I stumbled upon “I Heart You, You Haunt Me” while doing one of my research quests at a local bookstore (aka spending hours in the stacks taking pictures of book bindings) and thought… ok this sounds interesting, but for some reason it just lacked that “Oomph” that made me buckle down and read it.
The synopsis was intriguing, girl and guy in love, guy dies, girl cries, guy comes back to haunt her, but even with the promise of a haunting I still couldn’t make myself “want” to read it. Maybe it was that I was on psychological thriller high and didn’t want to break it with a potential cry fest, or maybe it was the fact that the entire book was written in verse form, (as in “Well howdy Mr. Shakespeare! How’s it going) but never the less… the point came where I sucked up my lack of motivation and started the journey.
My first impression was less than spectacular…the writing style made the story feel so disjointed that it was hard to focus on the plot and what was actually happening to the main character, the writing was beautiful, yes, but having it so torn apart made it feel less important to me. Now, keeping all of that negativity in mind, about 30% of the way through, the patterns finally found their rhythm, and the story came to life.
Ava just lost her boyfriend, and it was entirely her fault….or so she thinks. Ava and Jackson had that storybook kind of love…the destined meeting, the happy kisses and a zest for life…with each other, but when Jackson decides to take Ava up on a dare and go cliff diving, happily ever after is suddenly shattered into a million pieces. Ava is a zombie…caught in her own world of self pity and guilt she finds it hard to do even the smallest of things…until one day she hears music. Stuck in the in-between Jackson faces struggles of his own…trying to free himself while trying to free Ava at the same time.
“Lisa Schroeder’s” decision to write her novel in the form of a poem was not only inconceivable for YA, but in some cases could be considered a literary death warrant. Think of the targeted audience for a moment; teenagers as a whole are subjected to a vast array of “Old English” poetry from the time that they enter high school, and by the time their love for reading is fully developed, having to decode more “underlying” meanings is the last thing they want to do. Thankfully, however, “Schroeder” skipped the subtext and went straight for the jugular. The plot was easily determined, the base line of the story flowed beautifully and in the end, instead of feeling like you just read 240 pages of Emerson or Wilde you felt as though you read…just another book.
I will warn you that the books pace is unimaginably fast. I read it from cover to cover in less than 3 hours, and that included potty and email breaks. I will also tell you that this book is NOT for the Kindle… yes… you can buy it for the Kindle and if you are desperate enough to read it that way then more power to you, but the formatting is a little shweck and the poems run together. (It took me a while to not be annoyed by this.) My advice? If you want to read it… head to your local bookstore or library and pick up a printed copy.
All in all the book was beautiful and the meaning was more than worth the apprehension I first had for it.
Get it, Live it, Love it, Pass it on.
Happy Reading my fellow Ghost and remember: sometimes you just have to let it go.
For a complete book description click image