Title: Haunt Me
Author: Liz Kessler
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Received as an ARC from YALC
Summary (from Goodreads)
Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new room. Even if it appears she isn’t the only one living in it. Bit by bit, Erin and Joe discover that they have somehow found a way across the ultimate divide – life and death. Bound by their backgrounds, a love of poetry and their growing feelings for each other, they are determined to find a way to be together.
Joe’s brother, Olly, never cared much for poetry. He was always too busy being king of the school – but that all changed when Joe died. And when an encounter in the school corridor brings him face to face with Erin, he realises how different things really are – including the kind of girl he falls for.
Two brothers. Two choices. Will Erin’s decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she is lost forever?
I’m struggling a little to express my thoughts about this one, beyond saying ‘it was super cute, you should read it.’
Which makes it sound like it was candy floss – sweet and nice, but made of air. It wasn’t. It deals with some quite challenging themes – bullying, self harm, drug taking, suicide, loss of a sibling and anxiety. All three of the main characters are in dark places, and through their relationships, come to find new peace.
I guess the reason it’s as fluffy and cute as it was is because the focus is very much on the romance – the giddy, butterflies in the stomach feeling of connecting with someone, to the intense, consuming obsession of young love. The bad stuff is a way for the characters to connect, to understand each other at a deeper, more meaningful level, and though Kessler doesn’t shy away from showing how horrible and difficult their lives can be, there’s something in the tone from the very beginning that reassures you that everything is going to be just fine.
So, a cute, lovely read, perfect for summer holidays. Would go particularly well with candy floss.