In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME by Lisa Schroeder

copyright date: January 2008
primarily marketed for: young adults

I love poetry, so books in verse are always appealing to me.  I picked this one up because of the poetry, even though ghost stories are not my thing (I like books about dead people, but not ghost stories, go figure). 

At the opening of the story, Ava’s boyfriend Jackson has already died.  She is trying to figure out how to go on with her own life without him.  But he won’t leave her. 

Although the verse in the book is dead on (no pun intended) and often gut-wrenchingly powerful, the way Jackson haunts Ava is very unsettling to me. 

I was more drawn to the way Ava struggles to embrace the new shape her life has taken on since Jackson’s death.  Ava’s struggle is universal—the struggle to deal with loss.  Not all of us have lost a loved one due to death, but all of us have experienced loss of some kind—loss of a best friend, loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend, distance in a sibling relationship.  Being torn between holding on and moving on is a familiar feeling.  Schroeder beautifully expresses that feeling through Ava’s story of the lost love that haunts her.  

If you love romance, ghost stories, and/or novels in verse, this one will definitely leave you satisfied.


  1. It sounds interesting, Christy. I'll add it to my growing list of novels in verse. Also, I just saw a review of Dark Sons, by Nikki Grimes, another novel in verse. You might be interested.

  2. Ghost stories don't do much for me in general, though I have just read and loved Maureen Johnson's the Name of the Star, However, I do love novels in verse and the way you depict Ava's struggle with loss draws me in. I think I would enjoy this one.

  3. I totally agree with you about the way Jackson haunts Ava...I kept wondering if their relationship had been abusive. I guess not, but still, it was unsettling. I plan on checking out the companion novel, Chasing Brooklyn.