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Sunday, August 21, 2016

An Empty Swing by N.J. Hanson

An Empty SwingAn Empty Swing 
by N.J. Hanson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed For +Readers' Favorite 

Luis is the target of the school bully Butch, and Serena is the gothic chic everyone avoids. When Luis spends some time in the old playground to avoid Butch he encounters Alice, a ghost, which completely freaks him out. He runs into Serena in the library in the section he needs to learn about ghosts and she ends up telling him what he needs to know, only to freak out on him. An Empty Swing is this amazing story that gives us teenage characters, coming into their own, the paranormal aspect of the ghosts. Then we have the mystery and crime element of why the ghosts are here and how they died. Author N. J. Hanson does a wonderful job of blending so many different layers of story together into one cohesive story.

An Empty Swing is such a complex story. For most of the ghosts, which happen to be innocent young kids that just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time, their existence as a ghost is no big deal, but to one kid, it turns him into a vengeful spirit. Luis has a backstory and history that plays into Serena's backstory and history, in ways that they never knew. There is some spiritualism, some crime and mystery, some detective work, some coming of age and teenage romance and some happily ever after. Author N. J. Hanson gives us characters to love, ones to hate, and ones we aren't sure about. Although this is marketed as a young adult book, it can easily be read by adults. There is one retelling of one victims account, but exact events are not described only alluded to, so I would advise parents to be available for teens should they want to discuss it after reading.

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