First Lines: She was tired today because of the screaming. That horrible screaming that had woken her up last night, just like it had the night before.
I’m very deliberately trying to read some of the books that have been on my to-read list for about a decade at this point and this was one of those. I have a hard time passing up a good ghost story and this one, set in Louisiana, sounded promising.
The town of St. Yvette, Louisiana, is not Miranda’s home. With her mother, Miranda is forced to move to St. Yvette to live with her grandfather after a hurricane destroyed her home. The town is idyllic–moss-covered trees, beautiful historic homes, winding lanes. But the town is hiding secrets. There’s something lonely and sad about this town, a feeling Miranda can’t shake anywhere she goes, even at school when she’s working on a group project with new friends. Miranda hears whispers no one else hears, screams no one else reacts to, shadows that no one else sees. Her new friends can see Miranda is struggling with something, and Miranda’s starting to learn that she shares her grandfather’s ability to speak to the dead…and she wants to help them.
I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be.
The story started off promising enough. Miranda is new to St. Yvette and it’s there that she starts experiencing things she can’t explain. Soon there’s some stuff about ghosts, local history, and lots of humor with her new friends.
My biggest beef was that I felt like the story wasn’t told well. The pacing felt off, for one thing. Like, Miranda finds friends pretty quickly, which is fine, but they’re ride-or-die with her in about two days. That didn’t seem realistic to me. And the way certain parts of the story are told (specifically relating to the ghosts) was confusing. There were parts where I literally couldn’t tell what just happened despite going back and rereading that section.
It also felt a lot like The Breakfast Club. Each person seemed to fit into a different stereotype. Ashley’s the cheerleader, Parker’s the football player, Roo’s the goth chick, Gage is the sweetheart, Etienne is the dark horse with a tragic backstory, and Miranda’s the seemingly “crazy” one. While I understand how they all came to be friends (there are some family links between some of them), it just seemed weird, especially given the animosity between two of them.
The ghost angle also wasn’t what I thought it would be. There was so much going on in the story as we kept jumping between school, the project, friend drama, family drama, and ghosts that nothing felt like it was being focused on long enough to get into it.
I will say that the feeling of suspense was pretty well done. There was one night, after reading a lot, that I went to bed somewhat paranoid just from reading this. So, there’s that.
It wasn’t all bad. The humor, as i mentioned a little before, was pretty good. The banter between the characters was really where it was. That was fun. I just felt like I was lacking something while reading this.