach. When Alexis finds out there is more to Megan than just the cheerleader, it’s not really a shock. What I like the most, though, was how devoted Megan was to cheerleading. Just because she turned out to be an intelligent, nice, helpful person with some issues of her own did not mean she could not also be a devoted cheerleader. The ending does wrap up a bit too neatly but I still found it satisfying. Alender writes a very good, relationship-driven yet spooky ghost story.
Check out: A much more eloquent review from Lenore @ Presenting Lenore.