Title: Seeing Things
Author: Sonora Taylor
Page Count: 184 pages
Rating: 5 / 5 ✨✨✨✨✨
In SEEING THINGS, Abby is your average 13-year-old girl dealing with normal, everyday teenage life: overprotective parents, school woes, and “the joys of becoming a woman”. Her average life takes a sudden turn one day when she follows a trail of blood down a school hallway and sees something she can’t explain: her first ghost, a dead girl her own age that’s been brutally shoved into an old locker. The kicker? The ghost doesn’t want to be seen, and definitely doesn’t want to see Abby. What’s worse is that nobody believes her about what she’s seen, and it’ll take an annual summer visit to her uncle’s house for things to start making sense for her.
When I heard that Sonora Taylor was releasing a new short novel, I immediately added it to my “wishlist books” section on Goodreads. I’d previously read and reviewed her collection of short stories & poetry, LITTLE PARANOIAS, and loved it. Actually, rereading that review, there’s a line I wrote that stands out to me as true for SEEING THINGS as well: “We’re introduced to characters that we think we know, only to have the scripts completely flipped a few paragraphs from the ending, leaving the reader unsteady and unsure.” I love Sonora’s ability to do this, and am so happy to say that she nailed it again with her new book.
Although this one hasn’t been marketed as YA (to the best of my knowledge), I think it could also be a great horror read for teens – I know that I personally would’ve loved reading this when I was younger, along with all the King and VC Andrews books my mom probably shouldn’t have given me because “there are kids on the cover, so it’s a kid’s book”. There are times when Abby’s attitude and moods are exactly what you’d expect of a young teenage girl dealing with difficult things in her life, and as a girl who also had my fair share of teenage difficulty – albeit, not otherworldly in nature, haha – I would’ve been able to relate to her in ways that I’m not really able to now.
That said, whether I relate to Abby’s personal angst or not, I did find the time I spent with her while reading absolutely enjoyable and her character was definitely believable. Sonora’s talents as a writer shine through in this novella in the same way they did in her previous collection. Her ability to write close relationships with people is one of my favorite things about reading her work – Abby’s relationship with her Uncle Keith was such a great part of this story, and I loved the bond that they shared and how important the characters were to one another. If there are any future stories about Abby and Uncle Keith, I’m so here for them!
One last thing I want to mention is how totally brutal some of the stuff in this story is! If you’re into your horror fiction having spooky ghosts and stomach-turning, gory imagery – look no further! SEEING THINGS knocks both of these and more way out of the park, and I’m very excited to see what home runs Sonora comes out with next!
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