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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Gr. 9-12. In sensuous prose, Helen, who has been dead for 130 years, describes what it's like to live as Light, clinging to a human host, then reentering an empty human body and becoming physically and emotionally attuned to the world. Helen is startled when she realizes that a student in her host's English class can see her. James, too, is Light, but he has taken over the body of Billy, who almost overdosed on drugs. Their joy at finding one another turns quickly to love, and James helps Helen locate an empty body that she can inhabit. Fellow student Jennifer seems the perfect choice, but the unhappiness in her fundamentalist family, as well as the chaos of Billy's household, mix uneasily with the pleasures the spirits are rekindling. Whitcomb writes beautifully, especially when she is describing the physical delights of sexual love and the horror the spirits endure as they fight through their personal hells to reach the other side. Unfortunately, her stereotypical portrayal of a Christian family is so unnuanced that it jars when juxtaposed with the rest of the writing. Still, in many ways this will be irresistible to teens. Watch for more from Whitcomb. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist
Summary
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.
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