Although Texas didn’t get the memo, fall is upon us. Time to hit up the bookstore for some pumpkin-spiced goodies and an armful of paperbacks filled with creaky old houses and forlorn ghosts. It’s still teetering on 90 degrees here in Austin, but that doesn’t stop me from curling up with a good ghost story with a steaming latte. This year, I decided to jumpstart my Halloween reading with this spooky tale of ghosts, madness and revenge.
Imagine the horror of walking through a dark, haunted tunnel on a daily basis just to get to gym class. That’s what 16-year-old Rinn Jacobs had to deal with when she moved from her upscale high school in sunny California to her mother’s alma mater in rural Ohio. Not only does she attend a ghost-infested high school, she sleeps in the same room where an old woman hanged herself. Creepy much!
Of course, her situation isn’t all gloom and doom. The hot farmer boy next door is at her beck and call whenever danger strikes…or if the snow needs plowing. Either way, this guy is super handy – and sexy to boot! Then there’s the resident bad boy, Dino, who just can’t keep his eyes off her. Too bad the school’s meanest mean girl has territorial issues. But as they say, hold your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s what Rinn does when she becomes ensnared by a particularly nasty clique of mean girls.
What her new frienemies don’t know is that she’s on the extreme end of the bipolar spectrum…and that she’s a murderer. Well that’s what she calls herself anyway. You see, without her heavy cocktail of anti-psychotics, things can get pretty ugly. This adds a rather interesting new twist to the standard teen angst melodramatics, don’t you think? In all seriousness, this is a very delicate issue that should not be treated lightly. But I think the author did a fine job infusing mental illness into the story without stigmatizing bipolar disorder. If anything, she shows readers that people who suffer from mental illness are a lot like you and me. Despite her flaws, Rinn is a very likeable character who deals with a lot of self-anguish issues that resonate with a lot young—and old—readers.
With some help from her helicopter mom, she’s taking her pills religiously. Yet other forces are at work—causing her to question reality versus delusions. And as the death toll starts rising, she and her hunky sidekick must investigate the high school haunt’s untimely death to put the nasty spirit to rest once and for all. Trust me, you’ll need to block out some time in your day as you reach the last few chapters. When the pieces start falling together, you’ll be surprised at what they uncover.
This may be a YA book, but that doesn’t mean it won’t creep you out. There are some very unsettling moments that caused the little hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. Trust me, the waterlogged ghost in this story is no Moaning Myrtle! If you’re squeamish of things that go bump in the night, I advise you to read this one with all the lights on…and maybe watch a Strawberry Shortcake cartoon before going to bed.
Pleasant nightmares, my fellow readers!
Oh and P.S: This book is only $1.99 on Kindle and Nook right now. Get it while the gettins good!