I really liked this book, despite the ridiculous premise. Sutton Mercer is dead, and she follows in ghost form her long-lost twin Emma. Emma is summoned to Tucson, hoping she’ll meet Sutton, only to discover that Sutton has been murdered and her killers want Emma to pretend to be her. I bought the book based on the ghost premise, and continued to read it because Shepard just has a great way of making the story flow along. Great details, frienemy tension, and characters that vacillate between hateful and likeable and then back to hateful again.
I liked Emma’s character. She’s a nice girl, who feels pangs at how awful Sutton was. Sutton is the girl you love to hate: rich, spoiled, entitled, and completely callous. Emma’s the one with character. I kept hoping Emma would be able to slide perfectly into Sutton’s life and smooth out a lot of the feathers Sutton had ruffled.
The plot, too, was expertly done. Clues are dangled at just the right time to keep you guessing. I was sure I’d figured out the killer, only to find out that no, that wasn’t the killer after all. I liked the setting. Who hasn’t fantasized about being a rich, beautiful, popular teen?
I got this as an audiobook, and I couldn’t put this book down. I liked it despite the nasally, little-girl voice of the narrator (which reminded me of the psychic in Poltergeist) and kept listening long after I stopped the car.
Here’s what I didn’t like: the book didn’t end. I remember, back in may day (yes, I’m shaking my cane) when the first of a series was just a complete book that happened to have an encore, not part one of an epic that never ended. You don’t find out who Sutton’s killer is in this book, or how she died. I guess it’s my fault for buying it before I looked and discovered there were 6 of these things.
I recommend this for fans of YA who don’t mind a 6 book investment. When you get to the end, tag me with the spoilers, okay?