After her younger brother's suicide, ordinarily rational Alexis starts seeing her younger brother's ghost.
Seven weeks after Ty shot himself with a hunting rifle, Alexis' mom announces she's seen him in the house. Alexis, a math student with aspirations of attending MIT, is skeptical but soon sees visions of her own. Alexis watches Ty die in recurring dreams, reluctantly relives firsts and lasts in a journal suggested by her therapist, and tries to stay strong for her mom, who is drinking to cope and certain that her own life is over. Alexis herself hasn't cried since her brother's death. Instead, moments of intense emotion open what Alexis powerfully describes as a "hole in my chest." The hauntings here are more emotional than paranormal, and Alexis' journey primarily entails reconnecting with estranged friends and family and slowly moving on. The characters involved are many—a childhood friend–turned–occultist stoner, Alexis' emotionally absent father and Ty's last girlfriend, to name a few—but each storyline is distinctly important and carefully woven in. Details of Ty's last days, Alexis' sense of guilt and the incident itself are revealed slowly and are often unexpected but always believable.
Evocative and insightful. (Fiction. 14-18)