This book has elements of just about everything in it. It started off as realistic fiction. Girl meets boy, who somehow ends up staying with the girl's family. But added to that is that the boy, Jesse, has flashbacks about his past, and visions of a boy he has never met, while having conversations with something that could be a computer. And, if that isn't enough, he also has fire-starting and healing powers.
It is quite well-written, even with the confusion of so many genres appearing in the same book. It was also highly entertaining, mostly because you never knew what was going to happen next. I couldn't stop reading it, mainly because I kept having to decipher just what was happening.As I read on, I could understand the title of this book. In some ways, Jesse was a ghost. Someone who was there, but who wasn't who he thought he was. I really liked his vulnerability. He held a lot of guilt over his past and a belief that he was better off alone. He also had to live with the gifts he had been given - even if he considered some of them a curse. He's also trying to find out who he is. What teenager doesn't ask themselves at one time who they are? I know I did. And that's what draws me to this book - the underlying realism to it - even when it's anything, but that.
Some of the scenes written are very intense and I wonder if L. Lee Lowe wrote purely for fun or if there was some hidden meaning behind the writing. In one scene, the one with the man hanging from the tree, it felt almost spiritual to me. As if Jesse had to put something to rest before he could move on. Like letting go of his past so he could live the life he should be living and not the one he was. And, I know it may only be me reading into it, but it reminds me of Shakespeare's 'As you like it' - 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players...'
In some ways that's how it feels. It's like Jesse is a puppet with someone else pulling the strings, especially with Red and the others.Sarah, another character, is what held Jesse together. She's the one who gives him hope. She goes through a similar hell to Jesse and yet at the same time different. In some ways, she's also his downfall or at least the guys she hung around with were. There are other characters I adore as well, like Sarah's dad, Finn. He gave Jesse support when he needed it and was there for him when no other male figure was.
This whole novel was complicated, gave me hope of a happy ending for the characters, and was bittersweet. I can't go to much into why it's bittersweet because it would contain spoilers. I didn't consider the book a light read, well, it was a light read at the start and evolved from there. To be honest, some of it I didn't understand at all, mainly because, as I mentioned earlier, there was more than one or two genres in it. But even so, it didn't stop me from liking it. The book is also longer than most, so it will take more time to read.I think this book is best suited to someone who prefers a challenging book, because that's how I found it.
And now, since I don't have anything more to add, here is my rating :three out of five stars.