Disclaimer: I read an ARC of this book, and there may be some small changes in the final edition. This book will be released on September 1st.
I would recommend this book for ages eleven and up.
Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.
Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost. (Goodreads)
Middle grade books can go one of two ways. There is the simplistic and childish book or the simplistic and beautifully lyrical book. I normally avoid middle grade because 90% of the time it is the childish type of book. Thankfully this was not one of those and I loved it. I went into this book knowing nothing and assuming it was some sort of middle grade horror. I was totally wrong and I’m so glad that I was. This book was so beautifully written and the only other writing style I could compare it to is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Everything felt so whimsical and light, but the story itself was anything but that.
Another thing about this book is that there were not many characters, because of that, if felt like this book was in its own part of the world with no more than ten people in it. That added onto the dream like feel that this book encompassed. Since this book is so short, I wasn’t sure how attached I would feel to the characters or the stories, but because of the small amount of characters I loved every single one of the people involved in Pram’s story.
One thing that I really appreciated that Lauren DeStefano added, was the strong parental figures that were represented. There are almost never any parents in books and characters can do whatever they want. Pram lives with her two aunts and they are probably the best parental figures that I have ever read in a book. The friendships in this book were so beautifully written and believable and I felt attached to every one of the relationships. I loved how even though Felix is a ghost, he was represented as an imaginary friend. Felix would mention that some things Pram did was a step closer to her outgrowing him. I loved how the first “ghost” that Pram saw was a bug and how she progressively started to see humans. Everything about this book was beautiful and heart warming and I recommend it. Also, the song “Strange Birds” by Birdy fits this book so perfectly it’s almost creepy.
This book had no swearing or romance. There was mild violence including some description of someone being hung and drowned.
Other notables: Pram and Clarence have a lot contact with a spiritualist in their town and go to her shows a couple of times.
Five Out Of Five Stars
Pages: 226 (ARC edition)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Buy Book Here: Amazon