Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Phoebe Rivers
Publisher: Simon Spotlight
Sara is still adjusting to her new surroundings and new school. The ghost of a former gym teacher makes her second day awkward and embarrassing. She is just starting to fit into her group when a new ghost gets her involved in the Harvest Queen Pageant. Sara meets her first crush, Jayden, but a dark shadow pushes her away from him and complicates everything. Sara's friends urge her to compete for the Harvest Queen, and even Jayden helps out. When she is crowned queen, the town helps one spirit find eternal peace. Her landlady Azura uncovers her secret and begins sharing what she knows about the paranormal. That leaves Sara with two persistent ghosts, a mentor, and all the problems of a pre-teen to deal with as the book ends.
This is a good entertaining read and is very appropriate for its target audience. Sara is caught up in the usual pre-teen dramas, with the kicker that she can also see and communicate with the dead. Being able to talk with the spirits is a new development, and probably the result of Azura's powers feeding into Sara's. Some children's novels make great adult reading as well, but this is specifically pre-teen fare only. Sara is friendly, responsible, and capable which makes her and her friends a good role model. The story is a bit predictable and, at one point, a little too dramatic and cliche, but picks back up and moves forward to a good solid ending. This book and its subject are not for everyone, but overall it is a good story for girls who are into ghosts, boys, and makeup.