Sarah's Stars

Helen Stringer. Spellbinder  
Feiwel and Friends  $18.99  ISBN 978-0-312-38763-1  384 pg.
Reviewed by Samantha, Age 12

Belladonna Johnson used to have a normal life. She used to be like any other twelve-year-old girl. Trying to fit in, get all the unnecessary homework done, and have dinner every night with her mom and dad. That is until the car accident changed everything that was ever normal. The car accident took her parents life, but don’t worry, she still sees them. She can still talk to them. Oh, and she still has dinner with them every night. But it’s not normal-far from it. Belladonna can talk to ghosts.

Then one mysterious night it all changes. Every ghost on the face of the earth disappears. Most people would think this was normal; ghosts shouldn’t even exist. But Belladonna knows that something is off­-she knows ghosts should be dead, but they shouldn’t be gone. With some help, Belladonna embarks on a journey to bring things back to the way they were. Talk about weird for a twelve-year-old girl who once worried about her hair being too straight!

In this story, Stringer uses such imagination and talent it’s almost as if Belladonna’s struggles could be a reality. I love the humorous and sneaky characteristics of Steve and how he and Belladonna are so different and yet the two of them together is so right. Spellbinder made my heart race, made me laugh out loud, and feel so devastated because she may lose her parents-for real this time. Helen stringer can totally relate to what it’s like to be a twelve-year-old girl-especially one who is labeled as an outcast‚ and branded with a terrible gift to see the dead. Interesting and out of the ordinary, she’ll have you rooting for their triumph and for Belladonna to finally feel like she belongs.

I recommend this book for ages ten and up, because there is some touchy vocabulary and some of the content is mature.

I give Spellbinder four and one-half stars!

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