Synopses & Reviews
Sometimes when life haunts you, you're better off becoming the ghost.
Emil Simon feels invisible enough. He counts as a nonentity at his elite preparatory school and makes barely a dent in his father's thoughts. When his older brother runs away, he entrusts Emil with a master key to Caramoor Academy. Soon Emil is sneaking into the school at night to explore...and falling for a faculty daughter who sneaks in for reasons of her own. This is a novel about living with disappearances...and willing yourself to appear.
"'Corrigan's (Splintering) gritty novel examines one teen's difficulty dealing with death. Things have not been easy lately for 16-year-old Emil Simon. His terminally ill mother killed herself a few months ago, he's been living in the shadow of his older brother, Ethan, and his father is distant. 'It's not like my dad stands as this stunning source of emotional support. I mean, it's a struggle for us to make conversation over dinner most nights.' Additionally, Ethan left home soon after their mother's death, his only goodbye a postcard with the word 'Later' written on it. Before departing, Ethan gave Emil a master key to the Caramoor Academy, the prestigious prep school Emil attends. Each year, the key, which opens every door in the academy, is passed to a different student. During one of his midnight excursions exploring the school, Emil meets 18-year-old Jade, his art teacher's daughter, and awkwardly pursues her. When Emil learns that Ethan left home because he assisted in his mother's suicide, he becomes determined to find his brother. Corrigan's story can seem to drag a bit as Emil reminisces about childhood events and meditates on the bonds he had with his mother and older brother. However, as teens get a glimpse into this lonely boy, they should readily empathize with Emil's romantic awkwardness, familial strains and his gawky endeavors to make sense of his life. Ages 12-up.' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Corrigan's first prose novel shines with language that authentically echoes teen speech patterns and slang....[It] will capture older teens with its realistic, fully developed characters who come of age on the page." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Emil proves to be a fascinating central character....Those who can handle Emil's frank narrative and raw language will find his almost brutal self-awareness and growing confidence touching." School Library Journal
"This story is tender without being sentimental. How Corrigan came to such a fierce and accurate understanding of the young male psyche I do not know, but she tells a good story that is completely believable." Children's Literature
"Part of the charm of this poignant book lies in Emil's thoughtful but complete dorkiness. He is no boy-genius like [John] Green's character Colin but a kind, normal boy with a screwed-up family." VOYA
Emil Simon feels like a nonentity at his elite prep school. When his older brother runs away, Emil finds a master key to Caramoor Academy. Soon Emil is sneaking into the school at night to explore and falling for a faculty daughter who sneaks in for reasons of her own.
About the Author
Eireann Corrigan is the author of the poetry memoir You Remind Me of You, and the novels Splintering, Ordinary Ghosts, and Accomplice, which Publishers Weekly called "haunting and provocative" in a starred review. She lives in New Jersey.