For the most part, aspiring screenwriter Jack Bell is just your typical Midwestern kid. He s got a crush on his hot best friend, Ash. Read more...
For the most part, aspiring screenwriter Jack Bell is just your typical Midwestern kid. He s got a crush on his hot best friend, Ash. He s coping with a sudden frostiness between his once crazy-in-love parents. He s debating where to go to college next year or whether to go at all. But then there s his gift (or curse): Jack can see dead people, just like the kid in "The" "Sixth Sense." Lately, the ghosts are more distracting than usual, demanding that Jack get to the bottom of their mysterious deaths all while avoiding the straitlaced Detective Bloodsmith, who doesn t believe in gifts or curses and can t help wondering why Jack keeps turning up at crime scenes. Is there a happily-ever-after in Jack s future, or is that only the stuff of movies?"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Utopia, Iowa, is filled with people who have special abilities. Jack Bell talks to dead people, his neighbor can see and predict events with his glass eye, and the local college offers courses in mind-reading, teleportation, and the like. When Jack, a fledgling high school screenwriter, is visited by a recently deceased Nirvana College student, he learns that she does not remember how she died. Along with best friend Ash, Jack investigates, but soon another girl is murdered, and Jack is threatened by the head of Nirvana College and lead detective Bloodsmith, Jack’s mother’s ex-boyfriend. Yansky (Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences) weaves two separate stories together, and Jack’s dilemma is gradually understood to be part of a much larger (and dangerous) otherworld scheme. Descriptions are initially lackluster (“There is no silence like a room full of silent people”) and Jack’s frequent film references are distracting, but the mysterious deaths and Jack’s concern over his parents’ possible divorce contribute intensity to the latter half of the novel. Yansky’s climactic ending leaves many loose strings, suggesting a sequel to come. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Feb.)