cover image Notes from Ghost Town

Notes from Ghost Town

Kate Ellison. Egmont USA, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60684-264-5

It’s been almost a year since 16-year-old Olivia’s first love, Stern, was murdered and Olivia’s schizophrenic mother confessed to the crime. Almost simultaneously, Olivia, an aspiring artist, turned color blind, which she has taken as a sign that she, too, is becoming schizophrenic. As Olivia’s father prepares to remarry and helps develop a Floridian luxury condo complex (the Ghost Town of the title), Olivia is visited by the ghost of Stern, who believes that Olivia’s mother was not his killer. Olivia begins to look into the murder, fully aware that the visions of Stern could be part of her assumed mental illness. Ellison (The Butterfly Clues) effectively turns up the tension as Olivia herself becomes a target. While the fraught romance between art-school dropout Olivia and antagonistic rich boy Austin, the stepson of one of her father’s business partners, is a bit too familiar, Olivia’s fears of following in her mother’s footsteps are sympathetic, and it’s easy to get drawn into the novel’s paranormally tinged mystery. A Paper Lantern Lit property. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.)