by Steve Berman
YA Mystery. 200 pp.
Lethe. 2007.

back copy:

In a small town, a lonely teen walking along a highway one autumn evening meets the boy of his dreams, a boy who happens to have died decades ago and haunts the road. Awkward crushes, both bitter and sweet, lead him to face not only the ghost but youthful dreams and childish fears. With its cast of offbeat friends, antique Ouija boards, Vintage offers readers a memorable blend of dark humor, chills and love that is not your typical teen romance.

Completed June 14.

I'm frustrated that I've taken so long to get around to writing about this book. It's one of the stories I found most interesting this year. And this considering that I am not generally a fan of ghost stories. (Although, I guess that technically there are two ghost stories I've read in the last year that I've really liked.) Even today, there are particular scenes that were conceived so well that I can still visualize them. That's the talent of this author.


I think the weakness of the book is that it gives off a self-published vibe.* I know I shouldn't disparage smaller, independent presses, but there's something that just seems to be lacking—spelling and punctuation errors, typesetting irregularities, general feel of the book. I realize that authors publish where a publisher expresses interest; I just feel that it's unfortunate for Vintage because this book is good and really deserves more attention, especially when you consider that it was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award presented by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. (More about this at Under the Covers, linked below.)

Other reviews:
Under the Covers | Elisa Rolle | Milkboys | Shooting Stars Mag

*about Lethe Press:
Lethe Press is an independent publishing house specializing in speculative fiction, books of gay interest, poetry, spirituality, as well as classic works of the occult & supernatural. Named after the Greek river of memory and forgetfulness (and pronounced Lee-Thee), Lethe Press is devoted to ideas that are often neglected or forgotten by mainstream publishers. Founded in 2001 by author Steve Berman, Lethe Press has grown steadily in its first few years. Our books have been finalists for, and in cases won, such awards as the Andre Norton, Gaylactic Spectrum, Golden Crown Literary, and Lambda Literary Awards. Our anthologies have featured the works of many acclaimed and New York Times best-selling authors.

Lethe Books are distributed by several wholesalers, including Baker & Taylor, Bookazine, and Ingram. Our books are easily ordered by libraries and all booksellers, both online and brick-and-mortar. We especially encourage our readers to patronize their local bookstores, in particular their local gay bookstores. It's worth the extra effort to support a community institution run by your neighbors!

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