Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: Absent by Katie Williams

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 5/21/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelsweiss 
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school.

Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from
the roof during Physics class. Now she’s a ghost, permanently
bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn’t all bad, she can
find out everyone’s secrets, which can be amusing—for a while.
But then Paige hears something that isn’t amusing at all: the
rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death
wasn’t an accident—that she supposedly jumped on purpose.
Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do?
Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess
living people when they think of her, and she can make them do
almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl
who’s responsible for the stories. . . and have a little fun turning the tables while she’s at it.

Katie Williams’s second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of
eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly

My Thoughts

I admit, it was the cover that attracted me to this book. It's so simplistic, yet gorgeous and I had to know more. Then, I found it was a ghost story and I was sucked right in. I had to have it! This was a very quick read and it had a bit of mystery to it. I loved discovering the outcome along with Paige, though some of it I was able to figure out before she does.

Paige was a character that I really felt bad for. I mean, how could I not feel bad for a girl who died at school and is now stuck there. Talk about suckishness!! She isn't alone at least. She and Evan, another ghost trapped at school, get along pretty well. She gets along okay with Brook, but she prefers to spend her time wandering alone or with Evan. She is really upset that people think she committed suicide and wants more than anything for people to know that she didn't, especially her best friend Usha who is angry that she could do that. I could almost feel her desperation, but also thought she was selfish inhabiting people's bodies to try to stop the rumor. She is lost, broken, and upset. I loved who she became through the book though, and that she was able to grow up. Sadly, that can't bring her back.

There was a whole bunch of other characters that I really enjoyed too. Evan, who was friendly and helpful, but kept his past to himself mostly. He really was a big part of the story, and I think that he was fantastic. Then Usha, who is still alive. She's hurt and angry at Paige, but she is a great person and was a wonderful friend. Then there is Harriet, who somehow can see the ghosts. The part she plays in the story is a major mystery solver. Probably my favorite was Wes. He is one of what Paige refers to as the "Burners" but she has him all wrong. He is really a sweet, artistic, real guy. He says what is on his mind, though it's not always interpreted the right way. He was so awesome and I couldn't get enough of him. I was glad that we got to know him well. There are so many other characters that play a big part in the overall story, but those are the most notable.

I was so sucked in to this story. I thought that the plot was wonderful, the characters were amazing and well developed, and there was just enough emotion to really fully absorb me into the book. I was frantically turning pages the closer I got the then end. I needed to know if the things I suspected were correct. For such a short book, this was packed full and was very satisfying. It's also a stand alone, which is nice in a sea full of series. This was really a great book that I think anyone who likes ghost stories, or contemporaries would enjoy.


  1. Oh, Usha? That's a name I have never heard before. Seems like this was packed with a bunch of awesomesauce characters. Oh and a stand alone? This may very well be a book I've been waiting for to add to my SARC13 challenge. Seriously, every book out there is a part of a series -.- Refreshing to have a standalone that's emotional, character-driven and well-written. Lovely review, hon!

    1. Yes!! A stand along that is done very well!! For such a short book it really packs a punch too. I thought it was very good!!

  2. OMG we have the exact same thoughts on the cover, when I was reading your review I felt like my words about the cover had magically been written down , lol ;) I like the sound of this one, emotional reads always do me well. Nice to see all the characters working out perfectly!

    Brilliant review, Amy! <33

    1. The characters were done really well. Not all very likeable, but they were still developed well, not just thrown in here and there. I loved being in Paige's head too. She was a great MC.

  3. Awwww, glad you enjoyed this so much. I love feeling sucked into a novel. There's nothing better than the world around me disappearing. *happy sigh*

    With all the compliments on the characterization, I think I need to add this to my list!

  4. Sounds interesting. Sometimes I like ghost stories. Glad you liked it!

  5. I remember looking at the this one and thinking it would be good. Glad you enjoyed it. So agree with the cover.

  6. What? You wouldn't want to be stuck in high school for the rest of your after-life? Haha *shoots self dead again* This sounds interesting though I love any book/plot that has to do with ghosts. Plus it sounds like it was at least a little unpredictable? So rare!! I have heard a lot of great reviews so far on it too and I hadn't even heard of it until recently it seems to be making a sudden bam. Great review, muffin!

  7. I am so happy that you liked this one too. And that now someone else has read this book, I was all alone for a while. I was so surprised at how much emotion was packed into so few pages too! So well done!

  8. Oh, this sounds so good! A ghost who discovers she may have been murdered? That tickles my fancy in a big way, thanks for the review, Amy--I'm definitely adding this to the TBR list. Even though it won't thank me.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  9. Sometimes simple covers are the best. The get the message across faster. I only read a few review for this book and it sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

  10. That is a pretty cover. I love when a story pulls you in so thoroughly. Glad you enjoyed this!

  11. WOW! How she died?! That is great! This isn't some clone book. It sounds AWESOME.

  12. The last "ghost who has to solve her own murder" book I read was not great -- but I love the premise, so I am excited to try this one!

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

  13. This is a new one to me. I love the cover! And I'm always game for stories that pull you right in like that. Glad you enjoyed this one! :)

  14. This one sounds interesting but I don't really feel a spark. I'm happy you enjoyed it though :)

  15. Being stuck at school would totally suck! LOL I also can't blame her for wanting to stop rumors especially if she is stuck there hearing it all and seeing it affect her friend. A short stand alone book is always great especially when it really sucks you in and packs a punch in such a short time.


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