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Series: Wraith #1
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Freak. Weird. Crazy. These are the names tossed around seventeen-year old Jane Watts by her fellow classmates. But things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes there’s a reason for talking to yourself in the hallway at school.
Adjusting to her new home and school after an abrupt move, Jane wants one thing in life—to be like everyone else at school, but that’s hard to do when you’re the new kid. Although she does manage to make one friend, Evan—he’s sixteen, charming, and protective. Everything a girl could want in a best friend…with one minor caveat.
Caught somewhere between life and death, Evan is tied to Jane and the living world unable to complete the journey to the other side. She thinks he’s here to be her friend, to take care of her, and that’s why no one can see or hear him.
That is until a new boy shows up at school after a rumored stretch in Juvie. Connor can see Evan and he’s not convinced the ghost is being completely honest. From his own experience ghosts tend to need something from the humans they connect to and Evan, despite his arguments isn’t any different.
Jane is resentful of Connor’s intrusion but realizes soon enough he’s right. Evan has secrets about his past and not only did his life end tragically but members of his family are still in danger. Jane must face her fears and battle Evan’s human demons to free both of them.
The last star is generous, but it’s not like Wraith didn’t earn it. It’s got its issues here and there–mostly of the editing kind–but other than that, there’s no real reason not to admit that “I really liked it.”
I began this book extremely cynical. I have a bad habit of glancing through free/super cheap e-books and slurping them up even if they only sound very remotely tolerable. Often, I am so wrong, it’s not even funny. I tried to read like 5 different e-books between this one and the last one that I finished before deciding to give it a go.
So then I was introduced to Jane Watts, freaky girl extraordinaire. Things progressed at a rather typical rate for a few chapters, so I put it down for a while. (Please note: I went into the thing optimistically after reading, like.. 1%. But then I got all vindictive and asshole-ish after a scene where some guy strangles another guy for messing with his graffiti. I was sure he was destined to follow behind a long line of epically fucked up YA love interests.)
But then, one day, I decided I needed to make some progress on my e-book read (I think, because I’d read through so many physical books and even audiobooks and I wanted to further my reading on the fronts of all formats). I certainly didn’t expect to be so taken in with Jane and Connor’s story! Wow!
My favorite part of the whole thing was their relationship. Yeah, there were some other-girl, he’s-such-a-player moments, but it was a little ungrounded on Connor’s part. And I love the way Jane totally got settled into herself and who she was, both with and without Connor’s help. I love that they didn’t do the whole insta-love thing, or the stalker thing (even though Jane accuses him of it–LIES, WOMAN!), or the potential wife-beater thing with their relationship. It was real and honest and imperfect and it worked for them. It was great. :]
I also fell in love with the tone. Wraith really laid it on thick in terms of topics it had to tackle: mental illness, spousal abuse, parental misunderstandings, peer pressure, social misfittery, seeing fuckin dead people, &c. Yeah. So things could get pretty heavy at at moment, but, surprisingly, there were a lot of lighthearted moments that were either all fluff or still meaningful without choking me with heavydarkdoomgloom. Ava was great as a first best friend, and she was just plain fun. Usually girls serve no other function than to annoy me bonkers, even when that’s not really their purpose, but her and Jane’s friendship gave me a genuine good feeling overall. Some parts were even funny! Case in point:
I turned the page and pointed my finger at a younger, much less serious-looking Connor in the book. I studied the picture closer. He may have been stoned.
My only complaints have to do with the editing. There were a lot of glaringly visible mistakes that could’ve been rectified with a quick once-over the manuscript. Also the pace went a little fast, but now that I think about how it wasn’t really that long, it fits.
Very happy I came across this little gem. Need paperback (after editing occurs).