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"I can't hear you. I can't hear you," I repeat, talking to myself. Maybe if I keep saying it the voice will go away. I know people driving by me probably think I'm a lunatic.
My feet are moving so fast I barely feel them touch the ground. Cool air slaps my face like it's trying to remind me that I'm outside. It's almost spring according to the calendar, but it still feels like the dead of winter in Lincoln. Probably because we're so close to the water.
Whatever. I'm cold and I think it's beginning to rain. But I don't care. I just want to get home, inside the house, to the safety of my room. It won't follow me there.
I can't believe it followed me here. I ignored it in New York. You'd think it would have the good sense to stay in the city where there's a little excitement. Why follow me here to the ends of the earth where everyone acts like they're sleepwalking most of the time?
As I cut through the bushes at the end of the driveway, my book bag sways back and forth, threatening to slide off my shoulder as I run. If it does, my Biology book will fall out and the hastily scribbled notes I took this morning on the project that's due at the end of the month will probably hit the ground and blow away. That might not be such a bad thing.
I hunch my shoulders, pushing the book bag back into place. My feet crush the weeds in the flower bed that Janet will likely replant in a few weeks. And I keep running.
My cheeks puff in and out as I inhale huge gulps of air to keep my heart pumping. I'm not a runner. Actually, I hate exercise of any kind and it shows. I take the front steps two at a time because I want to hurry up and get to my room.
Damn! There it goes again.
I press the palm of my hand over my ear while I dig in my front pocket for the house key. My fingers are shaking but I finally get the door unlocked, slam it shut behind me and take the stairs in the front hall like a steroid-pumped-up Olympic sprinter.
My room is at the far end of the hall, but I swear it feels like it's twenty miles away as I dash toward the door. Once inside, I slam the door, drop my book bag and sink to the floor struggling to breathe.
Safe. All I can think is that I'm finally safe.
His voice echoes around the room, louder than it was before. Louder than when I was on the school bus or when I was running into the house.
It's been a long time. I thought this creepy stuff was over. I haven't heard voices since I was twelve years old, and I'm not sure if I really heard them then.
Who am I kidding? I heard them before and now they're back. But I cover my ears because I want the voice to stop so badly.
I'm rocking on the floor now, pulling my knees to my chest and wrapping my arms around them, holding myself tightly. My eyes are closed. I wish I could find a way to close my ears, too.
I did it before. I quieted the voices for a long, long time. But now they're back. Why?
"I can't hear you. I can't see you. You are not real."
But I can hear him, that's the freakin' problem.
Help me, Krystal.
"I can't hear you. I can't see you. You are not—"
Did he say my name?
Please, he begs.
For some reason the sound of his voice isn't scaring me anymore. I loosen my grip around my legs and I stop rocking. My heart still feels like it's going to jump out of my chest and land on the floor, but for some reason I'm not scared now.
I open my eyes, not that I mean to, it just happens I guess. I look toward the window seat where all the stupid stuffed animals Janet thought would cheer me up are arrayed like a pastel-colored army.
I don't know what I'm looking for. Whatever it is, I hope I don't find it.
But there he is—a black boy, kind of tall and skinny. He's wearing jeans, the baggy kind like all the guys in school wear, and a white T-shirt three sizes too big, hanging to his knees like a nightgown. His boots look new, Timberlands with the laces only halfway up, the huge tongue sticking out from the sagging denim hem of his jeans. He's wearing a watch on one wrist and a bracelet—I think it's silver—on the other. His hair is kind of curly on top, cut low on the sides with some lines or a design or something.
I suppose he's kind of cute.
But he's kind of transparent.
For one, Janet, my mother, can't cook. How do you burn boiled eggs? Janet knows how and the smell is awful. But that was a few weeks ago.
Tonight's culinary masterpiece is spaghetti. Again, shouldn't be too hard. Drop some pasta in water, let it boil, open up a jar of sauce and you're done.
What's on the plate in front of me is some soupy mess that I'm really afraid to eat. So instead I pick the cucumbers out of my salad because I don't like them. She knows I don't like them but she keeps right on putting them in my salad.
"So, how was school today?" she asks like she's a real mom or something.
Okay, well, maybe I'm being harsh. She did give birth to me and she does make sure there's a roof over my head and food—well, two out of three ain't bad.
Her one fault, for which I am resigned to be pissed at her for the next ten to twenty years of my life, is that she divorced my father and moved me from New York City to this Little House on the Prairie town in Connecticut.
