*Huge thank you to Random House Graphic for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
Lora is at that age where everyone around her is growing up. But Lora doesn’t feel like it, and slowly finds herself with less and less friends. Until one day she discovers a new – or rather old – friend in her attic in the form of Alexa, a ghost that lives in Lora’a home. The two become close and share a bond that we all once had as children, but lost in adulthood. As Lora faces challenges about growing up, Alexa tries to solve the mystery of her death, and why she is still lingering as a ghost. Throughout the story, the two face the world as a team, but they may grow up and apart in the process.
My first reaction when seeing this book with the title and art was “Yes, I am HERE for this”. The art is whimsical, and the colors pop right out. As you should hopefully know by now, anything witchy is my aesthetic. So a seance tea party? Sign me up, fam.
The description of the story on the back didn’t give me much insight into what the story was about, and I was okay with that. It would’ve been nice to know that it would make me ugly cry in a Starbucks, but we’ll get to that later.
The story starts off a bit slow, showing the reader how Lora is slowly losing touch with her friends. There are no words on the first few pages, so the reader has to deduce what is going on by the pictures only. It was a nice introduction to the story, though some wording would’ve been nice.
The story progresses quickly then, introducing Alexa the ghost and the main plot of the storyline. I won’t go into too many details to avoid ruining anything, just know that Lora and Alexa become very close all while Lora is growing up, and suddenly Alexa wants to grow up too. They grow apart because of this, but they each eventually find what they need.
So I wasn’t prepared for how emotional this book was going to make me, and decided to read it one Sunday afternoon in a Starbucks. I was pretty good up until the very end, and then completely lost it. This story covers the topic of death in a beautiful way, and having lost a few family members myself I could really sympathize with all the characters. It was so bad my husband inevitably had to distract me and tell me about his book that he was reading so I could compose myself and we could y’know, go back to that Starbucks in the future. The lesson I’m trying to teach you is that you should not read this book in public, or at least read it at a library where it’s safe to cry. Don’t be like me. Don’t ban yourself from a coffee shop.
Overall this book was beautifully drawn, wonderfully written, and had a genuine, heartfelt message about love, loss, and what it means to grow up. I absolutely loved it.