cover image Here Lies Olive

Here Lies Olive

Kate Anderson. Flux, $14.99 paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-63583-091-0

Anderson presents a fresh, multilayered exploration of grief and trauma set against an engaging supernatural mystery that evokes urban legends and ghost stories in this atmospheric debut. Ever since nearly dying due to an undiagnosed shellfish allergy several years ago, 17-year-old Olive has been obsessed with discovering what happens after death, in the process closing herself off from friends and family. Hoping to find someone to answer her questions about the afterlife, she conducts a ritual to summon a spirit and encounters Jay, a ghost who died a century ago. In exchange for information, Olive agrees to help him find his grave so he can finally rest. She’s aided by her ex-best-friend Davis, popular Maren, and newcomer Vanessa, each of whom has their own motives for assisting Olive in investigating the dark history of their New Mexico town. But something is stalking the teens in the night, and it may be tied to Jay’s presence among the living. As Olive slowly relearns emotional vulnerability, her complicated rivalry turned romance with Maren unfolds naturally into an undeniable growing chemistry. A melancholy tone and soulful prose support the book’s careful attention to complex issues. Most characters are white; Davis is of Navajo descent. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sharon Belcastro, Belcastro Agency. (Oct.)