Friday, June 29, 2012
Me on Ghost Flower
Author: Michele Jaffe
Release Date: April 20, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)
Eve's a runaway, working in a coffee shop outside Tuscon when she's approached by two siblings who say she bears a creepily uncanny resemblance to their missing cousin Aurora. Soon, Eve's drawn into a scheme to get Aurora's inheritance to split with Bain and Bridgette, only there's more to pretending to be someone than meets the eye. Like how Aurora's best friend Liza died and Aurora went missing the same night. Like how Liza's ghost is haunting Eve, hurting people as a form of "protection." It doesn't take her long to realize she has to find out the truth of what happened that night, what happened to Liza and to Aurora, before she's next to disappear.
Ghost Flower is very mysterious, very much a thriller for a teen audience. Fast-paced, dark and dangerous, Eve, and the reader, is always on the lookout, always trying to figure out what happened in the past and what will happen in the near future. It feels like a fairy tale, a struggling girl discovered by two people willing to make her over and have her pretend so they can all get something out of it, but if Eve's not careful, the ending will be anything but a happy ever after.
Eve is really damaged at the start of the book, she's on the run, she's got some hidden shadows in her past that she wants to keep hidden, and then she's tossed into an unfamiliar situation with half-truths and possible lies. It's very interesting when the reader is tossed into a story blind along with the narrator. The author's left you to feel your way around, it's like standing on the outside watching while you've been forced to be on centre stage.
While the book is fast-paced, there were some parts where the story slowed, like the beginning. It took a little to get into the story, to get into Eve's head as she got into Aurora's head. There's also the ghost aspect which sort of takes this book into the realm of the paranormal, but it didn't for me. It felt expected, that Liza's ghost was bound to haunt Aurora when she returned, imposter or not.
Still, in a market where there doesn't seem to be a lot of YA contemporary mysteries like the author's previous Rosebush or the upcoming Ten by Gretchen McNeil, this book holds up as a thrilling tale that will keep readers guessing who's the culprit. At the very end, even I was surprised.
(I own a copy of this book.)