Penny is furious, and who can blame her? She has to spend Christmas break alone at the Black Butterfly, an old inn at the coldest, bleakest edge of America—the coast of Maine. This "vacation" is the brainchild of Penny's flaky mother, who's on the other side of the country hunting ghosts. Penny most definitely does not believe in spirits. Or love. Or family. Until, that is, she discovers two very real apparitions which only she can see…and meets George, the handsome son of the inn's owner…and crashes into some staggering family secrets. If only Ghost Girl didn't want Penny dead. If only George were the tiniest bit open to believing. If only she could tell her mother. Then maybe this could still be a vacation. But it's not. It's a race for her life, her first love, and her sanity.
Hardcover, 226 pages
Expected publication: May 6th 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press
I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher Cinco Puntos Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is May 6 2014.
This was a cute story geared towards the YA audience that was a quick and easy read. In the dominating paranormal market this story kept it simple and it literally was a ghost story. I don't know what it is but there is something that always captures my attention with a ghost story. Perhaps it is because there do not seem to be too many out there at least that I am aware of?
While this story could have delved deeper in to the stories of the ghosts it still had enough depth to keep the reader interested. The story of Blue was interesting and tragic in the same sense and he was instantly a likeable "ghost". I feel the story could have explored a little more his attraction to Penny and perhaps taken a love triangle angle however for the purpose of this story his presence made sense. There was also the "bad" ghost that was out to harm Penny and perhaps her story was the most interesting. Without giving any spoilers her presence was the most relevant to the storyline with an interesting twist.
For fans of teen romance the story of Penny and George was likeable. The young and first love of two strangers thrown together. George was a likable character whose way of looking after Penny was sweet and enough to make a teen reader stay interested.
My only criticism of this story is that I felt the storylines could have been developed a little further and the story a little longer. The story of Penny's mother was only touched on and I felt there were many interesting aspects of her story that could have added another layer. Also the plot involving the ghosts wrapped up a little to neatly for my liking. It could have been dragged out a little longer. Perhaps there is an opening for a sequel? Who knows?
Overall this was a cute story geared to the YA audience. I most likely would not recommend it to my age group however I would not hesitate to recommend it to a younger audience. This was a pleasant read.
Shirley Reva Vernick is rapidly becoming the new hot item in young adult fiction. Her first novel, The Blood Lie, won the Simon Wiesenthal Children's Book Award, was silver medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, and was an ALA 2012 Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Remember Dippy—a feel good adventure about a fourteen-year-old boy shepherding his older autistic cousin through his summer vacation—was released in spring 2013 and won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council For Exceptional Children. This time around, Shirley wanted to let loose with a page-turning coming-of-age romance mixed with ghosts and adventure. Shirley is the creator of the much visited storytelling website storybee.org. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.