The story is told in first person by the main character, a teenager, and so we never know his name. I actually realized that I didn't know that name well past the mid of the book, and this is a clue that I was so enthralled by the story to not take care to "small" details like that.
Our hero is a runaway teenager; when he came out with his parents, he was kicked out from home but lucky him he found shelter with his aunt. Probably still suffering from the reject of his family, he retired into his shell, and he only relates with his best friend, a girl named Trace. Both Trace and him have their problems to overcome and in their difference they find a common path: goth teens who go to funerals to spend time, dressing like the adults they still aren't.
Actually our hero was quite lucky and he now has a comfortable and welcoming home with his aunt, and so his problems are the same of a normal teen: the insecurity of a guy who wonders if he is good enough to attract a boyfriend, the daydreams of a young man who is approaching to sex for the first time. Probably since he has this strange familiarity with death, our hero is not so shocked when he meets a ghost: Josh is an 18 years old guy dead in a car accident in 1957. He is not only a teen like our hero, he is also a very handsome guy, a jock; and like every goth teen should do in high school, our hero falls in love for the jock, but this time the jock reciprocates the interest... there is only the little fact that Josh is dead and that his interest in our hero is very deeply, almost lethal.
Meantime our hero realizes that the little brother of his best friend Trace, Mike, is already fifteen years old and rather cute; Mike is clever and tender, with a joy for life that is involving. Where Josh is shadow and night, Mike is full light and sun. Where Josh arises in our hero dark desires (that are actually normal sexual urges in a teen...), Mike inspires him cuddles and playful kiss. From not having the hope to find a boyfriend, our hero now has two boys around him, but it's not a situation he can bring along forever. You could say that Josh represents the dark side of our hero, and staying with him is like choosing to not coming out from the darkness, meanwhile Mike is the light, the future that he could have if he chooses to leave behind his sense of abandonment.
Even if the story deals with quite sad things, dead people (not only Josh), the whole feeling I had of the book is of "lightness". The author is very good in taking the reader glued to the book till the last page, both for the mystery than for the romance; there is also a switch in the story that seems to lead to an angst ending, but still the author chooses for a more "normal" development. All this concurs to the lightness of the story, making it a very good read both for a young adult than for an adult too.
Also the love story between our hero and Mike is light, fresh and sweet; where our hero maybe could be ready for something more, Mike is still 15 years old, and so, for me, it's right that they don't become too involved; they are still boys, not men....Continua