Bottom line, I'm just not feeling my mother right now. But that's not what's really bothering me. I can't stop thinking about the boy upstairs in my room.
I was just about to ask him who he was and why he was following me around when Janet called me for dinner. I could have stalled and made up some excuse, but that just would have delayed this joyous family meal.
"School was fine," I say hurriedly, because she's looking at me like she wants to ask even more questions.
Janet is still pretty, even though she's old. I think anyone over thirty is old. Janet is thirty-five. She had me when she was twenty, before she could graduate from college. My father is ten years older than her. She has really long, wavy, black hair and her skin isn't as dark as mine. She's half Cherokee.
I'm only one-quarter Cherokee because I'm mixed with her and my father and he's just black. My hair is pretty nice; it doesn't get all nappy when I sweat like some of my cousins' hair. It just looks bushy and puffy like one of those puppies that I can never remember the name of.
Anyway, I don't want to sit here at the dinner table with all these dishes and Janet on one side and an empty chair where her new husband, Gerald, usually sits on the other side.
Gerald comes home late mostly every night because he works for some international company that does business in different time zones—that's what Janet says. I think he's probably at work screwing his secretary or something. Or maybe he just wants to be anyplace I'm not.
When he met Janet she didn't tell him about me right away. I don't know why. I overheard them one time talking about which parent it would be best for me to live with. Gerald didn't act like he wanted it to be Janet. On that one thing, he and I both agree.
"There's a spring dance coming up. We could go buy you a pretty new dress," Janet says, trying to twirl the flat, sticky spaghetti onto her fork.
"I don't want a new dress," I say adamantly, because I don't. I don't like dresses.
"Then we could just find you a nice outfit to wear."
"I'm probably not going to go."
"Because I don't know any boys?" Unless you count the one waiting for me upstairs. The one I'm hesitant to call a ghost.
Because if I actually admit that's what he is, then I might as well pack my bags and head to the loony bin.
"You've been here for months and the school year is almost over. You haven't made any friends?"
I shrug because I don't really think it's a big deal. I like being alone. That way I don't have to explain the things about me that even I don't understand.
"I don't need friends."
She sighs. "Everybody needs somebody, Krystal."
"You didn't need Daddy," I snap. I immediately regret my tone of voice and I clamp my mouth shut. The fork that was stabbing at cucumbers falls from my hand, making a clanking sound on the plate.
"What happened between your father and me had nothing to do with you," she says slowly, not looking at me.
Anytime she talks about my father, which isn't often, she doesn't look at me. Like she can't even face what she's done to me.
"I'm just supposed to suffer because of it," I yell, standing and pushing my chair back from the table until it falls to the floor.
Janet reaches out until her hand touches my wrist. "I don't want you to suffer, honey. I want you to be happy and healthy. But you're not eating, you're not socializing. You're not talking."
I snatch my arm away. Her words are true even if I don't want to admit it. I don't really have an appetite anymore and I don't talk because I have nobody to talk to. But that's not my fault. A year ago I had all that. I could eat half a large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese all by myself. I had friends from school, or at least people I socialized with—even if only on a limited basis. But I had them. Now I'm alone.
"I don't need anybody."
Janet stands and comes closer to me. "Listen, Krystal. If you want to go and see someone, a psychiatrist or—"
"Oh, great! That is so whack. Send me to a shrink because you don't want to listen to me."
I'm stalking across the room now, not wanting her to touch me or say anything to me, or sense the pain this entire situation is causing in the pit of my stomach. How did she expect me to eat with that burning bubble always wrenching inside me?
"It's not that I don't want to listen, Krys. You don't want to talk to me."
"You're right!" I say, spinning around to face her one more time. "I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to talk to anybody."
I'm running up the stairs again. It feels like déjà vu. Only this time when I close my bedroom door it's not his voice I hear but his presence I feel.
I t s like somebody put a sweater around my arms. I shiver even though I didn't realize I was cold. I'm in the house. It's raining outside but it's dry and warm inside. Goose bumps still prickle the bare skin on my arms.
In the pit of my stomach it feels like butterflies are dancing around. That's strange because just a few minutes ago, downstairs with Janet, I felt that same burning in my stomach that I feel whenever I'm around her—whenever I think of her leaving my father.
I rest my forehead on the door, afraid to turn around, afraid not to.
