Rebel Spirits

by Lois Ruby
ages: 12+
First sentence: “‘;I cannot believe we’re moving into that creaky old bed-and-breakfast,’ I mutter for about the hundredth time.
Review copy given to me by a manger at work because Ruby’s got a Wichita connection and I think she may be coming…

I kind of wanted to like this one, cheezy tag line (“What if you fell in love with a ghost?”) notwithstanding. The idea behind it sounded very, very promising: a Philidelphia girl, Lori Chase, moves to Gettysburg to run a B&B with her parents just before the re-enactment starts. She sees the ghost of a Union soldier (cute and young, of course), who tells her that he was murdered, and she needs to solve it before midnight on July 3rd, two days away. Of course she can do that, right?

But, even with a creepy/cool premise, the book went NOWHERE. It was a lot more creepy than cool — she fell in instalove with a dead guy? — and absolutely flat. No emotional pull whatsoever. And even though there was a (cute and young, of course) real guy to distract Lori, she fell for the murdered guy. Sure. Whatever.

There was also this weird subplot involving cranky old people who were on a treasure hunt for Abraham Lincoln’s ring, which felt Scooby-Doo-ish and not at all convincing. Not to mention the heavy-handed lecturing about how re-enactors are just playing at this whole War thing and Not Taking It Seriously At All. (Ruby should read Confederates in the Attic. Just saying.) I’m in a pickle now, though. What if she really is coming to the store? Do I go — I’ve been going to all the MG/YA events, in the hopes that they’ll have more?? Or do I stay home?

Because, truly, this was terrible.

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