Saturday, June 5, 2010

I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder

I think I mentioned that my agent recently sent me a couple of books.  I've been meaning to write about the a free verse novel that I particularly enjoyed called I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder.  This brilliant but sad story simply has not gotten the attention it deserves.  Told in verse through the eyes of 15 year Ava, the story begins with her mourning her boyfriend Jackson.  Ava's heart is heavy with grief and guilt and it turns out that Jackson's death is the result of a daring game that escalated between them during their otherwise perfect love.  When Ava has a hard time letting go of Jackson, he shows in the form of the shape of ghostly hauntings which Ava initially welcomes.

But dating a ghost has it's problems. Before long Ava finds that her sanity and privacy are too high a price to pay for love.  She begins avoiding Jackson and that means avoiding sleep.  She doesn't know where to turn for help since even her best friend thinks Ava's crazy when she confides in her.  In the end, Ava has to let go of guilt and embrace life to free herself and to free Jackson.

I heart you, You haunt me is poignant quiet story.  But the chord it really touched in me is the one so many editors and agents are dying to bring to the printed page; a unique voice.  The author's ability to capture 15 old Ava's voice with truth and simplicity is what really makes this quiet story shine.  The poems are rich and insightful and yet as subtle as the scent of sandalwood shaving cream that alerts Ava to Jackson's ghostly presence. They echo passion and grief and confusion and fear as readily as they do love.  It's one of those 'one sitting' books that you won't want to put down until you turn the last satisfying page.


Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite books. For me, Ellen Hopkins does the same thing with voice. One title,IMPULSE (about teen suicide) told from POV of three characters...each one distinct, you would not need the name headings to know who was talking.

readingkidsbooks said...

Hey Deb. We're definitely on the same page. Ellen Hopkins is one my fav writers.