He's here, the boy. I know he is even though he's not calling my name or begging me to help him.
What should I do?
I could scream and Janet would come running. But what would she see? I don't think she can see ghosts. I didn't think I could either.
The funny thing is I'd convinced myself I was cursed or crazy or both when I heard the voices before. The first time was when I was five. The last time I was twelve and had gone to visit my grandfather—on my father's side—in a nursing home. I figured the voice was one of the old people asking for help or for food or the sound of someone who simply wanted a hug.
That night I swore I'd never hear another voice and for a while I thought my vow had worked.
How long are you going to stand there?
His voice sounds so normal, like he's just a boy from school sitting in my room talking to me.
I press my palms against the door and take a deep breath. I'm already in my room, my safe place. There is nowhere else for me to run or hide.
So, I figure I just better face it, I'm crazy.
I turn slowly and look toward the window seat. He's sitting there, his back to the wall, one leg propped up on the seat cushion. My stuffed animal army is on the floor. Can dead people move things?
"What do you want?" I ask in the same monotone he uses. For some reason I don't feel nervous, just tired. Of running or ignoring the voice, I guess.
I need your help.
"I can't help you."
You don't even know what I need you to do.
"Well, you're dead, right? I can't bring you back to life." I'm not that crazy.
He sighs, like I'm getting on his nerves.
I don't want to come back, he says then stops like he's thinking about his words. I just need some answers. I need to find out who did this to me.
"Then you should go to the police or a lawyer. I don't know, just stop stalking me."
He chuckles. Stalking or haunting?
I don't find the situation very funny. "Just go."
I can't. Not yet. They think somebody from my crew killed me. But that's not true.
Suddenly I'm really sleepy. I feel like I've been up for hours. I hear the words coming out of his mouth—unfortunately—but I'm too tired to comprehend them. I move away from the door and trudge over to my bed where I plop down and stare at the ceiling.
"Who's your crew? No, first, who are you?"
My name is Ricky Watson. I used to go to Settlemans High until last year when I was shot in the alley behind the school.
I think I've heard the name.
"Your brother is Antoine Watson?"
Yeah, he's a year younger than me. He's in the tenth grade now. I was a junior.
"Did you ask him for help?"
Posted February 8, 2013
Posted August 23, 2011
When i first started reading it. To be honest it was dull and boring at first. And then it got really good!. It keep's you begging for more. And keep's you asking yourself "What's going to happen?" "How is it going to end?". And load's of other stuff, it can get scary sometime's. But really it seriously is A Nice, Amazing, And Awesome book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2011
Posted February 24, 2011
Sometimes being an outsider is the best way to fit in.
Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They'd be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.
Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn't be worse. Sasha's father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there's Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx's own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life-and even her destiny.
One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the main character, Sasha, she was a feisty kick-ass girl who despite pressure from family and so called friends, did not give in to the "I'm rich so therefore I'm better than you" train of thought. She was so much more refreshing than the whiny Krystal. I like that though tested, the friendship of the Mystyxs held firm. When you perceive yourself as "odd" and an outsider, it's comforting to have the unconditional support of friends. While this book did move along the storyline a lot more, I was a bit disappointed in the abrupt ending. Yes, it's a series so there's got to be a cliff hanger, but I guess I've been conditioned by series books to expect at least one bad guy per book to get his just desserts while the storyline moves on to the next character. I was pleased to see that "Mayham", (can't help but have the wonderful Allstate commercials flash through my mind, lol) book 3 centers around Jake and is due out on July 19th (WooHoo! my birthday) so I can't wait to tune back in for my Mystyx fix.
