A confusing and at times just plain weird paranormal debut.
If finding a lump on her head isn’t enough to freak out 17-year-old Consuela Chavez, then peeling back her human skin to reveal her luminous skeleton should. Instead, she feels freedom as she defies gravity, donning a “skin” of air and talking a man out of suicide. Nicknamed Bones for her preferred look, Consuela learns that she is living in an alternate reality called the Flow, where spirit guides are assigned certain individuals to keep them from dying before their time. But as one of handsome V’s assignments gone wrong, she was never meant to cross over to the Flow. In this third-person narration, wrought with heavy-handed descriptions and similes gone wild, it’s often unclear what Consuela’s goal is. Is she trying to understand her belief system or return to her perhaps-dying body or stop the Flow’s pain eater, who’s mysteriously started killing off the Flow’s members in gruesome ways? Most of the novel is comprised of repetitive, long-winded introspection and encounters with fellow Flow members. Representing diverse religions, these characters (the Native American, the orthodox Jew, etc.) only come across as stereotyped. And there’s little to Consuela’s would-be romance with V.Only extreme fans of Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare and the like will find anything to enjoy here. (Fantasy. 14 & up)