A teen living her second life is haunted by having killed someone in her first.
Fifteen-year-old Ana was born in the year 2000 to Rachel, who loves her deeply. But Rachel “doesn’t feel like Mum” to Ana, because Ana’s not really Ana: she’d been born before, in 1972, and died at age 22. She used to be—and still feels like—a girl named Emma, and she pines for her original mum. A chance encounter with an old woman named Frances sends Ana spinning down a frantic path. When she was Emma, Ana killed a little girl—Frances’ daughter. Ana begins to visit Frances on the same street where Emma grew up, equally desperate to find clarity about the drowning and to avoid that clarity, because it’s all too painful and Frances is cold as ice. Ana’s sleepless due to fear and trauma, but she’s not hallucinating, and Bird includes no fantasy elements beyond the reincarnation. Tormented by memory scraps and powerful feelings still alive from her first childhood, Ana begins to put the pieces together, but full comprehension is impossible until Frances and Ana sit down with Emma’s parents. Ana’s first-person narration wraps heart-wrenching feelings—jealousy, yearning, grief, hatred—in plainspoken prose. The fateful night’s magnetic pull will have readers staying awake until the very end.
A page-turning mystery with a spot-on emotional core. (author’s note) (Mystery. 14 & up)