After Julie's grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit. When the two try to contact Julie's grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living. Francesca Lia Block's latest young adult novel is a haunting work about family, loss, love, and redemption.
What worked: I love Block's words and how she works magic in each of her novels. In TEEN SPIRIT I love how she shows Julie's relationship with her grandmother and how painful it is after her death. The descriptions are very vivid and alive. It reminded me so much of my own grandmother.
When Julie finds an Ouija board in her new apartment she thinks it's a sign from her grandmother. She asks Clark to help but something else happens. Little do they know what they've unleashed. The changes that come over Clark are subtle at first, then downright creepy. This sinister twist I totally loved.
I liked the little quirks throughout too: the Buffy the Vampire mentions; Julie's love of her grandmother's vintage clothing; and the reveals on her own paranormal 'gifts'.
The changes over Clark and the hidden secret isn't obvious at first which I liked. Readers find clues on what's happening and if Julie had accidentally let out something more sinister with her quest to find her grandmother.
I did have a hard time with the voice at the beginning. I'm more used to Block's free verse novels and this one was a little different. I wasn't quite sure on where this story was going. It was only after Julie finds out that her new friend Clark has a secret that the voice really starts to stand out. The paranormal happenings increase as does the tension and suspense. After that, I couldn't put this book down.
Engaging gothic tale with a secret that takes a sinister twist. Paranormal fans will love this latest Block tale.