Rated Reads

Nothing But Ghosts

by Beth Kephart

Rated: None

There are some things that stand out about certain authors: a sense of humor, fabulous world building, great characters. In the case of Beth Kephart, it’s the language that grabs you. Haunting and beautiful in its simplicity, it’s what keeps you turning pages, what you remember and savor when you close the book.

Danny got what he was hoping for, which was rain, though this rain is like bright white sheets of fire, a genuine storm.

Katie D’Amore’s mother died last year. She and her father have been making do, slowly getting back to normal. Healing is hard, true, but life — whether fortunately or unfortunately — goes on. Then, the summer after her mom dies, Katie gets a job on the grounds crew on the estate of the reclusive Miss Martine. It’s only after she catches her boss, Old Olsen, sifting through the dirt of the assigned summer project — a foundation for a second gazebo — that she starts to suspect something is up. And perhaps in figuring out Miss Martine she’ll be able to figure out how to live without her own mother.

It’s a mystery, but not an edge-of-your toes compelling mystery. Like everything else in the book, it’s reflective and poetic. Katie does do her legwork, and in the process learns a few things about herself. It’s a ghost story, but not a scary, supernatural one. And yes, there is a boy so it does qualify as a romance, but it’s not a swoon-worthy, heart-fluttery one. The book is many things, but the real reason to pick up this book is to enjoy Kephart’s effortlessly descriptive, beautifully evocative language.

“Past the drive, the road falls down so fast it feels like bungee jumping. A scrap of air gets caught between me and my backpack, tilts me back for half a second, then is whooshed away, and I’m flying forward, both hands wrapped around the handlebars and the bangs beneath my cap blowing wild across my face.”

Which, in some ways, is the best reason of all.

Rated: None

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • Nothing But Ghosts
  • by Beth Kephart
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: