Thursday, October 28, 2010

ARC Review: The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

by Sarah Smith

Courtesy of Star Book Tours

Since losing both of her parents, fifteen-year-old Katie can see and talk to ghosts, which makes her a loner until fellow student Law sees her drawing of a historic house and together they seek a treasure rumored to be hidden there by illegal slave-traders.

Law Walker knew Katie Mullens before she was crazy. Before her mother died. Law knows Katie’s crazy now, but she’s always been talented. And she keeps filling sketch pads even though her drawings have gone a little crazy as well—dark, bloody. What Law doesn’t know is that these drawings are real. Or were real. Katie draws what she sees—and Katie sees dead people. People who have died—recently, and not so recently—in accidents, from suicide, even a boy who was trapped in a house that burned down more than 100 years ago. And it’s this boy who makes Law want to get to know Katie all over again. So what if his dad doesn’t want him dating a white girl? So what if people think Katie is dangerous? The ghost boy is hiding a secret that Law needs to know—and it’s much bigger, much more shocking than anyone ever expected.

My Review
The Other Side of Dark is so much more than just a simple ghost story. It combines factual historical details with so many deep issues - family issues, racism, slavery - but doesn't come off as overly heavy-handed. Katie's and Law's stories intertwine as they come together to save Pinebank, a historic house in danger of being torn down for safety reasons. As they fight to find a reason to cancel the demolition, they discover unsavory details about the house and its owners and, in the process, are forced to face their own demons.

I had no idea what this book would be about going in - I signed up purely because of the beautiful cover art. It was such a pleasant surprise! I really enjoyed learning about the history of Boston (not everything is historically accurate, but the majority of it is). Katie and Law were fantastic, richly layered characters, and I loved following them through their adventures. I can't recommend this book more!

Sarah Smith will autograph your copy of her book! Click here for details.

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