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Ashes to Ashes

Review

Ashes to Ashes

Sixteen-year-old Callie McPhee has no idea that her carefree and thrill-seeking life is about to change. When tragedy strikes, Callie is immediately transported to an unfamiliar place, and while grappling with her senses, she is caught unaware by Thatcher, a handsome young man who welcomes her to the Prism. It takes awhile for Callie to grasp the fact that she is no longer among the living. She is a ghost and quite unlike any that Thatcher has encountered, since the majority of ghosts that enter the Prism are void of emotional attachment to their previous lives. Callie is quite the opposite, and desperately desires to reconnect with her earthly loved ones. For the first time, she realizes she should have spent quality time with them instead of indulging in quick thrills.

[ASHES TO ASHES] is not only a narrative of one teen's ethereal journey, but also a book filled with thought-provoking messages to ponder about life and death.

Undeterred by her strong yearning to return to earth, Thatcher perseveres in preparing her to merge with Solus, the final resting place for souls. Her preparation requires the proper use of haunting --- an unobtrusive and unhurried method to help the living experience peaceful release of their departed loved ones. Callie, however, is bored to death (if that is even possible for ghosts!) by this method. She would rather follow a quicker and more direct route, which Thatcher says is dangerous because it disrupts the natural order of souls. Callie isn’t aware of just how dangerous this direct route is, nor does she realize that Thatcher is protecting her from evil that is seeking to overtake her.

Unconvinced of Thatcher's haunting technique, let alone this whole concept of Solus --- which means totally disconnecting with the earth --- Callie befriends Reena and her small entourage, who teach her how to be more involved in earthly activity by making more direct connections with her loved ones. Exhilarated by her new skills, Callie is also troubled that her newfound friends are constantly taking advantage of her energy. But when she learns that Reena has made plans that will endanger Callie’s earthly boyfriend, Nick, Callie jumps into action. But so does Thatcher, who knows that he needs to move Callie in a safe location, and do it quickly, before Reena entraps her.

Walker skillfully interlaces popular young adult themes, including serious issues frequently associated with youth, with the paranormal. I highly recommend ASHES TO ASHES to all young adult readers. It is not only a narrative of one teen's ethereal journey, but also a book filled with thought-provoking messages to ponder about life and death.

Reviewed by Anita Lock on December 17, 2013

Ashes to Ashes
by Melissa Walker