Wraith: review

January 18, 2013 2013, 3.5 star books, ghosts, indie author, paranormal, tonya 49 ★★★½

Wraith: reviewWraith by Angel Lawson
Series: Wraith #1
on February 6, 2012
Genres: paranormal
Pages: 264
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars
Freak. Weird. Crazy. These are the names tossed around seventeen-year old Jane Watts by her fellow classmates. But things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes there’s a reason for talking to yourself in the hallway at school. Adjusting to her new home and school after an abrupt move, Jane wants one thing in life—to be like everyone else at school, but that’s hard to do when you’re the new kid. Although she does manage to make one friend, Evan—he’s sixteen, charming, and protective. Everything a girl could want in a best friend…with one minor caveat. He's dead. Caught somewhere between life and death, Evan is tied to Jane and the living world unable to complete the journey to the other side. She thinks he’s here to be her friend, to take care of her, and that’s why no one can see or hear him. That is until a new boy shows up at school after a rumored stretch in Juvie. Connor can see Evan and he’s not convinced the ghost is being completely honest. From his own experience ghosts tend to need something from the humans they connect to and Evan, despite his arguments isn’t any different. Jane is resentful of Connor’s intrusion but realizes soon enough he’s right. Evan has secrets about his past and not only did his life end tragically but members of his family are still in danger. Jane must face her fears and battle Evan’s human demons to free both of them.
I picked up Wraith thinking I was in for a creepy story about a girl driven to madness by the haunting presence of ghosts. And while that was true in a sense, the overall story was much different than I expected.

And I kind of loved that.

Jane Watts is an outcast at her new school, all because she got into a very public fight with her best friend, Evan. Normally, that kind of public display would blow over in just a couple days, except in this case, Evan’s dead, and no one can see him but Jane. Her outburst in the hall earns her a permanent Freak label, as far as her classmates are concerned.

But Jane’s okay with that. Mostly. She has Evan, after all. The sweet, protective ghost who lives in her room, and seems to want nothing more than to be her friend. She’s even learned to control her reactions to him when he visits her in class. Despite being a complete pariah, Jane’s settling into her new anonymity at her school.

That is, until Connor shows up.

“He looked in my direction, but not at me–not exactly. His eyes were glued right behind me. To the seat I knew was technically empty, the seat of my best friend and current tormentor.”

Back from a recent stint in juvie–or so the rumors say–Connor is everything Jane doesn’t need. A cocky bad boy who may or may not be a delinquent… and oh yeah, he can see Evan too. Connor warns Jane that Evan is there for a reason; he needs something from her before he can finally be at rest.

Jane is torn between wanting to keep her best friend, and the need to help him. Together, she and Connor try to uncover the secrets of Evan’s past, and in the process put themselves in Evan’s murderer’s crosshairs.

Wraith was less creepy than I envisioned after reading the summary, but I found I didn’t miss the shivers. (I’m kind of a wimp, I’ll be honest.) Though the story was somewhat straightforward and predictable, it was an interesting twist on the usual paranormal.

I loved the growth Jane demonstrated throughout the story; she begins as a defensive social outcast, completely dependent on her secret best friend, to someone determined and confident, and open to making new friends. Lawson really shines in her character development with both Jane and Connor.

And I especially loved that there was no love triangle set up between Jane, Connor, and Evan.

Wraith is a solidly entertaining paranormal, with humor, mystery, and heart.

This was Angel Lawson’s debut novel. Its sequel, Shadow Bound, was released in December, and is only $3.99 on Kindle and Nook.

This review also appears on GoodReads

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49 Responses to “Wraith: review”

  1. Enbrethiliel

    +JMJ+

    The premise sounds really great! Your description of Jane’s unique predicament could have been the synopsis on the back of the book.

    For me, the stand out part is that there is no love triangle!!! I’m so sick of those.

    Thanks for the review!

    • tonya

      Thank you! I’m glad I pointed out the lack of love triangle, it seem to be the major selling point for most of you. :) I hope you can pick up Wraith soon!

  2. Vivien

    Yes, I may just read this ONLY because there isn’t a love-triangle. The cover is deliciously creepy. I have a hard time believing this genre, but it’s always fun to read.

    • tonya

      I love the cover, and the lack of love triangle is definitely a big plus. I hope you’re able to give it a read soon!

  3. Ash

    OMG, the cover is giving the creeps already.. it looks great though. I’m going to check this one out soon.

  4. Alexa Y.

    This sounds like a really intriguing story! I love that it’s not so creepy, but it’s still got that “ghost” factor in there :)

    • tonya

      Me too! But that’s mostly because I’m a wimp, and if there’d been actual creepy ghosts I’d have had to sleep with the lights on. ;)

      I hope you give Wraith a try!

  5. Maree

    Great review Tonya! You’ve convinced me I need to read this – and I don’t usually say that about paranormals! I love that there’s no love triangle – I’m so over it being something which must be in most YA novels.

  6. Maree

    Great review Tonya! You’ve convinced me I need to read this – and I don’t usually say that about paranormals! Also, I am so pleased there is no love triangle, I am so sick of this becoming something which must be used in every YA novel.

    • tonya

      I totally agree about the love triangles, Maree. They make me roll my eyes more often than not lately.

      I hope you like Wraith as much as I did. It’s definitely a different take on YA paranormal. :)

  7. Ashley

    I definitely haven’t heard about this one before, but thanks for the heads up. It sounds really interesting and I seem to have a thing for teenage ghosts right now.

  8. Sarah (saz101)

    TONYA. WOW. WOWOWOWOWOWOOOOOOW.

    I’ve never heard of this one before but… oh, it sounds FASCINATING.