1. Manifest (2010)
2. Mystify (2011)
3. Mayhem (7/19/2011)
Posted September 13, 2010
I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like Krystal, she started off pretty "woe is me". Granted, she is really upset with her mother for leaving her father and not giving Krystal a reason. She has been moved to a new city and school and really doesn't have a clue as to why. Her mother has remarried and has expected Krystal to just go with the flow. I would be a little pouty and mad too. I think out of all of the characters though, my absolute favorite was Jake. I'm really hoping that in the next book he is focused on a lot more. There was just something about him that really drew me to his character. There is definitely more to learn about Sasha and whats going on with her as well. I really enjoy a book with powerful characters and these characters have powers for sure. This story flows along really well and is sometimes really hard to put down. I'm looking forward to reading more about the Mystyx. Definitely a book worth adding to your to be read list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 19, 2010
Everyone goes through struggles throughout their lives and its how we deal during those struggles that show us who we are. In Manifest we are introduced to Krystal Bentley who is not your average teenage girl. She has to deal with one of the hardest situations that could happen to a teenager, the separation of her parents and having to deal with their partners. On top of all that family drama she has to deal with a sexy Ricky Watson who, unfortunate for her, is dead and is recruiting her to find out who killed him. Krystal was a very straight forward girl not afraid to say what she felt except to her mother. Though Krystal was angry and in denial at what was going on in her life, I could surprisingly understand where she was coming from. Dealing with the breakup with no real explanation, ghosts, a new home, school & stepfather would make anyone angry. The plot was interesting and I liked how there was multiple situations going on with the story. With everything going on I was glad that she wasn't going through it alone, though reluctantly Krystal made friends with two unlikely kids at her school. Jake, the loner and Sasha the popular rich girl who surprisingly has powers of their own. Bringing them together in this mysterious journey that started way before they were born as well as unleashing an unknown evil. I enjoyed the added romance woven into all the supernatural, family drama and danger. I absolutely loved the diversity with the characters and how Arthur created a strong, realistic African American heroine who had faults but was able and willing to grow and mature into a better understanding person. I would have like going into more of the origins of the powers and more intensity within Krystal's romance. I would loved to have known more about Sacha and Jake's characters and can't wait for the continuation of the series. I felt that the story was a good read with lots of room to grow into a great series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 4, 2010
originally posted at: www.aurorareviews.blogspot.com ***** Nail-biting, edge of the seat sitting, hair-twisting suspense! Right from the start this book pulls you in and never lets you go...not that you want it to anyway.
Krystal Bentley is confused and living in a new world. To top it all off she can hear, see, and feel ghosts. She isn't really sure what to do with her life, so she is lashing out at anyone who dares to speak to her. There are a few times you just want to slap her, and tell her to snap out of it. Then there are other times you can really relate. Just about everyone I know, myself included, has had to deal with a life situation similar to hers, so it's easy to understand where her frustration is coming from. Coming from a broken family isn't easy for anyone. Several times you find yourself laughing at her humorous encounters with her new ghost friend Ricky Watson. He was killed a year ago, at the same school Krystal now attends. Since Krystal is the only one who can see him, he needs her help to solve his murder. You immediately like him.
You also may find yourself talking out loud to Krystal, trying to convince her to help Ricky. That is how deep you get pulled into this book. It's even better than watching a movie. You actually feel like you right there beside the characters, experiencing everything just as they are. Which is where the scary part comes in. I found myself many times too scared to look up from the book, because I knew there was going to be a ghost by my bed. Every sound I heard made me shiver. It's amazing the amount of bravery Krystal showed throughout the book. I know if I had to see ghosts everywhere, I would have handled it much differently...crying my eyes out in a mental institution, of course.
Seeing ghosts wasn't the only thing special about Krystal Bentley. Krystal meets Jake and Sasha and learn the three of them have something very special in common. They have a special bond which they decide only means one thing. They must form a group and start by helping Ricky find out who murdered him. This leads to an interesting adventure, each with a different task. I bet you'll be as surprised as I was to learn all the secrets this tiny town has to offer.
Krystal, Jake, and Sasha are one unlikely group of characters, but that's what makes the story so interesting. Jake is a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He knows all too well what it's like to grow up with only one parent, who seems non-existent anyway. Sasha, however, comes from one of the richest families in town. Not to mention she is very beautiful. She got the most grief from the other kids in school, just for hanging out with Krystal and Jake. You fall in love with the three of them, and every time they get into trouble, you are biting your nails hoping they find a way out. At every turn of the book there seems to be something new to discover. It's in no way predictable, although you will be trying to guess throughout who the murderer is.
You love how Krystal's character grows throughout the story. At first you want to hate her mom and step dad just as much as Krystal seems to. Then you grow right with her, and start to warm up to them. It has to be tough moving from the big city of New York, to a small town her mom grew up in. She was a daddy's girl, and hated not having him apart of her life anymore. Once she learns the real reason her mom left, she suddenly feels horrible for how she has been treating her.
Posted July 28, 2010
[close] Let me just say, what a ride!. The plot was something totally out of the ordinary and I devoured it. Krystal is your not so average girl with many problems. With her parents recently divorced and her mother newly re-married, moving to a new town making new friends was not was Krystal wanted. She was angry at the world, always walking around with a bad attitude.
