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by Steven Parlato

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5072-0277-7
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

A white teenage girl is haunted by disturbing, repressed memories of a childhood friend.

Looking to stave off the boredom of summer vacation, Teddi Alder joins the local library’s teen writing group. Her life becomes unexpectedly complicated by both a new romance with white, crushworthy Aidan and the mysterious appearance of a little girl whom only Teddi sees. Once she begins writing, memories of her long-lost childhood friend Corey seep into her consciousness and her writing. Although she had always thought that Corey’s family moved away when they were young, she discovers, to her horror, that he went missing when he was 7 and that the search for him was soon called off because he was “a couple shades too dark to matter much.” She spends her days and sleepless nights haunted by the twin mysteries of the ghost girl and Corey while juggling an increasingly dysfunctional relationship with Aidan. The writing process helps her to work through her repressed memories of the dark and violent events leading up to Corey’s disappearance, prompting her to question how much her mother knew about what happened. The dialogue among Teddi and her friends isn’t always convincing, and the suspenseful arc of this story is unbalanced by a love triangle that develops erratically and feels out of place in the context of the overall plot.

An uneven mix of paranormal mystery and realistic fiction.

(Paranormal mystery. 14-18)