by Wendy Corsi Staub
When Calla returned home from school one day she found her mother lying dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. After the funeral, neither Calla nor her father can stand the thoughts of staying in their home in Florida. Calla decides to stay with her strange grandmother in Lily Dale, New York while her father looks for an apartment in California.
Calla's down-to-earth mother didn't have much of a relationship with her own mother after she had left home and Calla's family never vacationed in Lily Dale, so Calla is surprised and shocked when she learns that the small town of Lily Dale is considered the World's Largest Center for the Religion of Spirituality and her grandmother is a medium.
I enjoyed this YA adult book for the most part and I can see its appeal for young teens and young adults. The reader can empathize with Calla and her pain over the loss of her mother, her confusion about her own abilities to see ghosts, her yearning to learn more about her mother by living in the home where she grew up, her developing relationship with her grandmother, her feelings for her ex-boyfriend and the attraction she experiences to 2 new boys in Lily Dale. I think young people will relate well to Calla's struggles and in subtle ways are reassured that they are not alone in the battles and triumphs of life.
Awakening is a fast, yet engaging read. I lent the book to one of my study skills students and she read it in 2 days. She was very excited about the book and wants to read the next in the series. As do I.