Second in a two-book series—but nicely readable as a stand-alone—after Ashes to Ashes (2013), this continues the dual-world adventures of teen Callie.
Torn between two lovers and caught between two worlds, Callie is recovering from the coma that thrust her into the Prism, where spirit-guide Thatcher wooed her and ghosts Reena and Leo played with the dark side, attempting to possess bodies of the living and displacing their souls, possibly permanently. Now Callie’s coming to terms with both strange truths (“one thing is for sure: My body may have been in that hospital bed, but my soul sure as hell wasn’t”) and normal teen dramas. Steadfast mortal boyfriend Nick isn’t quite as cozy as before, and poltergeist Reena is eyeing best friend Carson for a takeover. Callie’s return to the mortal world allows for new characters (Thatcher’s living sister; a potential boyfriend for Carson with a convenient knowledge of the occult) and introduces some mystery. Callie’s present-tense narration provides access to typical teen thoughts, high jinks and melodrama; “guilt ravages” her mind as she faces “the horrifying truth. A truth that I couldn’t prevent. A truth that I brought upon all of us.” The intriguing worldbuilding of the initial book is missing; though Callie retains the obliviousness that got her in trouble to begin with, her self-reflection is purely emotional. But with a watery homage to the movie Ghost, will anyone mind?
Paranormal romance done well, with a warning: When it comes to incantations, always read the fine print. (Paranormal romance. 12-18)