They say first love never dies...
From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.
There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?
With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.
What does a girl do when she flunks out of art school? Olivia hasn't had an easy time lately. Her best friend was murdered and her own mother is the accused murderer. Her mother suffers from schizophrenia, a mental disorder that, when not treated medically, could potentially cause someone to murder another person. Olivia isn't sure what to believe. Her best friend, Lucas, was also an artist in his own way. He stuck to musical instruments while Olivia painted and paid more attention to colors. Right before Lucas was brutally murdered, Olivia belived herself to be in love with him. When he dies, she feels empty. What is a girl to do when the ghost of someone she loved in so many ways shows up to tell her that her mother is not, in fact, the culprit. Olivia does not know how to handle this news, but she decides to help Lucas discover the true murderer.
Olivia's character was nice enough. She had her flaws, such as her drama, but she also had a sweet side. The author did a terrific job of portraying the typical artsy teenager. The reader will likely connect with Olivia after the first few chapters. Lucas is an interesting character. The reader meets him when he is technically deceased. The reader will see him both in Olivia's memories and as a ghost, in both scenarios he is sweet and kind, it is easy to see why Olivia fell in love with him. The other characters are just as interesting and serve to provide background information.
The plot itself didn't feel "new." However, I loved the twists in the story; I really did not see the ending or the twists coming. The characters bring this novel to life; by the end of the book, I did not want Oliva and Lucas to leave. The spooky undertones and mystery are carried out well. Overall, this book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.