Author: Lisa Schroeder
Links: Goodreads, Amazon (available as Kindle edition)
Borrowed from library by reviewer
Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl gets boy back…
Ava can’t see him or touch him, unless she’s dreaming. She can’t hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she’s crazy, but she knows he’s here.
Jackson. The boy Ava thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. He’s back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.
I first heard about this book on another blog, Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe, when Shannon did an interview with Lisa about her book. The concept completely intrigued me…a ghost story and a love story and teen angst all in one place? Of course, I immediately went out and picked this book up!
Ava Bender is 15 when she first sets eyes on Jackson. They have a fairly normal relationship throughout her sophomore year in high school until an accident happens and Jackson dies, right before the summer begins. Now Ava is lost, trying to come to grips with the first real tragedy in her life.
Jackson Montgomery is the new guy at Ava’s school. Even though he’s a junior, his shaved head and goatee make him look older, to Ava at any rate. He’s immediately drawn to Ava and their relationship is both sweet and tender.
I opened this book both excited and apprehensive. I was intrigued by the premise, and from what I had read over at RoaWS and other sites, it was a great read. But it’s in verse. Not that I don’t enjoy poetry, I do, but I was worried at how accessible the story would be based on the medium she chose to write in.
The verse of this book conveys so clearly and eloquently the fleeting, sometimes rambling, thoughts of a teen-age girl who has just suffered unthinkable tragedy. It allows the reader in, in a most intimate way, to Ava’s mind and allows you to follow her on this journey of grief, love and ultimately forgiveness.
When Jackson appeared for the first time, my heart stopped. I was so invested in Ava by this point that I felt her joy at being able to maintain the connection to the boy she cherished so dearly. And when she begins to question the long term consequences of having a ghost for a boyfriend, I keenly felt her emotions of love, determination and guilt.
The verse format also makes this book an exceedingly quick read. I was able to finish it in about two hours. And while I of course wanted to know more about the characters and what happened to them all, I felt like Lisa Schroeder ended it perfectly: tying up all the loose ends that need to be tied, but leaving enough unsaid to let you’re imagination fly.
And I’m very much looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. So please come back and let me know what you thought, either in the comments here or in the forum!
I’ll leave you with this book video that I think really captures the mood of the book: