What a story! I absolutely loved ‘Wraith’ by Angel Lawson. ‘Wraith’ was received by myself gratefully in return for an honest review. And in all honesty, I found ‘Wraith’ to be a refreshing read with some dark and emotional areas. Aimed at an audience for young adults, this novel suits it’s audience’s needs perfectly, but is also quite a nice read for adults alike.
Not too short and not too long, this novel is just right with some great characters. Jane is the main character. At seventeen she is outcast as a weirdo, a freak, for talking to herself and behaving in a strange manner both in and around school. Little do people know that she is seeing and interacting with Evan, a ghost and her new best friend. Jane spends most of her time with Evan and they have a very close bond. However, when Connor begins Jane’s school she is not the only one who can see Evan. And Connor, having had connections with ghosts himself, is aware that Evan may not only be around Jane for her friendship but also needs her assisatnce to help his spirit move on. Whilst Jane is not ready to accept this, she eventually realises the truth, needing to help Evan’s mum and sisters escape from an abusive partner/stepfather-type, John.
The reader really feels sympathy towards Jane as it must be difficult for a young person trying to make new friends in a new town, at the same time as having to get used to a new school, leaving her old friends behind and being laughed at by her new classmates. Jane is very brave and holds her own reasonably well.
Connor, on the other hand, is familiar with the school as he used to attend it before. He has friends and is quite popular as some would prefer not to say a bad word against him due to rumours of his previous delinquent behaviour. He is seen as the bad boy at school, but a stunner and a charmer all the same. He can be quite sweet and he understands the situation that Jane is in with Evan.
Throughout the novel the reader experiences a great deal of doubt from Jane and mistrust for Connor. These feelings twist from one way to the other. The reader is constantly kept on their toes in regard to Connor. But as he’s so hot you want to trust him and hope that he means well.
Evan is a troubled spirit who is trapped as he hasn’t moved on in the spiritual world. He uses his time looking out for Jane and being a close friend to her. Thus, making company for both of them. However, Evan is worried about the well-being of his mother and sisters. He is a character that needs to be mothered and the reader just wants to wrap him up in cotton wool – if that is at all possible – and show him some affection.
My favourite character is Jeannie, Jane’s aunt. She is an artist and a hippy-type character. She seems very flighty and free. When she sees Jane she notices her aura and is aware that ‘death’ is following her around. Jeannie is definitely a character that could grow with this series and play more of a crucial role in Jane’s life by allowing Jane to confide in her. Jeannie is very spiritual with an elderly mother who shares Jane’s gift. I would love these characters to develop more and possibly add more humour and support for Jane.
There are some dark action scenes in this novel, nothing too graphic or terrifying, as Angel Lawson writes these scenes very carefully to target her attended audience. These scenes were great and intense as the reader can do nothing but hope for a great outcome. John, the abusive partner to Evan’s mum is an awful character as you could imagine an abusive man to be. Without spoiling the story too much, there are a couple of times he follows Jane. I would have liked more detail at these points to confirm how he knew about where and when Jane would be. Maybe I missed this but I felt that these scenes, even though very exciting and tense, come upon the reader very quickly without too much explanation.
I think that ‘Wraith’ is quite original, written well and easy to read. There is one scene, involving a key, that reminded me of the film ‘Ghost’ where Patrick Swayze’s spirit character, Sam Wheat, is able to pick up a penny and balance it on his finger towards his living wife, played by Demi Moore. It is really quite an emotional read in both sad and happy ways. I would like to read the sequel ‘Shadow Bound’ which is available now. So until then “later”!
Angel Lawson’s website: http://www.angellawson.com
‘Wraith’ book cover by kind permission of Anna Benefield & Samantha Marrs. Designer http://www.angstyg.com
Reviewed by Caroline Barker