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A Ghost Story
Sara Cole is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Sara is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into...
Sara Cole is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Sara is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into...
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  • Sara Cole is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Sara is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Sara is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer.


  • From the book 1
    I remember dying.
    After I got injured my heart stopped and I flatlined.
    I was done and gone. But I wasn't alone.
    There was something waiting for me when I died. Something dark and cold tried to take my soul away.
    When they brought me back to life I escaped from it. Left it behind.
    But what if it came back with me, followed me home like a hungry stray?

    Don't think about it.
    I keep telling myself that.
    Today I find out what they're going to do with me. I'm counting down the hours till my doctor's appointment.
    My best friend, Lexi, is doing her best to distract me. So on this stormy afternoon she drags me out in my backyard to try a new trick shot with her camera. "We're going to stop the rain."
    That would be a real magic trick out here on the Rain Coast, in the town of Edgewood. Never heard of the place? I'm shocked. We're famous for our wet weather.
    Lexi gets me to stand under the tree in back. It doesn't give me any shelter, with all the dripping branches.
    "What do I do?" I ask as she sets up her tripod on the grass.
    "Just stay still, Jane. Facing me. I need to get the focus perfect."
    Most days are gray around here, where the sky is always crowded with clouds and the rainy season never seems to end. Makes you feel color-blind sometimes, starving your eyes. Only the bloodred of Lexi's lipstick saves the world from fading to black-and-white right now.
    "Ready?" she says. "Okay, the camera's set for superquick shots. Don't move for a minute. And close your eyes. This flash is really intense."
    I shut them, and Lexi starts shooting as the wind shakes cold raindrops from the branches above. Through my lids I can make out the flashes, like rapid-fire lightning. When it feels like a minute's gone by, I open my eyes and catch the last blinding flares.
    "Done," she says.
    We run to the back porch and check out the results. As I blink away the afterimage fireworks, my vision clears and I see Lexi beside me.
    Always in black, she looks like the Grim Reaper's hot little sister. Right now she's wearing a hooded slicker over her miniskirt and tight sweater. Raven-dark hair frames her pale face.
    "Got it." She shows me the image on her camera. "Took a hundred shots to get it, but we tricked the rain."
    There I am. Brown eyes wide, frizzy blond hair blown wild by the wind so it seems like I got zapped by lightning. Makes me look witchy.
    But the magic is in how the raindrops are stopped in midair. They show up as streaks around me, but where the focus is tightest right in front of my face a few are frozen. Caught in the split-second flash, they seem solid, as if you could pluck one out of the air and hold it. Crystal clear pearls.
    "You stopped the rain," I say.
    Lexi shrugs it off. "A minor miracle."
    "I could use a miracle right about now."
    "The rain falls too fast to really stop it. But the drips from the branches are slowed down enough to catch." She hands me the camera. "Now you try."
    We experiment some more, capturing the dribbles off the porch roof, suspended before gravity splashes them to the ground. Cool special effects.
    But Lexi's best trick is to take my mind off everything. And it works wonders.
    Playing with the camera lets me breathe for a while. Before everything unfreezes, the drops start falling again, and the clock counts down.

    That's me.
    The X‑ray on the wall shows the ghost image of my skull. Me skeletonized. No eyes, no skin, no hair.
    It's like seeing my reflection in Death's own mirror. Spooky.
    The neurologist is talking to Mom and Dad, but I only catch fragments of what he's saying.
    "No intracranial swelling . . . no...

About the Author-

  • GRAHAM McNAMEE is the award-winning author of five novels, including Sparks, which won the first PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship; Bonechiller; and Acceleration, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.


  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2012
    Jane's shadow having its own spirit is odd enough. Now it has a death wish. Born without a pulse, Jane is no stranger to near-death experiences. Her shadow has forced her to drink drain cleaner and held her down on a train track as a speeding train approached. After a recent nail-gun "accident" to the skull causes her to flat-line, Jane returns to the living with her shadow even more determined to kill her. The first-person narration makes the teen's fear immediate, as she begins sleepwalking along dangerous roads and dreaming of being buried alive. The atmospheric setting--the dark, wet, small town of Edgewood, along Canada's Rain Coast--adds another layer of terror to this intriguing ghost story. When Jane discovers a human skeleton after a landslide, she starts to realize the true nature of her shadow. Certain her constable father and florist mother wouldn't believe her shadow stories, she entrusts best friend and "Creep Sister" Lexi, a budding cinematographer with an interest in film noir, to help her solve the mystery. As in Acceleration (2003) and Bonechiller (2008), McNamee delivers another taut, spine-tingling page turner. A return to the true ghost story without any supernatural romance to ruin it. (Ghost story. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2012

    Gr 7 Up-Jane has a lot of experience with death. She was born dead, heart not beating when she entered the world. Doctors saved her but she has had several other close calls. Is she accident prone, suicidal, or just plain crazy? Her brushes with death have been explained away as "accidents." But no one really believes that. If she tells her parents or her doctors what's really going on, they'll think she's insane and lock her up in a padded room. Only her best friend and fellow "creep sister," Lexi, knows the truth, that each accident was caused by her shadow taking over her body and trying to kill her. The latest incident, a nail gun to the head, almost did her in and seems to have given her shadow even more power. Now she is sleepwalking and human remains have been found in the woods near her home. Can Jane and Lexi put all of the pieces together before the shadow finally succeeds? Creepy and exciting in equal parts.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2012
    Grades 7-10 Jane is a beacon for disaster. By age 17 she has swallowed drain cleaner, suffered 10,000 volts of electricity, and almost been flattened by a train. But it is the nail gun to the head that officially killed heruntil the doctors brought her back. Now the sudden, suicidal impulses that have plagued her otherwise happy life have a physical form: a shadowy being who claims to want her back. Some kids have imaginary friends, thinks Jane, maybe I had an imaginary assassin. Though there is probably only a short story's worth of plot here, Edgar Awardwinning McNamee gamely runs his characters through the full gauntlet, delivering decently spooky what's-that-noise and was-it-a-dream horror moments. McNamee is especially graceful at jumping from the past to the present and meting out information in a way that both deepens the mystery and establishes Jane as a nuanced character. With roughly a scare per chapter, this is a fine, jolting read, especially for reluctant readers.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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    Random House Children's Books
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