Thursday, 16 May 2013

Absent by Katie Williams

Blurb (from Goodreads):
Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school.

Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from
the roof during Physics class. Now she’s a ghost, permanently
bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn’t all bad, she can
find out everyone’s secrets, which can be amusing—for a while.
But then Paige hears something that isn’t amusing at all: the
rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death
wasn’t an accident—that she supposedly jumped on purpose.
Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do?
Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess
living people when they think of her, and she can make them do
almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl
who’s responsible for the stories. . . and have a little fun turning the tables while she’s at it.

Katie Williams’s second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of
eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly.

Absent by Katie Williams

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Absent(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Chronicle Books and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Paige is stuck. After falling from the roof of her school and dying, she’s been stuck as a ghost in the school, and every time she tries to go off school property she ends up right back where she died – the ledge of the school roof.

One day, by accident, Paige realises that she can possess people when they think of her, and she sets about dispelling the rumours that she killed herself, and setting some things straight.
Even Paige isn’t really sure what happened when she died though, and during her meddling she finds out some things that she didn’t expect, and ultimately finds out how and why she died.
What really happened to Paige? Why is everybody saying that it was suicide? And can Paige ever get the closure she needs?

This story merged the difficult topics of teen suicide and life after death, with humour and mystery, and made for an enjoyable read.

Paige came across as a typical teenage girl – she worried about the normal things – boys, clothes, what college she would be going to, and since her death she was even more concerned than usual about what people were saying about her, especially since there were rumours that she had committed suicide. I found it easy to relate to Paige and what she was going through worrying that people would think she had killed herself. It seemed only fair that she found a way to inhabit people and get a little revenge on them, and it was easy to see why she wanted to do the things that she did.

The other dead kids in the school also had mysteries surrounding their deaths, and it was nice to know that the dead kids were just as confused as the kids that were still alive. It was also nice that Paige had some friends to share her ghost-time with, and there were some surprises in store from these other kids too.

I liked the storyline in this book, it dealt with some difficult topics, but did it with humour to stop the subject matter from becoming too depressing. There were several parts that made me laugh, and I loved the observation that the school was over-run with ghost frogs who had given their lives to science as dissection studies.

I enjoyed the mystery of what had really happened to Paige, and when the answer was revealed it wasn’t what I expected at all which was good! I also liked the way this book ended, I was actually quite concerned with how it would end and whether things would be wrapped up nicely, but the author actually managed to do a pretty good job in my opinion!
Overall; a fun and enjoyable read, with an intriguing mystery, and some well-handled difficult subjects.
7 out of 10.

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  1. I haven't heard of this book till reading your review and I'm now very curious about the mystery behind the death - did Paige commit suicide?? I think I'll have to get a copy to find out. Thanks, Sarah!

  2. Wow this sounds good and right up my alley especially lately with my contemporary kick! I love when they can take such a hard a sensitive topic and include humor in it and NOT make a mess of it all. Plus the mystery elements sounds like a really good read overall!

    LOL @ ghost frogs!! I'm so glad we never had to dissect anything I would have hurled!

  3. Wow, so dark but it sounds interesting. Love the cover too.

  4. This sounds like an interesting book. I like it when a bit of humor is thrown in when dealing with difficult subjects so it doesn't get overly heavy. Thanks for your review!

  5. Hi, new follower, here! I recently read this book and came across your review. I was interested to see what you thought about it. I really enjoyed it! The cover and the premise is what caught my attention on Edelweiss, as well. I loved the ghost frogs! I'm glad there were other people--well, ghosts I guess I should say--haunting the hallways. I couldn't imagine being the only one. What actually happened to Paige completely surprised me. I would have never guessed that! I thought this added for an interesting element to the story. It no longer was just about Paige's struggle to redeem herself, so to speak. I was rather concerned about the ending too, especially with how sad the graduation scene made me. I thought Katie Williams ended it perfectly. So glad to find another reader who enjoyed it, as well :)

    My review!