by Graham McNamee
Publisher: Random House
on September 11, 2012
Jane is not your typical teen. She and her best friend Lexi call themselves the Creep Sisters. Only Lexi knows why Jane is different from anyone else: Her own shadow seems to pull her into near-fatal accidents. Jane is determined to find out why these terrifying things happen, and to overcome her shadow enemy. Her sleuthing with Lexi connects her own horrors to the secret history of a serial killer.
Beyond offers up a perfectly creepy ghost story with a twist that should delight young readers. McNamee delivered a tale filled with creepy goodness involving a ghost and a killer. This was a fast paced, easy read and I was thoroughly entertained.
The tale begins when we meet Jane. She has had several near death accidents and the most recent has her walking around with a nail in her head. Her parents think she is accident prone, others think she is suicidal but Jane knows the truth. Jane lives with her doting parents. Her Mom owns a Flower shop and her Dad is the local sheriff. They call Jane their miracle baby, because Jane wasn’t breathing at birth. Since then there have been dozens of accident. Jane’s parents worry about her, and encourage her to be safe, but they don’t know that Jane’s own shadow is trying to kill her! The tale that unfolds is suspenseful as Jane and Lexi try to stop her shadow and maybe even a killer.
Jane and Lexi refer to themselves as the “Creep Sisters”. Due to all of her strange near death situations, kids at school tend to stare at, gossip about or ignore Jane. She sleepwalks, cannot drive and begins having nightmares that become day-mares. She has a love interest and it is delightfully sweet. Lexi is her outspoken, confident friend who dresses like the grim reaper’s daughter. She loves her camera and film. I liked her quirky, humorous attitude and would have loved her as a friend. She is the perfect friend for Jane and the two had me laughing. I loved that the parents were involved in Jane’s life, although she never confided in them about her shadow. The shadow and an unearthed body made the tale creepy and suspenseful.
McNamee wove a suspenseful ghost story and I liked the twists he brought to it. I won’t spoil anything, but the shadow and the how and why, was cool. I also liked the secondary plot and how it all tied together. The ending scenes were climatic, followed by some closure. This book is the perfect introduction to horror for young readers. I thought the tale was well paced and clever. It is relatively short in length. The hardcover addition is roughly 226 pages but it offered up some creepy suspense perfect for the fall “spooky” season.
Beyond is perfect for young readers in search of a creepy ghost story. I enjoyed McNamee’s writing style and look forward to checking out some of his other works.