Thanks to my sudden addiction to NA (New Adult) novels it took me quite some time to finish this book, but now that I have I'm really pleased I got to meet the author and read it early. Having never read a fiction teen book with real pictures in it before (I know, I know, I need to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) I was slightly fascinated by the idea, but also a little confused as to how well it would work. Having just read the last word of the last chapter of this book I can honestly say that I was not at all confused when it came to the pictures that were scattered throughout the book. I will say that in the end I wanted to see MORE pictures, at least one at the very end of the book. Not being one of those people who believes in spirits (don't get me wrong, I do enjoy reading about them, and watching Supernatural) it's interesting to see pictures, despite possibly being doctored in some way, of spirits. The fact that the novel was rooted in history, WWI, and included the Spanish Flu also piqued my interest, because I love a good plague story. There was also female power in this book! If you've taken the basic high school US history class you know that when WWI rolled around and all the eligible men were shipped off to go fight so women got jobs they didn't usually have, and they were important in the economy for one of the first times, so seeing that included in the novel was just great. Mary Shelly Black (yes, like the author) was a great main character and I I really connected to her, because despite it being 2013 women who want to know things, who want to LEARN things, and who are smart are still thought of as odd, even here in the US to some extent. This book deals with ghosts, which are in a way monsters, but I think the real idea is that the monsters are right here, that WE, humans, are the monsters. But that sometimes all it takes for the monsters to be held at bay, for them to disappear, at least for a little while, is for someone to stand up to them, for someone to do right. I'm thoroughly pleased with Cat's debut novel, and I can't wait to see what she writes next, because despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of history, she makes it fun, and she teaches not only history, but humanity.
Out April 2, 2013
*Thanks to Amulet Books for providing me with an ARC of this book (via ALA Midwinter) in return for an honest review.