Title: The Swallow: A Ghost Story Author: Charis Cotter Published: September 9th 2014 by Tundra Books Format: ARC ebook; Hardcover, 320 pages Genre: Young Adult Source: Netgalley Ages: Age Level: 9 - 12 | Grade Level: 4 - 7
Once you pick up this book, you cannot put it down.
Rose and Polly, two early teen girls interweave a friendship that has the reader wondering which parts are real and is it possible that Winnie is not the only ghost that needs to find peace.
Like a movie from M. Night Shyamalan, the reader falls under the spell of The Swallow. Two young girls meet through the wall of their adjoining attics and form a quick friendship. One wishes that she could see the ghosts that she reads about, the other wishes that the ghosts she sees would go away. One feels invisible, ignored and alone, the other wishes that her large family full of annoying siblings and foster children, would just go away and leave her alone. What appears on the surface as two girls wanting what the other has, turns darker when the realities of their lives are exposed.
Like the movie, The Sixth Sense, there were clues along the way, but until the very end, you do not see the clues for what they are. Either that or you did not want to believe what you were reading. Either way, the conclusion is so encompassing that you literally get lost in the book. Like the clouded bubble that is mentioned, this is how you feel. The world falls away from you until you are sitting in the attic with Polly and Rose hearing the sad truth unfold.
Though a ghost story, this book is not terrifying. It is tragic and powerful. It is a story of love and friendship and coming to terms with your purpose.