Staub (the College Life 101 series) returns to the scene of her bestselling adult thriller In the Blink of an Eyefor the slick opener of the Lily Dale series. Readers meet Calla the summer before her senior year of high school as she attends her mother's funeral, devastated by her mother's accidental death. While her father looks for a rental in California, where he has earned a sabbatical, Calla opts to stay with a grandmother she barely knows in small (and real) Lily Dale, N.Y. (also the site of this summer's The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney,reviewed 7/30). Upon arrival, she discovers that the town is a Victorian throwback-a spiritualist community populated by mediums, among them her grandmother Odelia. As Calla slowly warms up to offbeat Odelia and recovers from her dismay at the quaintness of Lily Dale (no e-mail and no cell-phone reception), figures invisible to others begin appearing to her, and a recurring nightmare afflicts her as well. Could she, too, share her grandmother's powers? Calla is doubting but open-minded, and her BFF Lisa, who comes to visit near the end, provides a vivid foil with her open disdain for the town. The sympathetic protagonist and the trendy paranormal premise make up for the loose development of the plot, which is slowed by several predictable story lines involving romantic rivals. When the ending wraps up one mystery only to intensify another, readers will be impatient for the next installment. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Awakening (Lily Dale Series)by Wendy Corsi Staub
Calla thought that her boyfriend breaking up with her in a text message was the worst thing that could ever happen to her. But just two weeks later, her mother died in a freak accident, and life as she knew it was completely over. With her father heading to California for a new job, they decide that Calla should spend a few weeks with the grandmother she barely
Calla thought that her boyfriend breaking up with her in a text message was the worst thing that could ever happen to her. But just two weeks later, her mother died in a freak accident, and life as she knew it was completely over. With her father heading to California for a new job, they decide that Calla should spend a few weeks with the grandmother she barely knows while he gets them set up.
To Calla's shock, her mother's hometown of Lily Dale is a town full of psychicsincluding her grandmother. Suddenly, the fact that her mother never talked about her past takes on more mysterious overtones. The longer she stays in town, the stranger things become, as Calla starts to experience unusual and unsettling events that lead her to wonder whether she has inherited her grandmother's unique gift. Is it this gift that is making her suspect that her mother's death was more than an accident, or is it just an overactive imagination? Staying in Lily Dale is the only way to uncover the truth. But will Calla be able to deal with what she learns about her mother's past and her own future?
Gr 8-10 After her mom falls down the stairs and dies, Calla spends the summer with her maternal grandmother. Odelia lives in New York state in a place called Lily Dale, where spiritualists gather to give séances and readings. After several eerie experiences, Calla realizes reluctantly that she has inherited her grandmother's gift of seeing and communicating with the dead. The plot gathers momentum slowly as Calla meets other teens and tries to find explanations for the odd things that are happening to her, and it's only at the very end of the book that she realizes that a spirit has been trying to tell her something shocking about her mother's death. Nothing is resolved, so readers must wait for the sequel to find out what happens. The story is light and tingly enough to hold nondemanding readers' attention, but ultimately it feels incomplete and therefore somewhat frustrating.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Meet the Author
WENDY CORSI STAUB is a best-selling writer of adult fiction, regularly appearing on the USA Today and New York Times best-seller lists. She grew up near the town of Lily Dale, and has had personal experiences with psychics in the town. Her adult best-seller, In the Blink of an Eye also took place in Lily Dale. Wendy lives with her family in Katonah, New York. Visit her Web site at www.wendycorsistaub.com
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