Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5
Nate has been able to see ghosts since he was twelve but ever since then, the ghosts in his life have seen him labelled as a freak and become the high school outcast, till James Powell, the new guy in school sits beside him in lunch. But even if Nate can find a friend and maybe, more in James, the question is will James stick around once he finds out the truth?
James has issues, his brother recently died and he doesn’t believe that his death was just an accident. Being friends with Nate might just be the thing that lifts up his spirits but he isn’t ready to give up the ghost of his brother yet. What he doesn’t know is that Nate might have all the answers to his questions, if he is just ready to believe him…
This book is a new adult romance and it combines the loneliness of being an outcast with the giddiness of falling in love for the first time. The fact that Nate can see ghosts doesn’t impact the present of this story very much it is used more as a tool for setting up the story. Basically don’t expect him to be mediating ghosts or solving their unfinished businesses so that they can move on, which was something that I was maybe expecting somewhere in the back of my mind but it doesn’t happen a fact that I later enjoyed because it let the romance be the focus. I feel like the allegory of seeing ghosts is just a metaphor for being accepted for who you are cracks and all or in this case seeing ghosts and all.
I liked the writing and the premise for this book about having a secret and how it impacts how you approach love especially if you think that your secret might lead to rejection. But even though this book had me interested and invested in the story, a lot of the side characters rubbed me the wrong way especially in the beginning, either because by the end I had gotten used to them or more likely because of the fact that the author had more of a handle on them later. Nate’s Nana was one such character. I just couldn’t get behind her. She seemed to drop in on Nate at all times and made the words “invasion of privacy” pop up in my head a bit too much. I just didn’t get the need for such a character because she was dead and her presence just seemed important to keep reminding us that Nate could see ghosts.
Also I couldn’t get behind the concept (I say concept because she is not actually a character in this book) of Nate’s mother, I just don’t get why she would reject Nate just because he saw ghosts. A person facing this situation unprepared might get frazzled, leading to a sense of incompetence which might make you feel inadequate enough that you push away your own child but how does a woman who grew up with a mother able to perceive ghosts, even if in a limited way, become unable to handle a similar situation in her son. In the first place I don’t get why she was frightened it was not like she could see them even if Nate were to tell her they were there and the whole point being that wouldn’t she be used to the fact that there were ghosts around by this point seeing as she had probably grown up knowing ghosts existed. I just don’t get how Nate’s mother is ever going to be anywhere close to being worthy of forgiveness. Also, I feel like this dislike towards Nate’s mother rubbed of a little on my perception of Sarah, Nate’s sister. I just didn’t get how she could be a happy-go-lucky person when her mother could possibly abandon her if she was even a little bit different from the mould and also then turn against family members who tried to help. And the worst part is that this was not only a fable for Sarah because she saw her brother every day at school, if that doesn’t make for a messed up childhood, I don’t know what qualifies.
Okay so that’s the end of my rant, now onto what I loved about this book. I loved Nate and James they were two wonderful characters apart and together. Nate had this quiet strength about him that he would fight and stay afloat no matter how much life threw him down. On the other hand what I loved about James is that he never took the easy way, he took the hard path because it was right and stayed his course. These two were just so amazing together, seeing them fall in love made me crave that sensation of falling in love for the first time.
I loved how their story is constructed – slow and sweet, it takes its time building up before giving us what we want. It was fun reading their story, seeing these two navigate the path to finding love and happiness. I really hope this is the beginning to Nate finally taking chances and making friends now that he knows that people are capable of accepting him.
I really liked this story because of its main characters and the way the plot unfolds because the story is just magical, it seems to flood you with the feelings of acceptance and love which make you smile and enjoy the ride.
Cover Art by Natasha Snow. The cover is beautiful.
Expected publication: March 20th 2017 by NineStar Press