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9 / 30 books. 30% done!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

8 Teens + 1 Harmless Prank Gone Wrong = Too Many Lives Changed Forever

One sultry summer night in a Chicago suburb, the fates of eight teens collide when a harmless prank goes horribly wrong.

Brendan needs to blow off steam, needs to forget about the way his dad turns violet when he's mad.  Which is all the time.  He needs this end-of-summer party, needs the booze, needs anything that will help him bliss out—just for one night.  But Brendan can't quite forget his dad, especially when he discovers the nasty little surprise the older man left in the glove compartment of his car ...

Emma just wants to have fun before the new school year starts, but her boyfriend's drinking too much and being a huge jerk.  She's worried he's going to do something really stupid.  Trying not to be too big of a buzz kill, she masks her anxiety as best she can ...

Chloe is a beautiful blonde who's got her own troubles to forget.  And she plans to do just that with a few drinks and her new boy toy ...

Anil knows he doesn't belong with Chloe's crowd.  He's still shocked that she wants to be with him at all.  Blinded by her many charms, he goes along to the party, but the later the night gets, the larger his feeling of dread grows ...

Maxie knows Emma only invited her to the party as a favor to Maxie's mom.  Back in town after four years away, Maxie feels lonely and stressed about starting school without really knowing anyone.  Emma used to be her BFF, but things have changed a lot since Maxie left Chicago ...

Felix deals with his father's deployment in Afghanistan and his worry about his exhausted mother by smoking weed.  He's not opposed to other methods, though, so he tags along with Emma and her gang to what promises to be an epic party.  The fact that his old friend Maxie is coming along makes the prospect even more appealing.  But as Felix smokes away his worries, the night is progressing toward its horrifying conclusion.  Will he be too high to stop things before they get too crazy?

What will happen when these six, plus two others, have to face the consequences of the terrible choices they all make on one fateful night?  How will they react?  How will they cope?  How will they survive?

The plot to Ghosting, Edith Pattou's YA novel in verse, is almost too simple to describe.  Something horrible happens and everyone reacts to the tragedy in their own individual way.  End of story.  Except it's not.  Told from varying viewpoints in sharp, nuanced poetry, Ghosting explores how profound, life-changing events often strike on the most ordinary of days in the most mundane of circumstances.  It examines the sometimes fatal results of thoughtless decisions and impulsive actions—on the innocent as well as the guilty.  Haunting, but hopeful, it's an impacting story told in a poetic voice that, nonetheless, cuts to the very heart of things.  

(Readalikes:  A million other YA books should be coming to mind, but I've got nothing.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder invectives); violence; sexual innuendo; and depictions of illegal drug use and underage drinking/partying

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Ghosting from BookSparks as part of its Fall Reading Challenge blog tour.  Thank you!)


  1. Great review! I don't think I'd be able to read a book entirely in verse and really enjoy it, but this one definitely seems interesting. I liked your grading scheme at the end, too. Nice touch. (Lol, rated R. XD)

    Brittany @

  2. I read her book, East, a long time ago and enjoyed it. It wasn't written in verse. This sounds interesting. Thanks.


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