Absent by Katie Williams
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published: May 21st, 2013 by Chronicle Books
When seventeen-year-old Paige dies in a freak fall from the roof during Physics class, her spirit is bound to the grounds of her high school. At least she has company: her fellow ghosts Evan and Brooke, who also died there. But when Paige hears the rumor that her death wasn't an accident--that she supposedly jumped on purpose--she can't bear it. 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 to the most popular girl in school and stop the rumors once and for all.
I love books with ghosts, especially those that aren't actually scary. I don't think ghosts really have to be scary and I think it's silly that the library sticker has it labeled as horror. This book wasn't scary in the 'horror' sense of it, but it's scary in the more realistic ways. It's scary that teens do the things they do (adults too, actually), it's scary how some people will treat other humans, it's scary that we all can't be a little more open minded and accepting... I think you get my point. The scary parts have to do with the stupidity of humans. I can see how the thought of a ghost possessing humans can be scary, and in some books it would work as horror, in this one it was- and it wasn't. It wasn't really scary for me though and I'm about the biggest chicken you'll find (seriously, I can't even watch most TV, it's too scary for me).
Everyone has a different opinion of whether ghosts are real. I personally know they are. (Yes, not think, but know.) I think the idea of the kids dying and being stuck in the school and totally knowing what's going on, being lucid and not stuck in the past or something, is maybe less realistic- but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book. I liked that these three different ghosts can communicate, at least they weren't alone, right? And I enjoyed Paige's character even though she was a bit dark and angry, I could totally understand why. I felt through the book that there had to be something else going on, that there was this mystery that needed to be solved, but the clues weren't obvious enough for me, I didn't get even close to figuring things out.
The writing in this book is really good. It's done in a way that I don't know exactly how to explain how or why it was remarkable, but it was. It was also impossible to put down, so it's a good thing it's a short book. Even though it's 184 pages, those are long pages. I felt I could cruise through the book in an hour and that wasn't the case. So it is smaller print or something. Either way, it's still a fast read and I enjoyed every moment. I particularly liked reading a book that was ridiculously hard to put down.
I most definitely recommend this one to people who enjoy reading about this subject, as long as you are aware this isn't some horrifically scary story. Be prepared to sit and read for a few hours though, cause once you start- you won't stop until you're done!