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A Certain Slant of Lightby Laura Whitcomb
Synopses & Reviews
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen — terrified, but intrigued — is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.
"First-time author Whitcomb infuses Gothic romance with modern-day drama to create a highly sensual, supernatural story of two spirits caught in purgatory. The body of Helen perished 130 years ago, but her soul still roams the Earth, cleaving to humans who share her love of literature. In all those years, Helen has never seen anyone else who is 'Light,' until she meets James, who has possessed the body of an 11th grade student. Knowing at once that they are meant to be together, Helen allows James to teach her how to enter the body of an 'empty' teenager, not knowing what complications lie ahead. Posing as Jennifer Ann, the daughter of fundamentalist Christians, Helen finds herself trapped in a sterile household void of art and literature with little chance to visit James, who lives in a run-down house with a violent older brother. Meticulously wrought descriptions of the ghosts' feelings and actions allow readers to experience the physical sensations of Helen and James as they rediscover the pleasures of taste and touch and re-experience the suffering that is part of every human experience. Sexually explicit scenes and not-so-gentle jabs at hypocritical Christians may raise some eyebrows, but the author's poetic prose, capturing the spirit and sorrow of the two unearthly protagonists, will likely have a mesmerizing effect on readers. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Whitcomb writes with a grace that befits Helen's more modulated world....In the subgenre of dead-narrator tales, this book shows the engaging possibilities of immortality — complete with a twist at the end that wholly satisfies." School Library Journal
"What should be a sure-fire ghost story/romance fails to ignite a spark....Unsurprising plot, under-developed characters and adequate prose doom this first novel." Kirkus Reviews
"Whitcomb is generous with atmospheric detail...and she creatively pulls together a dramatic and compelling plot that cleverly grants rebellious teen romance a timeless grandeur." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A haunting, contemporary love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Conversion
Its summertime in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychics in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.
As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose petal lips and her entrancing glow. But theres something about her that he cant put his finger on that makes him wonder about this intriguing hipster girl from the Village. Why does she use such strange slang? Why does she always seem so reserved and distant? And, most importantly, why does he only seem to run into her on one block near the Bowery? Annies hiding something, a dark secret from her past that may be the answer to all of Wess questions . . .
About the Author
Laura Whitcomb grew up in Pasadena, California where she lived in a mildly haunted house for 12 years. She has taught English in California and Hawaii. The winner of three Kay Snow Writing Awards, she was once runner up in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest for the best first sentence of the worst science fiction novel never written. She is involved in community theater and volunteers backstage in various productions, plays a wench in the pirate re-enactment group BOOM, and sings madrigals with the Sherwood Renaissance Singers. She lives in Portland, Oregon. This is her first novel.
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