Don't Be Burned by "Ashes to Ashes"

Ashes to Ashes Title:  Ashes to Ashes
Author:  Melissa C. Walker
Format: Print
Length:  356 pages
Publisher:  Harper TEEN
Rating:  2 Stars

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.

Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.

When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.  -Goodreads


My Thoughts
Melissa Walker's sojourn into the realm of Paranormal YA, a.k.a. Ashes to Ashes, is touted as Ghost meets If I Stay.  What we really have here is a great premise falling victim to shoddy execution.

Though the protagonist's death occurs at lightening speed, some two chapters into the read, and is proceeded by both the means of death and tell-tell reckless behavior; the time that she spends in the limbo land known as Prism, pining for the life and love that she lost seems to go on forever.

Oh wait, there is a break in the pining to form an attachment of the insta-love kind to her hunky and seemingly unattainable guide, Thatcher.  
My question?
How can you go all doe eyed over Thatcher, when you are still trying to help your grieving boyfriend deal with the fact that you have officially left him for the afterlife?

There is some relief from the confusion and angst in the form of rogue ghosts Reena, Delia, Norris, and Leo.  They are hard to relate to as true baddies however, coming off more as fun loving pranksters of the spirit kind.

The last 25% of the book is where all the action is.  There is where all the secrets are revealed, baddies are thwarted, and Dorthy gets to click her heals and go home.

This is book that would have fared far better as a novella.  There is simply not enough story here to justify the book's length.  This is also a book whose premise has been better executed by books such as Hereafter, by Tara Fuller.





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