Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust by Melissa Walker.
As most of you know I love to read, but just don’t have the time to read all the books I want as I pre-read mostly all of Lightning’s* book so there is not a ton of time for me to read an adult book. Well, as luck would have it, we were at the library around Valentine’s Day and they had several books wrapped up in brown paper up with a description of the book for check out… a surprise book for you to read. Of course Lightning was all over this and selected two books that were wrapped together. When she opened it I was not sure if the book was appropriate so again I had to pre-read it. I was engulfed by this book. I didn’t want to put it down. I would have never picked this book to read and I had no intentions of reading the second book, but I couldn’t walk away. Melissa Walker writes for the Young Adult audience and I definitely think this is a good young adult book, but I also really enjoyed the book. I was torn over whether to let Lightning read the book initially because there is a little “romance/sexuality” in the book, but very limited and not explicit. It does create an expectation of romance for younger readers, which is why I nixed the book for Lightning. I also opted not to let Lightning read the book because of the potential confusion romancing the concept of death and potential conflict for her with her religious upbringing.
Melissa Walker’s writing is so engaging you feel as if you are a part of the story. Ashes to Ashes is about a young teenage girl, Callie, that is caught between life and death, poltergeists and hauntings. She can’t accept her departure from earth but also wants to give healing to her family and friends. Among these struggles she entangles herself with a group of ghosts who are intent are returning to Earth and living again. Ashes to Ashes continues with Callie’s struggles to help both those in the afterlife move on and her friends to stay safe. Callie has some challenges in Ashes to Ashes in navigating her relationship with Nick and Thatcher as well as her best friend. Melissa Walker wonderfully tackles young romance and friendship in both these books.
Warning: There are some potential challenges to religious beliefs in this book. I did not find anything offense religiously in the book, however, I think it might create a little confusion for a nine-year old. If Lighting reads this book when she is older and I am still homeschooling I would uses this book for a writing/research project having her compare what the Bible says about death and our after-life as opposed to the book.
*Lightning is my 9 year old daughter