Desert Star (The Desert Series, #2)
by Lisette Brodey
A lot has changed in Mystekal since book one. And for most of those living in the small, California desert community, life seems to be returning to normal. In just a few short years the high school has been rebuilt, businesses are reopening, and the town is enjoying a full restoration.
In the first installment, we learned about the town's tragic past, and discovered that the hallways of the school -- as well as the surrounding desert -- were overrun with ghosts. Now, as old buildings are being reopened, there are still a few restless spirits who aren't quite ready to move on ... and they are about to make themselves known in a very big way.
River Dalworth, a high school senior, is becoming a confident and capable young man. Along with his best friend, Larsen "Lars" Davis, River is in the forefront of this story. As someone with a peculiar ability to draw ghosts, he is sympathetic to the new girl in town, Avalon, who is also an artist with other unique talents. River's girlfriend, Gina, isn't too fond of Avalon, as she believes the new girl has her sights set on River. And although River has no plans to stray, Gina's jealousy and insecurities get the best of her, causing her to keep a secret from River ... and with dire consequences.
As an openly gay teen, Lars is having a tough time at school and at home. In the hallways of Mystekal High, the school bully, Jax, has made it his mission to make Lars's life miserable. At home, Lars has to deal with a mother who drinks, brings home strange men, and is verbally abusive. River stands up for him, and the Dalworths offer support, but the reality of Lars's home life doesn't change. His mother forbids him from helping out with the grand opening of a local theater, but he finds a way. And on opening night, his mother is just one of many unexpected guests. What happens, both before and after the curtain rises, will surprise everyone.
Such a great story! River and Lars were definitely my favorite characters, so I was happy to see them in the forefront. I wasn't crazy about Gina, and could see she was going to be trouble, but there were a lot of other twists to keep me guessing. I imagine we will see more of Avalon in future installments. The other characters -- both human, and of the ghostly variety -- added depth, as each individual story line helped to propel the plot toward the final climax. A very well written tale, with believable characters, and plenty of attention to detail. If you are interested in young adult paranormal, this is a must read!
Available on Amazon
Read my review for the first book in the series:
Mystical High (The Desert Series, #1)
Reviewed by Stephanie