Friday, October 25, 2013
Friday Feature: Haunting Joy by Lena Goldfinch
Joy's grandmother gives her a thrift store dress...a dress with a little supernatural history. A dress that's a little more than she expected.
"I never believed in ghosts.
Until it happened to me."
I know I heard a sound, an almost human-sounding sigh, and it came from the corner of my room. Inside my room. I’m sure of it. As I slide my gaze back that way, a chill slithers over me. All the tiny hairs on my arms stand at attention. You know, like that moment in the dark when you suddenly think someone—or something—might be in the room with you.
Only, my room’s not dark at all. It’s clear and bright outside. Sunlight is pouring through my skylight. Even so, my room feels creepy and strange now. I peer into the corner, searching for any sign of movement, for anything different, like a mouse or squirrel or something. But the dog would have been all over that, I think, wouldn’t he? The only thing I see is my chair. Except...the white dress is no longer heaped in a haphazard pile on the seat. It’s laid out all nice and neat, with the straps up over the back cushion and the skirt spread out over the seat. The two matching flip flops are sitting side by side in front of the chair, toes pointed toward me. Like there’s an empty girl sitting there, in an empty dress, with her empty flip flops, looking right at me.
I sit up quick and swing my legs over the side of the bed. The room tilts around me, and the floor’s flying up to meet my face, so I grab the edge of my mattress and take a deep, calming breath. Or try to.
“Mom,” I yell toward the door.
I hear her muffled reply.
“Did you lay out my new dress?” I call to her.
“What dress, sweetie?”
As if she knows nothing about it.
My heart squeezes into a knot.
Add it on Goodreads.
I love this cover! So pretty! But moving on to the story... This is such a quick, fun read. It's not your typical "girl gets haunted" story either. Joy is given a dress of a dead girl—who she finds out was named Beth—and she soon realizes that Beth's spirit is tied to this dress. But instead of fearing the ghost, Joy wants to help her. She gets visions of Beth's last moments and unravels how Beth really died. And all along, she can hear Beth's thoughts in her mind, though only in bits and pieces so Beth can't just tell Joy what happened to her, and the coolest thing is that when she looks in the mirror while wearing the dress, she can see Beth in the reflection. (I loved that part!)
The way the two work together is great. Joy is taken over by Beth, but not in a scary, possessed sort of way. Joy knows she needs to wear the dress to sense Beth, so she does wear it a lot. But she's doing it to help her spirit move on, which I thought was touching.
If you're up for a quick ghost story, give this one a try.
What do you think? Would you help a ghost?
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