All her life, Laetitia Jones has only wanted to be a star. It's more than an ambition--somewhere deep inside, she knows that she was born for greatness.
But her path to stardom now seems to be halted by a mysterious, undiagnosed illness that's taken over her body. Doctors don't have a clue and most days, she's stuck at home documenting her strange symptoms--symptoms that start with fevers and chills, but soon escalate to bizarre bodily reactions.
Laetitia's only escape from her illness is following the news--and the race riots that are moving closer and closer to her neighborhood. But when horrific visions begin to invade her mind, even the media can't distract her and she begins to wonder--is her illness something biological...or is it something more? Are the voices she hears and the notes she finds in her own handwriting signs of insanity...or signs of something much more sinister and demonic? Or, perhaps, signs of something benevolent...something holy even.
Laetitia has always known she'd be famous...she just didn't know it would happen this way.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-15
- Reviewer: Staff
In this uneven follow-up to 2015's Diary of a Haunting, fictitious editor Verano returns with further "documentation" of the supernatural. Laetitia, a 15-year-old African-American girl, blogged publicly about hair, makeup, and her quest to become a diva, until a mysterious illness stole her singing voice. Now her posts are set to private, and they chronicle the nightmares, hallucinations, and strange phenomena that have since plagued her. Meanwhile, across town, police officers stand trial for the murder of a young black man. Race riots seem imminent, and despite her own troubles, Laetitia can't help but obsess over the media coverage. A "lightly edited" version of Laetitia's journal forms the bulk of the tale, while chat logs and official reports fill in the gaps and editor's notes add context. Laetitia's narrative rings true when she's reflecting on matters of identity, faith, and justice, but she never fully sells her fear, sapping the story of tension and drive. The paranormal element is cleverly conceived but imperfectly executed, resulting in a successful coming-of-age story but an underwhelming horror novel. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)