Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler

Thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this book.  I really enjoyed the other book I read by this author, The Dark Between.  While I'm still hoping for a sequel to that book, this was definitely a good standalone story.  Another kind of creepy story at parts, although really, the creepiness was almost explained away in some parts, but then when it came back into play, you knew it was real.  I also liked the background of the house that was the focus of the story.  The way it was built up, was perfect.  While you got details as the story went on, there weren't any really big info dumps that would be boring and they left just enough out to keep you intrigued and wondering, and having to read on.

The main character is a girl named Avery, I believe she is about 11 years old?  Anyway, her brother has decided he is too old for their normal summer make believe activities.  So now she is mad, but soon finds another friend to hang out with.  She and her brother are staying with her grandmother for the summer, with their mom coming to visit for a short time.  But on her grandmother's family property, there is a little cottage she rents out. This year a boy named Julian, who is a year or so older, is staying there with his father, who turns out to be a famous country music star, and his younger sister who shows up a little bit later.  There is a house on the property that Avery and her brother have been forbidden to go into.  It seems when she was younger, she'd disappeared and then been found in the house, and there was something really scary about it.  Julian likes to make movies, and so he decides he wants to make a scary movie about the house.  Partly because one night when he is out filming alone, there is a light on in the house.  Avery has to steal the key to the house from her grandmother, so that they can sneak in to film.  While there some things may happen, but Avery doesn't know if they are real, or being staged by Julian and his sister. One night things go too far.  After that Avery doesn't want to be around Julian anymore.  She's embarrassed and angry.  But it has also inspired her to find out more about the history of the house, as well as the people who lived there.  This includes interviewing an elderly, bedridden lady who used to be friends with the little girl who last lived there. 

Avery and Julian and their siblings will take the things they learn and do what they can to make the ghost in the house feel ready to move on. 

I really liked the way the story was wrapped up.  I felt the characters were pretty realistic, brothers and sisters, and grandmothers and parents.  I think this would be a great middle school level book, and will probably be recommending this to other librarians in my school district for sure.