cover image Plague in the Mirror

Plague in the Mirror

Deborah Noyes. Candlewick, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5980-6

Back home in Vermont, May's parents are splitting up and waiting for her to decide where she'll spend her last year of high school. Here in Florence, she should be eating gelato, hanging out with her old friend Liam, and helping his travel writer mother research her next book. But what's meant to be a pleasant distraction gets complicated when Cristofana, May's ghostly double, comes to visit. Cristofana has created a portal between her world%E2%80%94Florence during the plague years%E2%80%94and May's. What does she want? A trade: her world for May's. There's no reason for May to say yes, except%E2%80%94as canny, willful Cristofana knows%E2%80%94in May's first brief foray into old Florence, she fell under the spell of a handsome artist. Noyes (The Ghosts of Kerfol) has hold of a rich and haunting premise, but as May and Cristofana argue about what will or won't happen, the book starts to feel like all concept with little payoff. The problem is compounded by the fact that Cristofana%E2%80%94old before her time, with a complicated family and witchlike powers%E2%80%94is much more interesting than the under-characterized May. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. (June)