By : Zoe Kalo
Word count: 55,000
Release date: February 2017
Kicked out of school, 17-year old Paloma finds herself in an isolated convent in the tropical forests of 1970s Puerto Rico, where she must overcome her psychosis in order to help a spirit and unveil a killer.
An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…
17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia. When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…
Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?
Paloma has been kicked out of her high school in 1973 school for performing a seance along with a few other things. Her strict Catholic mother is worried about Paloma's obsession with the dead and has arranged for her to attend a convent school hidden within the Puerto Rican forests. Paloma only wanted to try to connect with her deceased father and now she has to finish the last seven months of her senior year hidden away. When Paloma arrives, it is as she expected- strict nuns and strange girls. Paloma is taken in by a group of girls; the ring leader is Rubia, who seems to know everyone's secrets, Maria is sweet and kind, Sylvie is another rule breaker, much like Paloma and Adelita, who seems well-meaning but has episodes of what seems to be histrionics. While trying to muddle through the rest of the year, Paloma is pulled into the mysteries of the convent and the secrets of the other girls.
This is a fast-paced paranormal thriller that I was kept glued to through one sitting. I was immediately pulled into the interesting setting of the idyllic but haunting convent where, tucked away and forgotten, things can easily be hidden. The clique of girls also got my attention. Teenage girls can be harsh, but this bunch was especially so. Each of the girl's personalities was written exquisitely. I could imagine them perfectly. I also loved that this was set in Puerto Rico and had a diverse set of girls! The supernatural and unreliable narrator worked well together and made everything more mysterious and dangerous. Immediately, we were introduced to a possible ghost at the school and Paloma, who conducts seances; from there it seemed to be a simple ghost story, but there was so much more. The layered secrets and mystery of the chameleon causing chaos in the school had me rapt in attention. My only wish was that this short book would have been longer and went more in depth into the characters histories and motivations since they were all so complex. Overall, an excellent and quick read for anyone who likes supernatural thrillers.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.