Haunt Me
Haunt Me
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Annotation: When her family moves to a new house, Erin encounters the spirit of the teenage boy, Joe, who used to live there, and meets Olly, who is still trying to adjust to his brother Joe's death, at her new school.
Catalog Number: #138271
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 371 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-9162-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-9162-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017946238
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Bullying, suicide, drugs, betrayal plot summary makes it sound like just another problem novel. But Kessler's delicate portrayal builds empathy for the three characters who share narrating duties: Olly, whose brother Joe has recently died; Erin, who moves into Joe's room; and Joe's ghost, who can communicate with Erin. Erin and Joe begin falling for each other; Joe is the first person outside Erin's family with whom she shares her own difficult story suicide attempt after constant bullying at her old school, resulting in the family's move to a new town. Likewise, through his talks with Erin, Joe slowly begins to accept and understand his death. Meanwhile, Erin and Olly are increasingly drawn to each other. Will Erin cheat on her ghostly boyfriend with his own brother? Chapter headings announcing each narrator help clarify the exposition, and distinctly different narrative voices let the reader see each character through multiple points of view. The jargon-free British setting will not deter American readers.
Kirkus Reviews
Her family moved to give Erin a fresh start, and, for the first time—though she'd gladly settle for going unnoticed—someone sees her clearly: Joe, the dead boy whose room she now occupies. The pendant Erin finds in her closet sparks their connection, as do the passionate, unhappy poems he's scrawled on the closet walls; her own writing's helped Erin survive years of chronic anxiety and bullying. Unclear on how he died or why he's confined to his bedroom, Joe regains a physical presence when Erin's present—they can even touch—but when she leaves the room, he drifts into an insubstantial half life. When his terror manifests physically, he's exorcized (against Erin's wishes) and reawakens in another former refuge, a seaside cove. Sensing his time is running out, helpless to move beyond his rocky prison, Joe clings to Erin, his remaining hold on a world no longer his. Meanwhile, Erin forges a friendship with Joe's older brother, Olly: handsome, popular, athletic, and very much alive. For Olly, consumed with guilt and grief since Joe's death, Erin's his path to a new life. Kessler delicately plumbs emotional depths, avoiding easy outs. With narration alternating among them, the three principals, all white, are well-drawn, but the increasingly desperate Joe exerts the strongest pull on readers. Though dead, the charismatic Joe tows this delicate romance from the genre shallows into deeper, darker waters, where holding onto love literally separates life from death. (Paranormal romance. 12-17)
Publishers Weekly
Kessler (Read Me Like a Book) complicates a traditional love triangle in unexpected and moving ways, alternating between the perspectives of two 16-year-olds. Erin was in an accident when she was 11, and she never found her footing in secondary school, which led to a friendless and bullied existence; her only solace is her poetry. Joe felt similarly isolated before he died, finding his voice by writing song lyrics. Shortly after Joe-s death, his family moves out of their home, and Erin-s family moves in. Joe recognizes Erin as a kindred spirit and slowly reveals himself to her. Through a mutual understanding of each other-s angst and loneliness, the two fall in love. But an affair between a ghost and a living girl doesn-t come without complications, the biggest of which is Joe-s older brother, Olly, who is also seeking a way to connect with Joe. This thoroughly romantic story is heartbreaking but hopeful: Kessler gives Joe a reason to cross over, and Olly and Erin a reason to live. Ages 12-up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpErin and Joe share a room. One of them is dead. Tragedies are behind the moves of both families. Joe's family leaves the house, and Erin's family moves in. Erin and Joe become aware of each other, and both desire a relationship, despite the chasm of death between them. This work alternates between Erin's and Joe's first-person perspectives. Erin struggles to come out of her shell and make friends in her new town and school. Her wish for a human connection drives her infatuation with Joe. The narrative begins with Joe watching his parents and brother leave the house. He doesn't yet realize that he is dead. Trapped in his room, unable to touch people or objects unless he feels strongly about them, Joe becomes engrossed with Erin. The novel deals with issues of death, bullying, grief, and suicide in a nonpatronizing way. There is also a predictable love triangle. Fans of Twilight and other paranormal romance titles will enjoy the impossible situation in which Erin and Joe find themselves. The more serious themes are dealt with adequately, though they serve as more of a backdrop to the plot. VERDICT A serviceable addition to paranormal romance collections.Maureen Sullivan, Calumet City Public Library, IL
Voice of Youth Advocates
Erin has moved with her family for a fresh start. She loves her new bedroom, even when she sees Joe, the former occupant who is now a ghost. Once she begins talking to Joe, they discover they both share a love of poetry and feel a strong connection. Joe’s older brother, Olly, attends the same school as Erin. Olly used to be popular and ruled the school until Joe died. After his brother’s death, his grief and guilt consumed him. After a chance meeting with Erin, the two strike up a friendship. Erin is torn between the two brothers, one living, one dead. Erin is in love with Joe but he is a ghost. She is attracted to Olly, but he is Joe’s brother. Erin wrestles with her decision as she tries to overcome her past.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Wed Mar 01 00:00:00 CST 2017)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Thu Jun 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Discussion Guide: Haunt Me Discussion Guide

Haunting and intensely romantic, Liz Kessler’s latest novel features a teen girl for whom falling in love could mean losing her heart — and maybe her life.

When her family moves after a rough year, Erin feels instantly at home in her new bedroom — even after she realizes that she’s not the only one occupying it. As Erin becomes accustomed to Joe, the spirit of the teenage boy who lived in the room before her, she starts to sense an inexplicable connection between them. Meanwhile, Joe’s brother, Olly, is trying to find a new normal since his brother passed away. Before Joe died, Olly was king of the school — and it’s not until Olly meets a new girl that he realizes just how many ways he’s changed . . . including the type of girl he could fall for. And when Erin finds herself caught between two brothers, and two choices, will her decision destroy her completely, or can she save herself before she’s lost forever? From Liz Kessler, the best-selling author of Read Me Like a Book, comes a young adult novel about how love can overcome the ultimate divide.


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