When Alexis's little sister Kasey becomes obsessed with an antique doll, Alexis thinks she is just being her usual weird self. Things get weirder, though, when their house starts changing. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner blasts cold air. Kasey is changing, too. Her blue eyes go green, she starts using old-fashioned language, and she forgets chunks of time. Most disturbing of all is the dangerous new chip on Kasey's shoulder. The formerly gentle child is gone, and the new Kasey is angry. Alexis is the only one who can stop her sister — but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?
From School Library JournalGrade 6–9—Although it begins like the average high school misfit story, Alender's novel quickly takes an unexpected turn. Alexis, a self-described anti-cheerleader, defiantly embraces her role as bad student and social outcast, skipping class and spending her time in the darkroom, until the increasingly odd behavior of her little sister, Kasey, draws her into a world of evil spirits and dangerous games. At first, inexplicable dreams and eerie balls of green light hovering around Alexis's house seem like fringe occurrences in a story otherwise concerned with family, friendship, and a tentative romance. But soon, bizarre happenings take over, and Alexis comes to realize that Kasey is demon-possessed and hell-bent on murder. It's difficult to reconcile a teen coming-of-age story with a ghost-populated murder mystery, and Alender succeeds somewhat awkwardly. However, Alexis's story is compelling, and her voice is funny and authentic despite the creepy situations in which she finds herself. A good additional purchase for girls who like to be scared a little—but not too much.—Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From BooklistHigh-school junior Alexis seems to be the class bad girl, complete with snide remarks, rebellious attitude, and listless motivation. At home, her overachieving mom has alienated her more laid-back dad, while her doll-obsessed, 13-year-old sister, Kasey, periodically morphs from a blue-eyed, ordinary girl to a green-eyed, evil child plotting against others in their small town. What has possessed Kasey and their family’s beautiful Victorian home? Alender’s first novel is both a mystery and a trip into the paranormal, in which a child taunted years ago returns to exact revenge for her violent death. It falls to Alexis to sort out the historical details and protect not just herself and her family, but also the descendants of the girls implicated in the original tragic death. With just enough violence, suspense, and romance to keep readers turning the pages, this is a promising debut for a new young author and will be a popular addition to any YA collection. Grades 7–10. --Frances Bradburn