Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Shroeder

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Shroeder
Published: January 8, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
(227 pages, paperback)
Summary: Girl meets boy. 
Girl loses boy. 
Girl gets boy back... 
...sort of. 
Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here. 
Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.
My thoughts:  I've read all of Shroeder's other books, and even though Chasing Brooklyn is still my favorite of them, I Heart You was fantastic. It was a really fast read, and it was brief, because of the free verse prose, but it was still meaningful and raw. I loved how Ava was such a torn character, part thrilled that Jackson, part guilty over the fact that he's gone, and part hurt because her life can no longer move forward.
The whole my-boyfriend's-a-ghost-and-I-hope-I-can-keep-him-with-me-forever story line is way-overused. I loved the fact that Shroeder didn't follow the same old plot lines with the same old stagnant characters. Instead, she puts a heart-wrenchingly realistic girl into an ideal, yet inhibiting situation. From there, I can't elaborate much more without giving things away, but it was interesting and gripping to read of how Ava dealt with her unusual situation. Jackson seemed like a sweetheart (even in ghost form) and I cried a lot of the ending. But it was still painfully real. The last few pages of the short novel had some surprising twists that made me happy Shroeder didn't feel the need to go with the same old story.
The poetry form that Shroeder writes in is vastly different from Hopkins' gritty, disturbing prose. However, Shroeder writes with a sort of delicate rawness that pulls the reader in and forces them to keep turning pages until the novel is over. The characters are particularly in-depth because of the shortness of I Heart You, but they're still realistic and three-dimensional. The uplifting overtones made all the difference. Overall, Shroeder's first novel is a beautiful example of how guilt and love can affect even the most grief-stricken person in a positive way.
Covering the Cover: I don't particularly like the cover because it seems too much like a total romance from it. But I like how Jackson is see-through, therefore showing he's a ghost.
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 stars


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