After a suicide attempt, and now her parents’ separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn’s bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be “touched” by Annaliese…or if Annaliese even exists.
With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about–not to mention her own–she can’t help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?
Annaliese? Or herself?
The premise of this ghost story was very interesting, revolving around a young bipolar teenager. Rinn has had a difficult life, struggling to take her medicine everyday when she truly feels like nothing is wrong with her. But after events unfold that leave her grandmother dead, Rinn’s mother separated from her step-father, and a whirlwind trip across country to live in a rural community, Rinn has a change of heart. Resolved to take her medicine and keep to herself, Rinn slowly begins to warm up to her new community, making friends, and learning about the towns “haunting.”
I was very interested in the “haunting” and the tunnel at school when the novel initially started. I tend to highly enjoy paranormal novels, and Garsee does a great job stringing the reader along as the mystery grows deeper. Annaliese died many years ago, but her spirit is still said to haunt the school, and when people begin to show up dead, things begin to spiral out of control. But, I have to admit, I really didn’t care for the explanation given as to why Rinn wasn’t affected by the spirit of Annaliese. While completely original, in my opinion, I found it kind of odd and a bit anticlimactic. I liked all the changes that Rinn went through, and it was very interesting to see her reactions to things both on and off her meds—making me wonder if the spirit of Annaliese was real—but overall, I wasn’t too impressed with the paranormal aspects of the story. Three stars.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books has been extremly gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 17, 2012