Even though I usually run true to form with my book choices, every now and then I surprise myself by going outside my norm. This is one of those times.
Maddy had it all together. A stay at home mom, she seemed to thrive on taking care of her husband, her daughter, her house…all her pride and joy. But then why would she take her own life? Were things really as good as everyone believed? This is what her family is left to ponder as they try to come to terms with her death.
Maddy, however, has another job on her hands. She’s gone but not really, stuck somewhere between here and there. Before she moves on for good, she’s determined to make sure her family will be okay without her. Whether that means mending fences between her husband and daughter or doing some matchmaking from beyond, she has her hands busy.
This was a good story, much different from what I’d normally pick. Sappy and sweet in some places, sad and melodramatic in others, with a few surprises along the way.
I love a good ghost story. Sure, blood and gore are fine. But the scariest stories take you right to the edge and no farther, leaving your imagination to conjure things far scarier than the author’s words alone could ever manage. This one from Katie Alender does just that.
When Delia’s aunt passes away, it comes as a surprise that she’s left her home to Delia. Sure, they wrote to each other from time to time. But they weren’t especially close, or at least that’s how it seemed to Delia. But apparently she was wrong. So off she goes with her mom, dad, and sister to clean out the rambling estate and sell it off.
She wasn’t prepared, however, to be the owner of an abandoned insane asylum. And not only that, but it’s haunted. When the first odd happenings start, she brushes it off as just her imagination. But then things get too real too fast. And then Delia’s dead.
Here’s where the real fun begins. Now she’s one of them. She can see, feel, and communicate with the other ghosts at Hysteria Hall. And boy, are there plenty of them. It seems that more than a few patients didn’t ever leave. Now they’re stuck there forever. Delia probably could have resigned herself to wandering the hallways for eternity. Until her family comes back to the house. She can’t just sit around and watch her sister suffer the same fate she did.
This was a fun book to read. Lots of ghosts with great descriptions, high on the goosebumps factor, and high on the page-turning scale. Also a great read for young adults!
This book is so very much. It’s a love story, a tale of tragedy, a story of folktales, and a story of the Otherworlds in one ambitious undertaking.
Natalie has always felt different. No surprise, considering that she’s adopted. But there’s also the matter of seeing things that others can’t even imagine. It’s just part of who she is. And she’s especially comforted by late night visits from “Grandmother”, a kindly elderly apparition. Grandmother has always been a soothing force in her life, a source of comfort and stability. Until the night that Grandmother comes with an eerie warning: “You have three months to save him.” No other hints or clues as to who this “him” might be.
It’s around this time that she also begins seeing glimpses of another world, with other people. Sometimes what she sees is familiar but not really. Like peering through a looking glass into the past. And she’s not the only one with this ability. There’s Beau, who of course is handsome and kind and confident and all those wonderful things that teenagers love. But can he help figure out just who it is that’s in need of saving?
This debut novel by Emily Henry is beautiful. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going in, so it took me a bit longer to digest it all. It’s a somewhat lengthy book at almost 400 pages, but it’s necessary to fully tell the story. And don’t rush the ending like I did. As such, I found myself going back to reread on more than one occasion.
What really happens to your soul after you die? Personal beliefs aside, it's impossible for anyone to answer that question with absolute certainty. This novel offers a beautiful possibility to that question.
When fifteen-year-old Liz is struck by a car, she wakes up aboard the SS Nile. Baffled by the mostly elderly strangers around her, Liz eventually comes to the realization that she did not survive her accident and is in fact dead. She and all the other passengers are on their way to Elsewhere, an alternate reality-type world where humans as well as their pets go after their death. Here they spend their years aging backwards until, as babies, they return to Earth to be born again. Liz has a difficult time coming to grips with her death and mourns the loss of all that she left behind-never turning sixteen, no driver’s license, no prom dates, never going to college…
I loved this book for so many reasons. Gabrielle Zevin has created a beautiful world full of waterfalls, beaches, sunny days, great food, museums, encounters with famous dead people, and reunions with lost loved ones. I was hooked from the first page as the story opens from the perspective of Lucy, Liz’s grieving Pug. I also loved the talking pets and the humans who are able to speak their language. Yes, it sounds far fetched, but it really works with the story. The characters are fun and likeable and a subtle sense of humor runs throughout the book. Conversations flow easily and are believable, fantasy world aside.
Highly recommended for all, but especially for fans of young adult novels and fantasy in particular.