Beyond: A Ghost Story

( 4 )


Jane is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Jane is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Jane is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer.
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Beyond: A Ghost Story

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Jane is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Jane is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Jane is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton
Everyone on the Rain Coast in Edgewood knows Jane. She is the teenager who cheated death yet seems suicidal. What many do not know is that when Jane was a baby, she went to the Great Beyond for a few minutes before returning with a spirit who shadows her and forces her to inflict pain on herself. This is the type of book with which readers who like fast-paced tales filled with action will have to be patient. At first, the plot might seem mundane and even a bit repetitive, but halfway through the novel, the suspense increases. It becomes clear that Jane is haunted by a soul that has been tortured, but it is unclear if she will lose her life trying to satisfy it. McNamee has managed to squeeze into a single tale a number of themes, including heroism and friendship, that will speak to a variety of readers. Beyond successfully blends mystery, fantasy, and realism. Ages 11 to 18.
Children's Literature - Brenda Sowry
Not really a ghost story, but a mystery and thriller nevertheless, it will make you afraid to sing the song "Me and My Shadow." In her short seventeen years, Jane has survived being born dead, poisoning, electrocution, a nail in her brain, and numerous other close calls, leading the small community to believe she has a death wish. Her parents are extremely worried about her, but she cannot bear to share her secret with them. Jane feels like an outcast, alone with her secret, until she meets Lexi, a newcomer to the area. They become best friends, calling themselves the "Creep Sisters," and Jane eventually divulges her secret to Lexi, who does her best to protect Jane and help solve the mystery. A touch of romance is intertwined in the story, each encounter quickly halted by Jane's secret. McNamee's clever imagery helps build the momentum from the setting to the nightmares and sleepwalking, through the unexpected conclusion, leaving the reader unable to put the book down. It is a quick, easy read. There are a few typos and grammatical errors in the copy, but they do not take away from the story. The book cover and McNamee's picture on the back flap provide a hint of what's in-between the covers. Reviewer: Brenda Sowry
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Jane has a lot of experience with death. She was born dead, heart not beating when she entered the world. Doctors saved her but she has had several other close calls. Is she accident prone, suicidal, or just plain crazy? Her brushes with death have been explained away as "accidents." But no one really believes that. If she tells her parents or her doctors what's really going on, they'll think she's insane and lock her up in a padded room. Only her best friend and fellow "creep sister," Lexi, knows the truth, that each accident was caused by her shadow taking over her body and trying to kill her. The latest incident, a nail gun to the head, almost did her in and seems to have given her shadow even more power. Now she is sleepwalking and human remains have been found in the woods near her home. Can Jane and Lexi put all of the pieces together before the shadow finally succeeds? Creepy and exciting in equal parts.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Jane's shadow having its own spirit is odd enough. Now it has a death wish. Born without a pulse, Jane is no stranger to near-death experiences. Her shadow has forced her to drink drain cleaner and held her down on a train track as a speeding train approached. After a recent nail-gun "accident" to the skull causes her to flat-line, Jane returns to the living with her shadow even more determined to kill her. The first-person narration makes the teen's fear immediate, as she begins sleepwalking along dangerous roads and dreaming of being buried alive. The atmospheric setting--the dark, wet, small town of Edgewood, along Canada's Rain Coast--adds another layer of terror to this intriguing ghost story. When Jane discovers a human skeleton after a landslide, she starts to realize the true nature of her shadow. Certain her constable father and florist mother wouldn't believe her shadow stories, she entrusts best friend and "Creep Sister" Lexi, a budding cinematographer with an interest in film noir, to help her solve the mystery. As in Acceleration (2003) and Bonechiller (2008), McNamee delivers another taut, spine-tingling page turner. A return to the true ghost story without any supernatural romance to ruin it. (Ghost story. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375851650
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 632,702
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

GRAHAM McNAMEE is the award-winning author of five novels, including Sparks, which won the first PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship; Bonechiller; and Acceleration, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    creepy and entertaining

