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Source: Local Library
Nothing prepares her for what she finds there. Her pupils are the daughters of the Cherokee elite—educated and more wealthy than she, and the school is cloaked in mystery. A student drowned in the river last year, and the girls whisper that she was killed by a jealous lover. Willie's room is the very room the dead girl slept in. The students say her spirit haunts it.Willie doesn't believe in ghosts, but when strange things start happening at the school, she isn't sure anymore. She's also not sure what to make of a boy from the nearby boys' school who has taken an interest in her—his past is cloaked in secrets. Soon, even she has to admit that the revenant may be trying to tell her something. . .
I picked this one up at the local library because I thought the cover was stunning. I'd never heard of Sonia Gensler before, so I went into it blind on her writing style. I've discovered that I kind of like that. I like not knowing anything beforehand, because it really lets me start with a clean slate and no preconceived notions gleaned from others.
I found the combination of historical fiction and a little bit of paranormal quite fascinating. I really enjoyed the story. Willie made a fairly strong main character (I wish she could have stood up to Miss Crenshaw a bit more, but I do understand why she didn't) and I quite liked her. I thought she was very believable and did things that a teenager would have done. Running away may not seem like a very smart thing to do, but it was very age-appropriate considering her situation.
I liked the other characters as well. Fannie was nicely horrible, and her minions were just fawning enough. It was set up just exactly like a high school clique.
The story was nicely paced and I thought it was quite well done. Also, it's a stand-alone and I love that. It ended in a place where it *could* go into another book, but I like that so far, it's not. It's a very appropriate ending that lets the reader draw their own conclusions without being completely obtuse about it.
I liked it well enough, but probably wouldn't totally gush. For that reason, it's getting a 'Drool Worthy' rating.
Language: None (that I recall)
Violence: Moderate (mostly of a ghostly nature)
Mature Themes: running away, impersonating someone, death, bullying
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