Right after her 15th birthday, Krystal begins to hear a dead person voice. She constantly ignores him hoping that he will go away. It doesn't. Instead it builds, it manifests until she can no longer hear him but see him as well. Ricky needs her help. He was murdered and can not move on until he finds peace. Krystal also discovers a new set a friends that have the same birthmark as her. They find her trying to talk to her but she thinks that they are crazy. Ricky finally convinces her to go to them, and then she discovers that she isn't the only who can do stuff. She meets Sasha and Jake. Both with the same mark. Both with powers.
Together these three call themselves the Misfits, figuring what they are and why they are like this. Some relics from Jake's family history help figure out something, but they are still left with many questions. On top of all that, Krystal is dealing with new boy drama, a dark shadow that comes after her, and some pervert who is taking pictures of girls and posting them on the web. They also turned out dead.
Can these three Misfits figure out who the stalking pervert is in time to prevent another death? Will the shadow get them?
This book was intense. It was an absolutely amazing read. I loved how the story dealt with the divorce of Krystal parent's. I myself coming from divorce parents, it is hard on children. When Krystal's mother refused to tell her the reason for the divorce, she got upset and angry with her blaming her mother. It was causing a strain in her relationship with her mother and her new stepfather. They were always fighting. It wasn't until Krystal's father revealed the reason that she finally understood.
The book also touched the racial issue. I understand that stuff still happens and it should be addressed. Its not right to be rude just because of color, race, or religion. I also loved how these three Misfits of all different back rounds, were able to get along and work together to help Ricky out. All three of them made a great team solving the murder, preventing one, and helping save another student.
Artist Arthur did a magnificent job writing this. It was such a great story I couldn't out it down. And the end, to find out who the pervert was, had me gasping! It was something I had not seen in a while. Artist did a great job grasping the teen speak. I loved how real the characters seemed dealing with real life issues. This was simple easy to read, easy to relate to She also did a great job pulling together all the mystery and suspense This is her YA debut novel. I think she did a superb job writing this story with the twist of paranormal was just the right touch. Be sure to pick this book up!
Posted May 16, 2010
Manifest was a really good novel. I love how there were a few twists and turns that I did not expect.
In the beginning, I could not stand Krystal. She was a whiny, spoiled brat who was reacting to her parents divorce the wrong way. As the novel progressed, she progressed. She stopped being so secluded, and started to see that her mother was not the only guilty party. She began to treat her with kindness again. Sasha was great, but a little off. She would be all sweetness and love one minute, and then biting Krystal's head off the next. I enjoyed how she did not succumb to the clicks of her school, and that just because she was a Richie did not mean that she did not want to hang out with other social groups. Jake was a little hard to read. Even now I still feel like I don't really know all that much about him. One of his great character traits, however, is how he always seemed to be there to help Krystal out when she needed him.
I really enjoyed this one. It had romance, supernatural powers, friendship, twists, turns, and mystery. This is one to read.
Posted May 13, 2010
Krystal moved to Lincoln as soon as her parents got divorced. She can hear and see ghost. I understand how freak out she is, it is only natural that you don't want to do anything at first. I can only imagine the horrors of seeing one knowing that they are asking for your help. After much convincing from a ghost named Ricky and two other teenagers at her school, who possess other abilities. Jake has inhuman strength and Sasha can teleport.
I honestly wanted to smack Krystal for a good half of this book. Sure, she's still adjusting on her new life not only in school but also at home. She hates her stepfather and resents her mother for leaving her father. And then there's this ghost named Ricky, who asked for her help. But I didn't like her attitude because she's rude, overwrought and quite frankly a bit b!+chy but all that changed when she did decide to help Ricky and befriend and team up with Sasha and Jake.
There is a brief explanation or assumption, depending on how you look at it, on where they got their power and what the M birthmark which all three of them have, stands for. That got me, anything that has a greek mythology concept always captures my attention. So I hope they are right. I was left anticipating the real deal. And what is this black fog that Krystal keeps on seeing? I bet demon's breath (hehe. too much Supernatural). I enjoyed reading it, the twist on who was preying on teenage girls who also killed Ricky was very realistic (well... except the very last part). I am very much interested on what's going to happen next.
Posted May 29, 2012
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Posted May 8, 2011
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Posted June 26, 2012
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Posted July 30, 2012
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Posted December 6, 2010
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