    Not mention creepy. And I DO love creepy… and seriosly. Is there something in the Midnight Gardeners’ water supply? All your reviews. PERFECT.

    AMAZING. Very glad you liked it ♥

    • tonya

      Thanks so much, Sarah! We drink from the special fountain in the Garden, of course. But only at midnight. ;)

      Hope you check out Wraith soon!

    • tonya

      I agree; it was less of a ghost story and more a mystery/romance. Still, the paranormal element was an interesting take I’d not read before. Glad you liked it as well! :)

  9. Roxy

    This sounds like a great book, and I’m glad there’s no love triangles, either! I will have to look further into this one, thanks for the review!

    • tonya

      The lack of love triangle seems to be a major selling point, haha. I’m glad I pointed it out!

      Hope you’re able to check it out soon. :)

  10. Sam

    Now this sound like one of the better indie reads! I haven’t come across it at all before, but now I am very curious about it. I like the sound of the premise a lot. Brilliant review, Tonya!

    • tonya

      Hahaha, so the consensus seems to say. I love that YA has brainwashed us into expecting two boys for every one girl. ;)

    • tonya

      All of her covers are very well done. She’s an artist as well as an author, and designs them herself, I believe.

      I hope you’re able to give Wraith a try. :)

  11. Vegan YA Nerds

    Great review, Tonya! I hadn’t heard of this until now but I love that it surprised you and I am a big fan of the fact that there was no love-triangle because it was the first thing I thought when Connor was mentioned!

    • tonya

      I love that everyone is sold because there’s no love triangle. I was very pleased with its absence, too. ;) What has YA done to us? haha. I hope you’re able to pick up Wraith soon!

  12. Amy

    I had not heard of this book, but it sounds really good. The characters sound great, and I like that there is no love triangle! Great review!

    • tonya

      Thank you! I was so relieved to not have to read a love triangle between a regular human and a paranormal. Definitely a refreshing element. :)

      I hope you’re able to read Wraith when you have a chance!

  13. permashift

    I love that I’m no longer, like, the only person to have read this book and loved it despite it being outside of what was expected of it. I was certainly surprised by how much I liked it. I look forward to these indie spotlights. I feel like no one loves the lesser-known gems anymore.

    • tonya

      Yay! A kindred spirit. I’m glad you liked it as much as I did.

      I’m looking forward to spotlighting more indies, too. I like being part of that conversation, and generating some buzz for them–but it can be very hard to find the gems amid the, well, jungle of self-published on Amazon.

  14. Michelle

    This sounds like a really great book! I must admit, I was really leery of many independent books before reading Andrea K Höst. Now I am really excited to try to find some of the good stuff out there! Thanks for the great review, and I look forward to seeing more indie reviews.

    • tonya

      I’m not familiar with Andrea K Höst, but I just got one of her books from Netgalley, so I’m glad to hear she’s changed your view on indies. :)

  15. Candace

    Oh yay, I’m glad you’re spotlighting more Indie’s! I’m a wimp, but I love books with ghosts and since it wasn’t terribly scary it sounds like one I really need to pick up! Hopefully one of these days I can fit it in!

    • tonya

      I love spotlighting indies too! They rely on so much word of mouth, and I love being part of that conversation. I hope to be able to feature more in the future.

      I hope you check out Wraith when you have the chance! :)

  16. Tamara

    This one sounds really good. I definitely want to pick it up–and I’m glad to hear that there is no love triangle!! Thanks for the awesome review. :)

  17. Wendy Darling

    This one wasn’t on my radar at all, Tonya, but I do love stories about deeeeeaaaddd peeeeople. :) Thanks for the heads up! I hope you like the sequel just as much.

    • tonya

      I don’t have a lot of experience with deeeeeaaaddd peeeopple, but I’m trying to broaden my horizons. ;) I hope you’re able to check it out when you have chance.

  18. Keertana

    I haven’t heard of this one and although it sounds really interesting, I think I’ll skip it. I’m not into predictable novels and although I know a lot of people can deal with them, I can’t. I feel like I get bored so easily and it takes a LOT to creep me out when I read a book, so this might fall short for me. Still, fantastic review, Tonya!(:

    • tonya

      Thanks, Keertana! In Wraith’s defense, I don’t think it was actually meant to be a creepy story–more intriguing than anything, but I know what you mean. (I happen to be the opposite on the creep-o-meter, haha.)

  19. starryeyedjen

    I really like the sound of Wraith. The second I saw the title, though, I immediately thought of that Charlie Sheen movie from the 80s. :D Anyway, I’m in the mood for a good ghost story, one that doesn’t freak me out. With the introduction of Connor’s character, I started to worry that there’d be a weird ghost-girl-guy love triangle, so thanks for ensuring there’s not. I am definitely going to check this book out! Thanks for the awesome review!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, that is one of my husband’s favorite movies, Jen! So it’s all I think about when I see it, too. ;) I know, he’s a weirdo.

    • tonya

      I haven’t seen this movie (this should not surprise anyone, haha), but I’m very glad to say there’s no Charlie Sheen-ness about it. ;) I, too, was very glad for the absence of a love triangle, but from the beginning Evan was a friend and nothing more.

  20. Gina @ My Precious

    I picked this one up as an amazon kindle freebie. I’m glad to see that its a good story. Nicely reviewed.

    PS: I also picked up an interesting book called “Breeders” that would be a good one to review.

    • tonya

      Thank you! I hope you like as much as I did when you’re able to read. :)

      And thank you for the rec! I’ll add to my list.

  21. Rachel

    Really good review! I’m very intrigued by the book now, I’m definitely going to look into it!