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REVIEW: Sarah by Teri Polen

Here's my 5-Star review of Teri Polen's new novel, Sarah. I received a pre-release copy. The book goes on sale in December 2016.

SARAH BY TERI POLEN -- Cain is a typical teen with a loyal friend named Finn and a fashionista girlfriend named Erin whom he’d like to ditch if he could only find the courage. Life in mom’s new house is a bed of roses except for the fact that the door to the attic, accessed through his bedroom, keeps swinging open in the middle of the night without reason. Or maybe there is a reason. A strategically placed camcorder captures a haunting figure in his bedroom as he sleeps. Is this the ghost of a girl killed while the house was under construction? Mom is a realtor and knows the story of the girl, but doesn’t believe in ghosts.

After a soccer incident leaves Cain hospitalized with a concussion, he tries to return to normal activities, but nothing seems normal anymore. That’s good and bad. Out with the fashionista. In with Lindsey. She’s more Cain’s type. Enjoys horror movies. Isn’t a loudmouth shopaholic. Pushes all the right buttons.

Strange things begin happening to Cain. He verbally attacks Erin in a crowded hallway at school; he ‘spies’ on the football team as they practice—but he doesn’t remember any of this.  It’s as if someone is controlling his body against his will. Fortunately, Lindsey’s Aunt Mona, has spiritual powers and…

Well, I’ll not say too much more for fear of revealing the plot, but suffice it to say that Sarah is a good old fashioned ghost story with contemporary characters, events, and surroundings. It’s billed as a YA, but this 50-something year old male liked it too.

I love author Teri Polen’s writing style. She reminds me of John Saul—only better. In fact, I’ve already added her to my ‘favorite authors’ list. Even when the story reaches a pivotal storm, her sentences flow like a breeze and tell the tale without wasted verbiage. From cover to cover, the dialog is natural, unstilted. I can actually hear Cain and Finn engaging in conversation, see Cain’s face grimace at Finn’s stinging humor and cover my ears at Erin’s shrill voice. I think I went to high school with these kids. If you’ve ever seen a movie called The Ring, you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s just as creepy and every bit as haunting because you get to experience Sarah up close and personal. Sleep well.

Occasionally in life, we get lucky. One glorious day in October, I happened to be in the right place at the right time and received a complimentary advance copy of Sarah in exchange for my honest opinion. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVED this book! It was right up my alley. My advice: head on over to Amazon when the book goes on sale in December 2016 and order the hard copy or download the Kindle version. If you like ghost stories, you’ll LOVE Sarah.
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