Ghosts of Coronada Bay
This book is a more edgy YA paranormal. 16 year-old Maya is living a pretty ordinary teen-age life: she has a horny best friend with an over-active libido, deals with the sterotypical mean cheerleaders, and has an over-possessive ex-boyfriend who can't seem to take 'no' for an answer. But there's more to Maya than meets the eye, because not only can she can see ghosts, but her close proximity makes them solid. When a 100 year-old ship is dredged from the bottom of the bay, the explorers bring up more than a ship. They bring up a band of ghosts, an evil sorcerer, and a dark secret that's been hidden underwater that can destroy the world.
I liked the premise of this story, though the edgy nature is not for younger readers. There's not only the constant references to sex and teenage libidos, but a couple of death scenes that while not overly graphic, might cause some younger readers a few tense moments.
Maya and her best friend, Lucy, are fairly memorable characters and seem to be natural best friends. The cheerleaders are sterotypical in their cruelty, though the basis for their cruelty is never really defined, except the state of Maya's virginity seem to be their main focus. The description of Stuart, Maya's ex-boyfriend, is almost scary in its real-life portrayal.
I had a couple of problems with this book. Maya has known she can see ghosts since an early age, yet she doesn't seem to realize when she's talking to one until it's laid out for her in black and white. It would seem to me that someone who knows about ghosts and who can talk to ghosts, would at least recognize ghosts when she meets them.
The other problem I had with the novel is that, while expertly portrayed, for the first 2/3 of the book, Stuart is a total dick. There's not one redeeming quality to this guy. And because the author uses multiple points of view, you know what he's thinking in his head, and his thoughts aren't redeeming either. Then, suddenly, within a page or 2 toward the end, he changes his ways, helps to save the day, and becomes great friends with Lucy, Maya, and her new ghost friend that, up until then, Stuart has despised. No one changes that fast, especially if the character is not set up for change earlier on. It's just not believable.
I also would have rather seen this book in one point of view. While there were some surprising twists, due to the multiple points of view, the elements of mystery and suspense were missing, and I like to have a little guesswork going when I'm reading a book.
Overall a nice read.