Ghostwriter by Tyan Wyss
A Teen/YA Speculative Fiction/Historical Fiction Novel published by Tyan Wyss-Lockner (07/27/13)
Micah is not afraid of ghosts, in fact, they don’t faze him at all. When the Chasens move into a haunted house in the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California, the ghost of the house’s former occupant appears to Mica and asks for his help. The ghost is Ethan Samuels, who died approximately 100 years ago in the very house Micah lives in, in present day 2013, and the 11-year old precocious Micah is compelled to help the ghost. Acting as a ‘ghostwriter’ Micah simultaneously writes up a social studies report for school and documents the details surrounding Ethan’s death. In his quest to help his only ghostly friend, Micah becomes involved in current town affairs and will attempt to get to the bottom of what really happened all those years ago.
Ghosts, Historical Fiction, Grieving, Southern California, Jews, Friendship, Thoughtfulness, Bullies, Resolutions
Tyan Wyss is a writer who doesn’t leave any checks unmarked in the lengthy list of novel requirements. Her story is robust. The characters are well-written and vibrant, coming alive through the story. Her descriptions are just enough to give the reader the complete picture while still leaving some parts to the imagination. The pacing is perfect. And then the ending… Wyss has a way with the climax of the story and with giving a well-rounded ending. This book in particular was so heartfelt and connected with me emotionally that I got a bit teary eyed. I was so caught up in the story that I felt the emotions coming through the story.
Ghostwriter reminds me of Holes, in that it seamlessly intertwines two stories into one novel, the story of how Ethan died and the story of how Micah helps Ethan discover his past and move forward with his death. Not all authors can work two stories together well, but Wyss is phenomenal with this aspect of the story. She would probably be a great mystery writer because she is able to mingle the stories in such a way that pieces start to fall into place, grabbing and hooking the reader with each new part of the puzzle. She also delivers a killer ending that makes sense according to the previous elements while still being not completely predictable.
Wyss also touches upon subjects like moving to a new town, being bullied, being alone, making friends, grieving for lost loved ones, and other situations that affect young teens in an expert manner that is so subtle it just blends right into the story without intruding into the main action, but rounds out the novel.
I was too involved in the story to take many notes of my reactions to elements of the story or highlight favorite passages, it was just too good to put down, even for a moment.
This story would appeal to the underdogs, those who like a well-written historical fiction mashup like Holes by Louis Sachar, or a mesmerizing YA book about a precocious boy and a ghost.
This novel was published by Tyan Wyss-Lockner July 27th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.
TLDR Star Rating:5.0
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