4 stars · fiction · paranormal · young adult

Absent by Katie Williams


Author : katie williams [also wrote the space between trees]

pages : [hardcover] 184

favorite character : evan

summary :

Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school.

Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from
the roof during Physics class. Now she’s a ghost, permanently
bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn’t all bad, she can
find out everyone’s secrets, which can be amusing—for a while.
But then Paige hears something that isn’t amusing at all: the
rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death
wasn’t an accident—that she supposedly jumped on purpose.
Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do?
Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess
living people when they think of her, and she can make them do
almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl
who’s responsible for the stories. . . and have a little fun turning the tables while she’s at it.

Katie Williams’s second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of
eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly

review :

Absent by Katie Williams is everything and nothing like I’d expected it to be. It’s a much shorter and less action oriented novel than I thought that it would be, judging from the summary alone, though now that I’ve read it through I think that it sits at precisely the perfect length and follows a great pace for the plot that is presented. Some of what is shown is heavy material for teens in high school, blatantly speaking about drugs, alcohol, suicide, and the less horrible problems-teen love, friendship, and trust.

The characters in this were fantastic and flawed, both the living and the dead. Evan was definitely my favorite though he didn’t get much dedicated to him in the novel, though he was very sweet and understanding even after he’d been stuck alone and invisible in the school for so long. I loved the hint of mystery surrounding him for most of the book as well as the plot twists that keep appearing throughout the novel, all culminating in an ending that I really loved and think perfectly suited the story and the characters. Plus, there was so much happening that I hadn’t even imagined would come about, which was great.

I read The Space Between the Trees, Williams’ first novel, before this and thought that there was something off about it that kept me from completely enjoying it. Now that I really like Absent, I think that it wasn’t Williams’ writing style but probably just the plot that kept me from really diving into her work before. I really liked the characters and setup of Absent, so readers that might not have loved the other novel will definitely find something more in this one.

4/5 stars

4 stars · fiction · horror · romance · series · young adult

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Anna Dressed in Blood

Kendare Blake

Pages: [hardcover] 316

memorable quote:
“It feels so separate, like I’ve touched something that’s taken the color out of me. Or maybe I’m in color now and they’re in black and white.”

favorite characters: Thomas & Cas


Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. . .

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.


 I started this thinking I was in for a good, creepy ghost story, and knew that somehow romance would be thrown into the mix. Even though I knew it wouldn’t be a conventional paranormal story, it fell slightly short of my expectations, though I still enjoyed it.

For those looking for a psychological horror, this isn’t for you. It’s full of horrific ghosts, murders, mayhem, battles with spirits-and great descriptions of all of those. The writing in that respect was brilliant, and I could easily imagine a movie being made of this. The dialogue fell a little flat, as did the characters. Some of the things they did didn’t seem to make any sense, with their pasts, and some didn’t have reactions at all when something extremely life changing happened to them, just because they weren’t the main guy. Even he had his down moments.

I liked the new-ish take on the bad guys. While it’s hard to be original about ghosts, these weren’t the typical bump in the dark kind. Each one had their separate story, their own tricks up their sleeves, and a knack for killing people who happened to wander their way. This book isn’t for those who get squeamish at death scene descriptions.

 I did not, however, know that this is going to be a series. While I’m going to read the next book, whenever it comes out, I really need to start paying attention to that, so I’ll know what to expect. I thought everything would be resolved by the end of Anna Dressed in Blood, and while most was, there was still enough to keep me hooked. Which was the point. And . . I think it could have worked well enough as a stand alone.