Friday, September 23, 2011

My Lunatic Life

My Lunatic Life by Sharon Sala (Memphis, TN: Bell Bridge Books, 2011). Reviewed from e-galley provided by publisher via

Tara Luna and her aging hippie uncle, Pat, have just moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, in time for the start of Tara's senior year in high school, and naturally she's overjoyed. Not really.  While she's grown accustomed to the constant moving occasioned by her uncle's restless nature, and she deeply appreciates the care he's taken of her since her parents died when she was a baby, she's hoping they'll stay put this time.  Aside from Uncle Pat, the two constants in her life--her best friends really--are ghosts, Millicent and Henry, who have been with her as long as she can remember.  She can see them (Millicent usually takes the shape of a pink vapor, Henry a grayish form) and talk to them. Oh, and she's psychic, too, so she can sense what people are feeling, read their auras, and hear their thoughts.  It may not be normal, but it's her normal.

Now that she's a senior Tara's decided she's not going to try to blend in, the way she has in the past.  Whatever happens, happens.  Unfortunately, she tangles with the cheerleader clique on the first day of school and even attracts the attention of  Flynn O'Mara, the hottest guy she's ever seen.  Plus she feels compelled to help people when she senses they need help--like the teacher whose babysitter is stealing from her, or the guy who nearly dies in the boys' bathroom.  Then there's the dark spirit in her house who seems to need something and the head cheerleader goes missing. 

Tara is a super character to read about; Sala handles the paranormal elements deftly and with great humor. The ghosts pull ghostly stunts, but also have their own distinct characters as well. Millicent's malapropisms add some laughs and her text messages are funny, too. The romance moves along nicely, plus there's the mystery of figuring out what's going on with the dark spirit and trying to locate the missing cheerleader.  All in all, My Lunatic Life is a great start to what looks to be a fun series.  Recommended for teens 13 and up.

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