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From the author of the Light Tree trilogy, Tracy Clark, comes a hauntingly excellent book that mixes reality with the supernatural, making it hard to distinguish actuality from illusions.

Ryan Poitier is what most people would call an adrenaline junkie. Her PTSD-afflicted father owns a sky dive center, where Ryan freely spends her summer jumping off planes to fulfill her daredevil needs. After Ryan’s dad refuses to allow her to join the Dive Zone team, a group of divers who will compete in the X Games, she pulls a daring dive to prove a point, which results in her dad banning her from diving again.

"Hauntingly excellent....Tracy Clark has a writing style that is both poetic and artistic."

Seeking a way to reach that same rush that she felt when diving, Ryan agrees to try LSD with her boyfriend, Dom. This experiment lands her in the hospital with the memory of seeing a face that wasn’t hers in a mirror. After avoiding death twice, Ryan decides her life is more fragile than she originally thought. Instead of participating in the thrills, she decides to watch from the sidelines. Becoming more cautious and hopeless isn’t the only thing that’s changed about Ryan --- every time she sees her reflection she finds a face staring back that is not her own. There’s a voice in Ryan’s head constantly striking fear in her…whispering threats of death. The more Ryan sees images of this girl and her blue eyes, the more paranoid she becomes, striking terror into her family and friends. Eventually her family takes her to a psychiatrist who believes her visions are hallucinations from taking LSD. As Ryan begins losing friends and the trust of her family, she tries again to become the girl she once was and find the reason why the girl in the mirror is haunting her.

Tracy Clark has a writing style that is both poetic and artistic. She blends words together to tell a story of a girl who is terrorized by a figure she calls “Death." Throughout MIRAGE, it’s difficult to tell whether there is actually a ghost haunting Ryan, or if her visions are a cause of a mental illness triggered by taking LSD. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s not, but that is what makes this book even more interesting. Although reading MIRAGE was a bit confusing, in the end Tracy Clark pulled everything together perfectly; I couldn’t think of a better ending.

I recommend MIRAGE to those who love psychological thrillers. This novel will keep you on your toes, making you question everything that you read. It’ll be impossible to set down.

Reviewed by Asia H., Teen Board Member on July 7, 2016

by Tracy Clark