Friday, 20 March 2009

I Heart You You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date: January 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: paperback
Source: gift from friend

Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back...
...sort of.

Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here.
Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

My first impression of the book is that it's extremely sad. Even though the synopsis and the cover exude more mystery than sadness, it's still a heart-wrenching one to me. It was, but instead of being desperate kind, it provoked so many emotions in a different way.

I really loved the plot. It sounded really simple, but because everything made perfect sense and no details were redundant, it really shone. The story started with Jackson's funeral and went on with Ava's life after her boyfriend's death, came between were the flashbacks of the whole story - how they met, fell in love; how they were happy together and how he left her behind in this world on that fateful day. The good thing was Lisa kept the reason for Jackson's death in the dark, so even if the first pages were pure mourning, you didn't want to turn away from the book.

The flashbacks were nicely written so they showed a lot about Jackson. With just a few actions and very few words, Lisa made her male lead the sweetest and most charismatic guy ever. He was sweet, childlike, cutely grumpy, and had a way to make bad things look good. I also liked how his ghost never showed up, he just whispered in Ava's mind, talked to her through music and informed his presence with scent. In that way Jackson was just as scary as how a spirit should be, yet it was still too vague for the scare to be so strong.

So what made the book? Definitely the changes in Ava's thoughts and feelings. It was very well organized and it really flew - first it was excitement, then self-doubt and panic, and finally, pacification. With Ava the readers gained realization of what happiness really meant. Facing painful reality and getting over grief are something you have to do, even if they're so difficult, to move on and lead a life you should have. The appearance of Lyric was a fresh move. For a second I thought he was going to be Ava's hero since he was the one that helped her feeling safe and alive. And I loved the ending, it was sad but it put a smile on my face, big one too.

I have some small problems though. First, it was so short. I was hoping that Lisa would elaborate some parts so I could read more of Ava and Jackson. Second, the story was written in verse so in some case I find it quite a waste of paper. I really appreciated S&S's shortening the height of the book size, but I think they can do something with the width too.

Rating: 4/5


Lenore said...

I haven't yet tried to read any books in verse. I have two of Hopkins books though that I'll try. And if I find I like verse, then I'll have to pick this one up too.

Leah:) said...

A little birdy tells me you have an award waiting for you at my blog!