Synopsis: Angelina Cartwright believes her dreams are premonitions of the future, but she didn’t know it was really ghosts trying to contact her. When Angel’s childhood imaginary friend reappears telling her she has the gift of seeing the deceased, Angel decides to tell her family the truth. Unfortunately, that lands her in a psychiatric hospital with little hope of ever getting home…
Author: Lisa Rogers previously worked in medicine, until deciding to follow her dream of becoming an author. With her children grown, Lisa now researches paranormal phenomena and dedicates much her time towards writing novels.
Point of View: The story is told in third-person, but for the most part follows Angel through school, her home life, and eventually her stay in the mental hospital. There are the occasional scenes that focus on various members of the Cartwright family, but even those revolve around their reaction to Angel’s secret.
Pacing: The action of this book is more mental/internal, as it is about a girl who can talk to ghosts. It manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seats with the fear that Angel will get caught “talking to herself” and thus be committed to the west wing of the psychiatric ward. What would normally be an inner monologue of the main character; in this book it becomes a dialogue between Angel and her ghosts.
Theme: This novel has an underlying moral about what it is to be a family. Most parents tell their children to come to them about anything, but when Angel tries her parents refuse to listen. Even after being diagnosed as insane, Angel never tries to stop getting her parents to believe in her.
Character: Sam is the big brother every girl wants, but is rarely seen outside of books and television. Sam and Angel have a close relationship, because he is protective, supportive, and has faith in her. Sam is also more open-minded to the possibilities, and never hesitates to be there whenever Angel needs him.
Character Development: Normally it is the main character who shows development throughout the novel, but Angel is the one who remains the same while everyone else changes around her. What develops in this story is the sense of family as the Cartwrights struggle to accept Angel for who she is.
Personal Thoughts: This story makes you question what it is to be insane. In this novel a teenager talking to ghosts doesn’t seem so unusual, even though it causes her to be committed, because -other than her not knowing who is alive and who is deceased- Angel seems completely normal. On the flip side you question the sanity and morality of those working in the mental hospital as they consider crying a sign of deep-psychosis, even though your family just had you committed.
Quote: Whatever happened to honestly being the best policy, anyway? Apparently all honesty does for a body is get you thrown into the nuthouse.
The Verdict: I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like this book as the topic was of a teenager who sent to a psychiatric hospital, but it exceeded my expectations. While the subject is a rather serious one, the antics of the ghosts add plenty of humour to the situation, and Angel never gives up hope.
Question: If someone told you they could converse with ghosts, what would you do?