Phoebe Rivers had a brush with the paranormal when she was thirteen years old, and ever since then, she has been fascinated by people who see spirits and can communicate with them. In addition to her intrigue with all things paranormal, Phoebe also loves cats, French cuisine, and wiling her afternoons away in coffee shops writing stories. Phoebe has written dozens of middle-grade fiction books and is thrilled to now be exploring Sara's paranormal world.
Gr 4-7-Seventh-grader Sara Collins is a newcomer to Stellamar Middle School. She is just beginning to feel comfortable at lunch with Lily, her neighbor, and Lily's friends when she is mortified to be caught getting detention. However, the situation is not what it seems. The gym teacher giving her detention is a ghost, and Sara can see dead people, a secret she doesn't want revealed. Romantic entanglements ensue when she meets Jayden, a boy she recognizes from a vision. However, he comes with a malevolent ghost who is doing his best to keep Sara and Jayden apart. When a spirit from 1952, Alice, mysteriously signs her up to run for Harvest Queen, Sara starts to investigate the town of Stellamar's history. Her landlady, Lady Azura, tries to help her explore her paranormal abilities. After Sara reluctantly embraces her gift, she's able to rectify a past wrong: Alice was unfairly blamed by the town for a polio epidemic. The book ends with a happy resolution but raises questions about Jayden's ghost and what the future will bring. Plot elements from Ghost Town (S & S, 2012) are well integrated, but the characters are a bit one-dimensional. Passages about polio and Alice's anguish lend a little gravity to this light and frothy read. This book will appeal to younger readers who like their paranormal stories with a dash of romantic mystery.-Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.