Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Young Adult / Ghost story
Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words
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J. Rudolph lives in
Southern California with her family,
collects turtles, and gathers nursing supplies for the zombie apocalypse. She
is also a nurse and a full-time mother. This is her third novel and her first
foray with ghosts. You can learn more about her on her website or join up with
her on facebook.
Hadley Conley has a perfect life; she is in love and about to graduate from high school. She has plans to head off to college with her boyfriend Seth after summer vacation, eventually get married, have children, and live happily ever after. But plans change when she is murdered walking home alone after a party.
Hadley seems to have it all; she has no real enemies at school, parents who love each other, and a caring boyfriend. Her head is in the clouds when she decides to walk home from a graduation party, after all it is just a few blocks from her house, and nothing could go wrong, right? Ms. Rudolph captured Hadley’s invincible spirit in this story. When she is attacked on the way home we are right there with her. This story is told through her eyes, even as she wakes up dead and her spirit struggles to come to grips with that fact.
Ms. Rudolph showed a realistic grasp of the teenage mind as Hadley tried to make sense of her death and how this tragedy affected her closest friends. One of the most haunting elements is how Hadley’s spirit affected her parents. Hadley struggles to solve her own murder as she learns about new abilities she now possesses.
The plot moves forward at a realistic pace as Hadley’s misjudgments and mistakes come into play. She is no super hero with awesome powers in this story. She never saw the person who killed her and the police have very little evidence to go on. When Hadley notices a girl watching her, she is delighted to have a person she can communicate with. Cailynn can see and talk to ghosts and together they investigate the likely suspects. The twist toward the end of the story was compelling and something I never saw coming. There are monsters in the most unsuspecting places. This heartbreaking story left me with a satisfied feeling of hope that healing will now begin for all who were touched by these tragic events. Nice job, Ms. Rudolph.
No significant editing issues.
Rating: ***** Five stars