A Magic Dark and Bright is a contemporary YA ghost story with a chilling conclusion

A Magic Dark and Bright is a contemporary YA ghost story with a chilling conclusion

That pretty cover is a surprising choice for a ghost story, but it certainly made me pick it up, and once there, I stayed for the story.   I think this will be something many of my students enjoy, especially those who enjoy mystery and don’t mind supernatural — I’m thinking fans of The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee will really be glad to find this book.  


Amelia hasn’t seen the lady in white who haunts the woods behind her house since the night her brother died. Until Charlie moves in next door. Now the ghost is back and girls start turning up in the river. The town whispers about curses and attaches blame to Charlie, but Amelia knows he couldn’t be responsible. Ancient magic, love turned bitter, and long desired revenge fuel a family curse that grows dark and bright in what might be the last summer of Amelia’s life. This is a contemporary mystery with an added bonus of some creepy ghostly encounters. Well written and engaging, this is a bargain at $3.99. I like Amelia as a narrator, but some of the other characters were flat, especially the people who were bad guys. The author weaves in the history of the ghost in a pretty cool way, and I liked that the focus remained primarily on the present. I really did enjoy this one, and I read it straight through in an afternoon. It wasn’t until I had time to reflect that I realized the author dropped the ball on the brother’s death. It felt like more than a red herring, but I still had some questions. Bone chiller of an ending. I will definitely be looking for the next book, because it can’t be a standalone with that ending.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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