Ever Near by Melissa MacVicar could have been amazing an YA supernatural read if it didn’t commit a couple of social faux paux that I think readers will struggle to overlook

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Ever Near by Melissa MacVicar could have been amazing an YA supernatural read if it didn’t commit a couple of social faux paux that I think readers will struggle to overlook

She sees ghosts.  She hides her ability.  She must put the ghost in her new bedroom to rest if she ever wants to sleep again.  She wants to hook up with her stepbrother.  You think you can ignore the creep factor of that final statement because the rest sounds okay, but I bet you can’t!  

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Goodreads Summary

Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.
Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.
When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.
Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

My Thoughts

This book had some pretty cool things going for it.  First, the protagonist offers a little diversity to Nantuckett.  I’ll be the first to admit I had some preconceived notions about who lived in old whaling towns, so she was a nice surprise. She also is a nice surprise in the world of paranormal YA where apparently white people are no longer the only ones who see ghosts!   I hadn’t considered how very homogenous that sub genre was until I read this book and started pondering the issue.  Second, the relationships are almost completely healthy – these kids have parents who are there for them despite divorces and combined families, it was nice to see kids and parents getting along.  Third, the ghosts in this story are frightening.  They aren’t happy and they are clearly confused, as ghosts who can’t pass on should be.  If you like your ghosts more poltergeist and less Casper, you will appreciate these.  And there was a really nice commentary about spirits and spirituality near the end of the book that I thought was particularly smart and thoughtful.  So, with all these perks, why did it get filed under “Meh”? There were two factors that really bothered me about this book.  The decision to have Jade begin a romantic relationship with her soon to be stepbrother, Charlie, creeped me out.  Yes, I understand they aren’t related, but it is still a taboo of sorts that will bother more readers than just me.  I think this was done because the story requires Jade and Charlie to have access to each other at night so he can be aware of her nightmares, but there had to be another way because that is an uncomfortable romantic relationship.  Seriously.  Any other way.  The other problem I had was with the ghost hunter.  Jade threatens to falsely accuse him of something that I think should never even be considered.  I didn’t like it, and it made that whole situation strange.  I’m not even sure why he was in the story, as he played a small part that could have been worked in another way.  Overall, I just found the negatives had bigger weight for me as a reader than the positives.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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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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