Series: Wraith #1
on February 6, 2012
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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.
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 review also appears on GoodReads