Sharon Sala has just released the first book in a brand new YA series, My Lunatic Life, and I got the opportunity to read it. In case you’re not familiar with Ms. Sala, she’s a prolific author who writes both romance and suspense novels. She also writes under the pseudonym, Dinah McCall. Ms. Sala has been nominated for the RITA award seven times and her novels are frequently on bestseller lists. My Lunatic Life may be fun if you’re a teen looking for a paranormal mystery that’s a light read.
It’s hard enough being a normal teenager and it’s hard enough making friends in school without having an uncle who moves at the drop of a hat. There’s another reason Tara Luna’s teen years are particularly difficult – she sees dead people. Nothing like holding conversations with what appears to be thin air to make everyone in school decide you’re a lunatic. Oh, and did I mention that she’s psychic in other ways too. She knows what people are thinking. There’s nothing like hearing a cute guy’s gross thoughts to make dating seem so not attractive.
It’s not all bad. Tara has two very protective ghosts, Henry and Millicent, who have been her best friends ever since her parents died. Henry and Millicent have always looked out for her and Henry gives great ghostly hugs. Having them around, in addition to her loving and lovable Uncle Pat, has really helped Tara to become as well adjusted as a teenager can be.
“Every time she and Uncle Pat moved to a new home, Henry caused trouble. He didn’t like disruption anymore than Tara, but at least Henry had an option. Tara didn’t. Uncle Pat was all the family she had, and Uncle Pat had a gypsy heart.”
So Tara’s going to a new school – what else is new – and on her very first day she has a run in with the cheerleaders. One in particular, Prissy, takes an instant dislike to her over a lunchroom turf issue and the taunting of Tara begins. Prissy is the classic mean girl and she’s determined to make Tara’s life hell. Well, she evidently mistakes Tara for a wuss cause this girl can stand up for herself, thank you very much, and she is not going to let an asshat like Prissy get her down for long. Besides, Tara hooks up with a great guy, Flynn, who seems to be as much of an outsider as she is.
It seems like her biggest problem, other than the mean girls at school, is a dark, threatening ghost who is insistent that Tara solve her murder. This ghost has the ability to make Tara’s life hell if she can’t figure out what happened. Then someone at school goes missing and Tara may be the only one who can save that student’s life, but at what cost?
Because My Lunatic Life is Book #1 in a series, a lot of it deals with setting up the world in which Tara lives and for that reason I’m cutting it some slack, which is why I’m reviewing it. I did really like that Tara is a teen with great personal values who feels an ethical obligation to help others with her powers. My feeling is that this series may appeal more to tweens and younger teens than older ones, even though it’s set in a high school. It is not a novel that I feel is likely to appeal to adults.
My Lunatic Life was just released so, if you’d like to buy it, just click on your preferred online bookseller’s link in the top right column.
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