Tuesday, April 2, 2013
ARC Review: Absent
Absent by Katie Williams
Chronicle Books, 2013
YA Contemporary Ghost Mystery
Scheduled to release May 21 (originally April 1, which is why this post is ready)
Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I never think of myself as a fan of paranormal stories but I do have a huge soft spot for ghost stories. When I saw that this book had a ghost with the bonus of being set entirely at a school, I knew I wanted to read it.
Paige, Brooke, and Evan are ghosts tied to their high school due to it being the scene of their deaths. Paige somehow fell from the school's roof while Brooke overdosed in the bathroom (Evan's story is best left til you read it in the book itself). When a popular girl states that Paige jumped, she is outraged but seemed calmed by discovering that she can possess the body of anyone when they think about her, something she uses both for good and evil throughout the story as she tries to set the record straight and repair her reputation. The lives and deaths of Brooke and Evan are also entwined on this journey.
Paige was kind of a loner in life, with only one real friend and living as a secret hook-up for a popular boy. After her death, she sees the cliques of school more clearly and learns what an impact she can have. There are many secrets in this book: the quiet pain of people, their crushes, and all the issues people deal with while in high school and throughout life.
My overall impression of this book was that it was pretty quiet and intense; you could read it in one sitting as it's pretty short. Although there are melancholy moments (because an awful lot of people are in pain), I felt like the book ended on a hopeful note. I especially liked the way Evan's story was handled-I predicted his plot but it still pleased me. I don't feel like there was any real standout moment or element but the whole was pretty cohesive and pleasing especially if you like stories set in high schools, with some mystery, and/or with ghosts.
Cover: Very appropriate-the butterfly lines up with an important event in the book.