Author: Katie Williams
Review: Katie Williams second novel Absent was an amazing read. The opening pages debate what it is like to die. And it’s here we learn our protagonist Paige has died.
The premise of this novel reminded me of a lot of other books I had read but with one key difference, Paige isn’t just dead – she can also possess the living. As a lover of all horror, thriller and paranormal books this book was right up my street.
This book was surprisingly short at only 180 pages, compared to other books of similar genre which can stretch into the 300+ page region, which was another big plus for this novel. I haven’t read anything by this particular author but I have heard massive praise for The space between trees, which I hope to read in the near future.
The story is told from Paige’s perspective looking and listening in on the lives of her living friends and classmates at school. I liked how the story focused on harder topics like suicide, and how the people left behind deal with it after the fact. Although this doesn’t link directly to Paige it is a topic thrown around a lot during the story. I also like the possession aspect as it adds a paranormal element but it also adds a comforting feeling to novel – feeling that someone who has died is still with us.
I really loved how the primary and seconday characters intermingle especially between the living and the dead. I also liked how Paige, Brooke and Evan interact in their shared anxiety, anger and desire to be free. I also like Paige’s determination not to reverse the rumours but to makes sure her best friend – her only true friend – knows the truth and remembers her the way she was in life.
Katie William has a unique, profund and slightly lyrical writing style which made Paige – as well as others – as characters just come alive on the page and you truly feel for them, wanting what they want, feeling what they feel and that’s exactly what you want in this kind of novel.
One of my favourite things about this novel is how Paige goes about changing what she thought could never be changed – the rumours of her death and the techniques she employs to do so. I also liked the fact we feel what Paige feels even when she is possessing someone else.
I loved Harriet as she is the only person that can see the ghosts – although she isn’t like characters in other paranormal novel who instantly jump on the “help the ghost” band wagon she is afraid of them and she has every right to be. I can honestly say there wasn’t a lot of thing I didn’t like about this novel. It doesn’t conform to the over-used tropes and sterotypes, it’s a fresh, new perspective on the certain paranormal sub-genres.
The last 50 pages of this book were amazing with secret being revealed and truths being told. The ending of this book isn’t what I would call a happy ending but it has the makings of one. In the end it is for the reader to decide, some will see it as sad and depressing, others will see it as hopefully and full of life.
I’d highly recommend this book to anyone that liked My heart and other black holes by Jasmine Warga or 13 reasons why by Jay Asher. This book is heart wrenching, lovely and everything you want in a sweet YA book.
This Book was sent to me by Abrams & Chronicle
Buy it here:
Kindle Edition: www.amazon.com