When she ages out of foster care, Mila takes an internship on a haunted farm outside Mendocino.
After being abandoned by her single mother, Mila was placed in foster care. The family she lives with now wants a baby and won’t adopt her, so Mila gets a farm internship after high school graduation. Mila is a quiet, beautifully written character; LaCour is a master at depicting loneliness. The farm is run by Terry and Julia, whose focus is on rebuilding the lives of youth impacted by foster care. Although the farm is in a remote rural area, Mila is determined to make it her new home. In addition to the seven foster children and two other interns, ghosts live there. The sense of place is strong, and readers will be transported to the rocky, coastal hills shrouded in fog and full of secrets. When mementos from her past begin to appear, Mila must decide if she is strong enough to remain at the farm. The pacing of the book is excellent; readers won’t get a full picture of the physical and emotional trauma Mila suffered until she herself is ready to process and confront it. Mila’s journey to reclaim herself and find independence is tense and powerful. Mila and Julia are White, Terry is Black, and the interns and children are ethnically diverse.
Gripping; an emotion-packed must-read.(Fiction. 12-18)