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Posted December 30, 2010
Kaylee Hensler is a skater, and a swimmer, and a general all around good athlete. She may not be the best student or miss popular but she is head of the girls swim team at her high school. And she has one very good friend, her wheelchair-bound neighbor Davey. That's enough for her, except. she wants to use the new skate park. To accomplish this, she has to convince the school bullies that she can skate there.
They agree to let her use the park if she enters the town's famous haunted house at night and brings back something to prove she was there.
Kaylee, not believing in the supernatural, agrees to the stunt and finds a little more than she bargained for. Now the ghost of a murdered girl is haunting her, and the ghost of the murderer is also haunting her, and he's intent on doing more than just scaring Kaylee.
With the help of Davey and a new friend, Kaylee discovers she has a deep reserve of power that might just allow her to survive this encounter and help the ghost, but at a high cost.
Dead Friends Forever by J. R. Turner is a really engaging book. I found her characters extremely compelling. Her ghosts were frightening, and the reactions of the adults truly believable. The story itself moves at a fast pace and manages to bring the reader into Kaylee's normal life and feel the pain, indecision, and triumph as her normal life is turned upside down. I highly recommend this young adult horror novel.
Posted May 23, 2009
In Wisconsin, Marsden Middle School skateboard fanatic Kaylee Hensler wants to skate in the nearby park, but several bullies led by Jimmy the Giant refuse to allow anyone on their turf. She challenges several of the boys to a skate off, but instead Jimmy dares her to enter haunted Larson House and take something form the top floor; though she knows this is insane she accepts.
Her best friend wheelchair bound Davey tells her this is insane and Kaylee agrees. Still she enters the house, goes up to the third floor, finds a mirror, and thinks all is well until a young teenage ghost scares her. She flees, but begins seeing the ghost elsewhere. Davey learns the ghost is probably Isabelle Larson killed in 1897 by Clarence Stillwell. As she tries to help the spirit an evil paranormal essence wants to stop her and her parents, her swimming team coach and her dwindling friends believe Kaylee has lost her mind while Isabelle wants to be her BFF; only neighbor Madame Maggie and Davey understand that there is a paranormal presence.
This is a terrific young adult horror thriller starring an intrepid heroine and a strong support cast including her DFF. The story line is fast-paced with a great finish as Kaylee knows if she survives she still has to explain to rational skeptics. The key characters are fully developed so readers understand them and their motivations. Though her parents are purposely exaggerated so that they come across as how their daughter perceives them, this makes them act stilted. Still fans will enjoy Kaylee's dilemma.
Posted August 28, 2011
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