Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother.
After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists.
With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?
Annaliese? Or herself?
I've seen mixed reviews about this book, but this reader absolutely adored it. It had a fabulous combination: regret, guilt, secrets, ghosts, forgiveness, acceptation, determination, courage, unconditional love. I mean, what's not to like?
Rinn is fabulous heroine. She's speckled with flaws, not to mention has a past that many of us would rather forget, but she does her best to trudge forward. It was so interesting to get into the head of someone who battles with herself daily. She has an eyebrow-raising past filled with defiance, sleeping around, and drugs. We don't see this Rinn though, just through her memories; the Rinn we meet wants more than for history to repeat itself. She shoulders an unbelievable burden ~ she thinks she killed her grandmother, she knows she's "crazy," and despite all that she's been through and put others through, she just wants to deserve some kind of normality.
She finds it at first, making friends and even dating. But she still has her secret ~ no one knows about her illness, and she'd like to keep it that way. It isn't until Annaliese starts trouble that Rinn's past rises to the surface, and she discovers that, despite it all, people still love her. She has her mother, her father, and a great guy who accepts her for who she is.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not saying that all of Annaliese's antics were worth it. She terrifies people, steals their greatest strengths, and even takes their lives. She's a vengeful ghost ~ she was wronged and she needs her retribution. All I can say is that Rinn's illness comes in handy here ~ she's the only one with the state of mind to stop Annaliese.
The writing style of this novel was fluid and witty, and Rinn's voice is consistently snarky and hilarious. The story reveals itself slowly, drawing us in further a little at a time, as a good novel should.
The personalities are distinct and relatable. I felt a connection with all the characters, their emotions, quirks, and traits tangible throughout the pages. Even Annaliese, who's an invisible force at first, has a unique "voice." But Rinn, is by far, my favorite. She just deals with so much more than any sixteen-year-old should have to. She's strong, determined, and accepts herself for who she is, flaws and all. It's about forgiveness ~ forgiving others and forgiving yourself.
Now, this is a stand-alone novel, but the ending left readers...I'll just say 'wondering.' I think I reread the last paragraph three or four times just to make sure I was understanding it right. It's left up the reader's imagination to determine what happens next. This could be frustrating for some, but I thought it was the perfect ending. It leaves you thinking about the book long after you've finished reading.
Oh, and I've got a little addition to this review: a soundtrack! Or at least my version of what could be the soundtrack for this novel....
:hurt by nine inch nails:
:meds by placebo:
:unwell by matchbox twenty:
:crash by cavo:
:ghosts 1-3 by nine inch nails:
:dark come soon by tegan and sara:
Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~