Review of Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe. When an heiress goes missing, a former foster child gets hired to impersonate her and claim her inheritance.
by Michele Jaffe
April 12, 2012
Source: bought from independent bookstore
Tagline: It started like a fairytale, but it became a ghost story.
My summary: Eve is one mistake away from losing her job at a Tucson Starbucks when two well-dressed siblings drift in and make her an offer she can't refuse: impersonate their missing cousin Aurora and collect her inheritance. Eve agrees and her two new employers, Bain and Bridgette, teach her everything she needs to know about the Silverton family and the rest of Aurora's social circle.
Everything seems to be going fine ... until Eve begins to discover things that make her uneasy. Like the fact that Aurora disappeared right after her best friend Liza died under mysterious circumstances. Like the fact that Liza's ghost appears, warning Eve that her life is in danger. That maybe Eve is expendable once Bain and Bridgette come into a fortune.
My take: This book had a few superficial similarities to The Lying Game by Sara Shepard: the Arizona setting, and the former foster child who agrees to impersonate her lookalike. It also has a dash of Pretty Little Liars, as Liza's ghost sends Eve cryptic messages via cell phone. There are plenty of differences, too. The characters in this book are a bit older than in the typical YA. Aurora disappeared her senior year of high school, and this story begins three years later. (Please see correction below.)
Michele Jaffe is a skilled writer who really kept me guessing as I tried to figure out what happened to Liza and what was about to happen to Eve. There are some fantastic secondary characters -- like the hilarious Coralee, a seemingly ditsy socialite who's plotting world domination through her own reality show. Or Colin Vega, Aurora's grief stricken secret boyfriend.
As I was reading, I was thinking to myself, wouldn't it be cool if [
In Ghost Flower, it worked pretty well. I was still confused about a couple of things. But all in all, Ghost Flower was an eerie, suspenseful story that kept me on edge right up until the end.
If you like books with a spooky vibe and a shocker ending, you could also try:
by Adele Griffin
If you like books about someone impersonating their lookalike, have you read:
by Tana French
What do you think about impersonation/lookalike stories? Are they becoming overdone? I never get tired of them!
CORRECTION posted 8/19/12:
I was contacted by an anonymous blog reader about a mistake in this review. I apologize -- I try to get my facts right! The characters in this book are NOT "new adult" aged. They're 17. Aurora disappeared when she was 14. I'm assuming that my confusion stems from the fact that there's a lot of jumping around between past and present in this book and that, to me, these characters do seem -- and act-- older than 17. I went back and read some Goodreads reviews and it seems I'm not the only one who finds aspects of this book confusing. But if you ever find a mistake in my reviews, please let me know. You don't have to do it anonymously. I won't be offended. Just use the "contact me" link on the left sidebar.