Supervision by Alison Stine
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: April 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Something is wrong with Esmé.
Kicked out of school in New York, she’s sent to live with her grandmother in a small Appalachian town. But something is wrong with the grandmother Ez hasn’t seen for years; she leaves at midnight, carrying a big black bag. Something is wrong with her grandmother’s house, a decrepit mansion full of stray cats, stairs that lead to nowhere, beds that unmake themselves. Something is wrong in the town where a kid disappears every year, where a whistle sounds at night but no train arrives.
And something is wrong with the cute and friendly neighbor Ez’s age with black curls and ice-blue eyes: He’s dead.
Esme gets kicked out of her New York school when her grades begin to slip. Her parents died in an accident years ago and now it is just her and her older sister. Overwhelmed by Esme's antics after she is found in a subway tunnel, her sister ships Esme off to her grandmother's. Her grandmother lives in a strange old mansion in a rural town and works nights as a nurse. When Esme arrives at her grandmother's house she realizes something is wrong with her, no one can see her except Tom and Clara, two neighboring kids that may not be quite so alive. As Esme is vaulted into the spirit world, she learns her role and tries to help the living as well as the dead.
I really liked the idea behind this story, it was a different kind of ghost story aimed at the YA crowd. The beginning was a little clunky and confusing for me, and I still have some questions, but once Esme met Tom and Clara, things start moving. Esme was an interesting character; I felt like I had a hard time getting to know her, though. Esme did seem to find her way once she was invisible and she figured out how she could help the ghosts that she met. I did enjoy that Esme was diverse, a Chinese-American teen; I also liked all of the ghost characters. Tom, Clara, Martha, Mr. Black, the Builder and the Stationmaster were colorful and added a sense of danger. The relationship between Esme and Tom was very sweet at first, but then did seem a little strange as events progressed. The mystery of the Stationmaster and what he wanted created suspense and tied everything together at the end.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
ALISON STINE’s first novel SUPERVISION will be released by Harper Voyager UK in 2015.
Also the author of three books of poetry: WAIT (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press, 2009), and LOT OF MY SISTER (Kent State University Press, 2001), she has worked as an actor, an artist’s model, a high school teacher, and a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, and is an avid urban explorer.