    3.5 Beyond offers up a perfectly creepy ghost story with a twist that should delight young readers. McNamee delivered a tale filled with creepy goodness involving a ghost and a killer. This was a fast paced, easy read and I was thoroughly entertained. The tale begins when we meet Jane. She has had several near death accidents and the most recent has her walking around with a nail in her head. Her parents think she is accident prone, others think she is suicidal but Jane knows the truth. Jane lives with her doting parents. Her Mom owns a Flower shop and her Dad is the local sheriff. They call Jane their miracle baby, because Jane wasn't breathing at birth. Since then there have been dozens of accident. Jane’s parents worry about her, and encourage her to be safe, but they don’t know that Jane’s own shadow is trying to kill her! The tale that unfolds is suspenseful as Jane and Lexi try to stop her shadow and maybe even a killer. Jane and Lexi refer to themselves as the “Creep Sisters”. Due to all of her strange near death situations, kids at school tend to stare at, gossip about or ignore Jane. She sleepwalks, cannot drive and begins having nightmares that become day-mares. She has a love interest and it is delightfully sweet. Lexi is her outspoken, confident friend who dresses like the grim reaper’s daughter. She loves her camera and film. I liked her quirky, humorous attitude and would have loved her as a friend. She is the perfect friend for Jane and the two had me laughing. I loved that the parents were involved in Jane’s life, although she never confided in them about her shadow. The shadow and an unearthed body made the tale creepy and suspenseful. McNamee wove a suspenseful ghost story and I liked the twists he brought to it. I won’t spoil anything, but the shadow and the how and why, was cool. I also liked the secondary plot and how it all tied together. The ending scenes were climatic, followed by some closure. This book is the perfect introduction to horror for young readers. I thought the tale was well paced and clever. It is relatively short in length. The hardcover addition is roughly 226 pages but it offered up some creepy suspense perfect for the fall "spooky" season. Beyond is perfect for young readers in search of a creepy ghost story. I enjoyed McNamee’s writing style and look forward to checking out some of his other works. I want to thank Random house for providing this finished copy in exchange for my unbiased review.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not your typical ghost story

    'Ghost Story' is an understatement for this fantastically creepy tale ‘gifted’ to readers by an Edgar award-winning author. In fact, this is one ghost story you will never forget! Instead of the brilliant lights and the voices of the angels singing, a young girl named Jane finds only a fate worse than death when she’s brought back to life by some well-meaning doctors. She was saved! However…she brought back something with her; a shadow that has the ability to stop being a shadow, break away and draw Jane into hideously scary situations - such as making her walk in front of a train. Jane tries to be a normal teen. Her best friend is Lexi, who is much like what people would assume the Grim Reaper’s hot little sister is, because of the way she looks and dresses. She is also someone who loves the camera, making the coolest videos that most of their classmates think are beyond odd. In the small town they live in on the west coast of Canada where Jane’s dad works as a constable, everyone refers to Lexi and Jane as “The Creep Sisters.” Jane is definitely a ‘creep’ because she’s had more than her share of bad luck. Not only did her mother almost die when she was born, but she was also born with no pulse. Then through various accidents, she has had to go through electrocution to poisoning to most recently, a nail being stuck in her head. Jane has certainly been the receiver of a whole lot of bad luck (or good, considering she survived it all). She now sleepwalks a great deal and her only ‘normal’ thing in life seems to be when she drools over the ‘hot’ delivery guy who brings things to her mother’s flower shop. As the story proceeds and the real culprit of Jane’s accidents is unveiled, she finds herself battling a soul who has an accident in his own past that sent him to a place between Heaven and Earth. Now…he wants Jane for his own purposes. But how do you defeat a ghost? To say this is a good story is lame, to say it’s a great one is not enough. For readers who love the bone-chilling, bump in the night rides, THIS is perfection! Quill Says: This YA gives a whole new meaning to ‘being scared of your own shadow.’

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013


    I read this book at school it was really good i thought that it was a really good gost story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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