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Jill Hathaway. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-207790-5

Hathaway debuts with a gripping paranormal thriller that takes the concept of “empathy” to a new level. Whenever high school junior Vee Bell comes in contact with an object another person has touched, she unwillingly “slides” into his or her mind, leaving her own body vulnerable. After she awakens beside the corpse of a cheerleader named Sophie— ­a friend recently betrayed by Sophie’s younger sister, Mattie—Vee realizes she’s in the body of a killer. Everyone assumes Sophie’s death was a suicide, and Mattie is guilt-ridden. When another cheerleader dies, Vee decides to recognize her ability as a gift and solve the mystery before her sister becomes the next victim. The shifting perspectives—as Vee enters the bodies of her friends, love interest Rollins, and others—give the story an exhilarating momentum and an absorbing, cinematic quality. The interactions between Vee, Mattie, and their withdrawn father are especially well-done, as all three try to remember how to be a family five years after the death of the girls’ mother. An emotionally taut mystery with depth. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (Apr.)