A girl who’s recently moved to a small Florida town knows the women in her family gain control of supernatural Gifts on their 15th birthdays, but the nature of her own gift might not make Evie happy.
At first, Evie Messenger is sure she has no Gift at all. When a medium fails to see what her Gift might be, the white teen doesn’t press the issue because she’s happy to be an “oddball,” a Messenger woman with no Gift. But that night, she meets a pale, black-haired girl named Tommie, who keeps showing up and has some sort of undefined problem. It turns out that Evie indeed does have a Gift, a terrifying one: she can directly communicate with the dead. Tommie, of course, has died, but she doesn’t know it. Complicating matters is the fact that Tommie was the daughter of JimDaddy, Evie’s new stepfather, and the girlfriend of Buddy, Evie’s new boyfriend. Evie not only must deal with this tangled web, but also come to terms with her Gift and learn how to use it properly so that she can help the dead souls that come to her. Williams creates a recognizable world with Evie and her working-class, white family, whose colloquial speech (“Now lookit”) provides extra dimension. Even though her Gift may be supernatural, Evie herself comes across as a well-rounded, likable character.
Another solid outing from Williams. (Paranormal fiction. 12-18)