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GIFT by Andrea J.  Buchanan


by Andrea J. Buchanan & illustrated by Alexis Seabrook

Age Range: 15 - 17

Pub Date: March 27th, 2012
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media

An interactive ghost tale weaves together historical fiction and a supernatural love story with satisfying results.

Daisy’s mysterious ability to channel electricity has always been more curse than blessing, especially since it means no cellphone or computer use. However, when she and her friends Danielle and Vivi are unexpectedly faced with an evil spirit from Daisy’s distant past, the utility of Daisy’s gift slowly becomes clear. Woven into the mix is Kevin, a brooding love interest with a guitar who keeps Daisy grounded throughout their adventure. Interactive elements ranging from embedded YouTube videos to subtly animated black-and-white illustrations add to the overall experience and spooky atmosphere. The text concludes with a final section—“More Gift”— in which the three supporting characters present their own perspectives on the story. For example, Kevin’s section includes links to audio files of songs and lyrics, which will be familiar to readers as they are featured at the beginnings of selected chapters. Vivi’s story is told in a brief graphic-novel format in realistic watercolor illustrations, and Danielle presents her point of view as pages from her diary. While the alternative formatting and use of audio works well, the entire section feels tacked on. Nevertheless, the enhancements are sufficient to make going digital with this text (also published as an ordinary paperback) worthwhile.

A fantastical and historical ghost story that benefits from technology and the presence of young love. (Paranormal romance. 15-17)