My Rating: 4/5
Author: Lois Ruby
Title: Rebel Spirit
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Haunted by history. Bound by mystery.
Lori Chase doesn’t know what to think about ghosts. She may have seen a few in the past, but those were just childish imaginings . . . right? Only now that she is living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, spirits seem to be on everyone’s mind. The town is obsessed with its bloody Civil War history, and the old inn that Lori’s parent run is supposedly haunted by the souls of dead soldiers.
Then Lori meets one such soldier — the devastatingly handsome Nathaniel Pierce. Nathaniel’s soul cannot rest, and he desperately needs Lori’s help. Because Nathaniel was not killed in the famous battle. He was murdered. Lori begins to investigate the age-old mystery, stumbling upon shocking clues and secrets.
At the same time, she can’t help falling for Nathaniel, just as he is falling for her . . . .
Rebel Spirit is a young adult paranormal story about a girl, Lori, who can see ghosts. She moves to Gettysburg with her parents where she meets a ghost claiming he was murdered during the Civil War. With only a few days, Lori must find out who his murderer was while stumbling through a mystery happening at the inn now. Although reading this book as an adult, I find it enjoyable and appropriate during the 150 year anniversary of Gettysburg this summer. For those afraid of ghost stories because they are too scary, don’t be with this one. If you like a little mystery with your stories, then try this book. The Civil War and its era is touched upon by a few stories through the characters, but not overwhelmingly educational (as in – this is not textbook writing.) I would probably have seen myself reading this book during junior high or early high school.
The story is written in first person through the eyes of Lori. Lori and her parents move to Gettysburg because of their recently bought bed and breakfast. Lori had previous experiences with spirits but nothing as the extent she experiences in Gettysburg. Lori is a spunky girl who loves baseball, her dog, and her friends/family. She overcomes her skittishness of her abilities when she meets Nathaniel – a union soldier who was murdered during the Battle of Gettysburg. Nathaniel needs Lori to solve his murder before midnight on July 3rd. If not, he cannot come back until the next year’s battle anniversary. Although moving away from her best friend, Jocelyn, Lori meets some new friends who help her with this mystery: Charlotte, who works at her inn, can also see ghosts. Evan, who does the yard work, gets on board by providing interesting information on the war and the people at the inn. There are also some weird characters who may or may not be up to no good. I think Lori is relatable to other teenagers with her interests and attitude. One out of character moment for me was with Lori’s parents and the cemetery – near the end of the book. I won’t go in detail due to spoilers, but it went against a scene prior to that one with Lori and her parents.
The plot moved along well and centered around discovery who Nathaniel’s murderer could be. Along this course, Lori discovers some suspicious behavior happening right then and there at the inn. Could things be connected? Will she discover the murderer before Nathaniel disappears for another year? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. All I’ll say is that there is a slight twist at the end. One thing that I would have liked to see was a little more conversation between Lori and Charlotte near the end.
The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed this book. It was a nice young adult read that had ghosts, mystery, and Civil War aspects. If you like these things, then you might want to try this book.