Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ruined by Paula Morris (Point, 2009)

A not-so-typical-ghost story interwined with facinating details about the history and culture of  New Orleans that help create a tragic, suspenseful and exotic atmosphere. Seventeen year old Rebecca is sent to stay with her New Orleans relatives while her father is on a lengthy business trip. Ostracized by her rich and privileged classmates, she spies on a small group, the creme de la creme of New Orleans society, as they hang out and party in the local cemetery. While there, she meets a friendly, but mysterious girl who, in actuality, is a ghost.  Lisette, a free black girl was murdered 150 years before and to avenge her death, Lisette's mother placed a powerful voodoo curse on descendents of the wealthy and powerful family responsible for her death.  Caught up in an increasing dangerous turn of events, Rebecca races against time to find a way to break the destructive curse before others die. While the reader needs to suspend reality a bit, the story is fast paced with chilling moments and surprising plot twists. Recommended for ages 14+.