Lily Dale: Awakening

Wendy Corsi Staub, Author . Walker & Co. $15.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8027-9654-7

Staub (the College Life 101 series) returns to the scene of her bestselling adult thriller In the Blink of an Eye for the slick opener of the Lily Dale series. Readers meet Calla the summer before her senior year of high school as she attends her mother's funeral, devastated by her mother's accidental death. While her father looks for a rental in California, where he has earned a sabbatical, Calla opts to stay with a grandmother she barely knows in small (and real) Lily Dale, N.Y. (also the site of this summer's The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, reviewed 7/30). Upon arrival, she discovers that the town is a Victorian throwback—a spiritualist community populated by mediums, among them her grandmother Odelia. As Calla slowly warms up to offbeat Odelia and recovers from her dismay at the quaintness of Lily Dale (no e-mail and no cell-phone reception), figures invisible to others begin appearing to her, and a recurring nightmare afflicts her as well. Could she, too, share her grandmother's powers? Calla is doubting but open-minded, and her BFF Lisa, who comes to visit near the end, provides a vivid foil with her open disdain for the town. The sympathetic protagonist and the trendy paranormal premise make up for the loose development of the plot, which is slowed by several predictable story lines involving romantic rivals. When the ending wraps up one mystery only to intensify another, readers will be impatient for the next installment. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-8027-9655-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 228 pages - 978-0-8027-9843-5
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