Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Format: 30 Chapters
First Line: “I stood perfectly still, looking up at the house and the dark sky beyond it.”
Description from Book:
Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence: dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage, like her doll-crazy thirteen-year-old sister, Kasey — even like her own antisocial, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family argument results in tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction to danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever — sometimes she just… changes. Her blue eyes go green; she uses odd, old-fashioned language; and she loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough for the girls to see their breath.
Alexis wants to believe it’s all in her head, but soon what she used to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening — to her, to her family, and to her budding relationship with the vice president of her class. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey; but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?
Topics Covered: family relationships, love, paranormal, possession, teenagers
My Review: I don’t typically read young adult novels, just out of personal preference. Despite this, I’m hoping my review of a young adult novel isn’t completely off-base since the genre is relatively new to me. I found an ARC of this book years ago and it sat tucked away on my shelf. During time off from school and work, I picked up the book in hopes of a light, quick read.
This young adult novel showcases turbulent times for two sisters, Alexis and Kasey. Alexis, the older sister, is slightly rebellious and goes against the grain in any way provided – especially when it comes to her school involvement and friendships. She is a gothic photographer who cringes at the mere idea of school spirit and cheerleaders. Kasey, the younger sister, is peculiar and at times eccentric. Before long, Alexis is experiencing odd sensations and events at her home, making her personal and school-life difficult to juggle every day. To make matters worse, Kasey has become obsessed with childhood items and is acting oddly, including her eye color changing during times of anger. Alexis ultimately has to befriend her enemies in desperation to help her sister, save her home, and find herself.
The story is easy to follow and quickly builds with suspense. The reader will find themselves pondering over the mystery behind Kasey’s oddities, while also reminiscently smiling over the typical rebellious teenage actions of Alexis. While Alexis and Kasey take the main stage in the novel, there are some secondary characters such as Alexis’ friend/enemy, her crush, and her mother. The secondary characters are not built up and play simply in support of the main characters. With that said, the secondary characters also add details to the main characters, as they present struggles and challenges.
During the climax of the book, the mystery behind Kasey’s behavior is exposed, but the story doesn’t stop there. The details and story attached to the reasoning for Kasey’s behavior will draw readers in, raising eyebrows at a sordid past event. After finishing the book, I felt as though I wanted more information. Sure enough, the author, Katie Alender, eventually expanded this book to be a series. The other books in the series are merrily being added to my ‘To Be Read’ list; I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Overall Rating: 4/5
The last thing I saw before I fell asleep was the faintest trace of a glow on the spindly branches of the oak tree outside my window. Curious fireflies, I told myself sleepily. So curious that they’d found a way to follow us upstairs without actually coming into the house.