Ghosting

Edith Pattou . Amazon/Skyscape, $16.99 (392p) ISBN 978-1-4778-4774-9
Pattou (East) establishes a precarious narrative structure for this story of a prank gone tragically wrong, told in eight different voices (nine counting the police chief) and through free verse. The results are mixed: some characters are vividly drawn, including Maxie, who used to live in town and has moved back in time for senior year; Anil, the smart boy who's astonished to find himself dating beautiful Chloe; and Chloe herself. But that leaves more than half the characters—Emma and Felix, once Maxie's best friends; Emma's boyfriend and sister; and the lonely boy who lives near the graveyard—feeling more like outlines. Pattou's verse is frequently lovely, providing arresting imagery, yet the format can seem arbitrary, often scanning more like sentences with line breaks than words that have found their necessary form. The chief strength in this tale of the bad luck and bad choices that lead to violence isn't the climactic central event; it's watching these disparate teens, particularly Anil and Maxie, relate to one another. The overburdened storytelling provides only glimpses of these powerful moments. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 08/19/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 423 pages - 978-1-4778-4789-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-6635-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-2963-8
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