Author: Cady Vance
I was given a copy of this book by the author. This in no way influences my views and opinions on the book.
Sometimes it isn’t as easy as choosing right or wrong.
Sixteen-year-old Holly Bennett is a comic book nerd, a con artist, and a shaman. Most days Holly wishes she could trade in her power of spirit communication for something more useful--like fireballs or Wolverine claws. She knows spirits aren't exactly Casper the Friendly Ghosts. They're dangerous beings from Lower World who snack on human life, and messing with the magic from their world is an express ticket to big trouble. But when a shaman sticks her mom's mind between their world and ours, Holly becomes the unexpected breadwinner in the family. She uses her burgeoning shaman powers to set up fake hauntings and "banish" the so-called ghosts from her wealthy classmates' bedrooms. For a fee, of course.
When actual spirits start manifesting, Holly discovers that other shamans have come to town, summoning life-sucking spirits for their own ends. And the newcomers may just hold the clue Holly's been looking for--the one that can release her mom's mind from its Lower World prison. With the help of both a cute web comic artist and her partner-in-con, Holly plots to take them down, throwing her into a whirlwind of speedboat getaways, breaking and entering, and astral projections into the spirit world. And as her mom's mind slips further away, Holly has to fight to save her, and the rest of the town, before they get sucked into Lower World permanently.
Holly's story was one that interested me from the get-go. Vance tells the story beautifully, and - dare I say it? - with heaps of originality and humour. Here is a girl who, yes, is attracted to a hot guy (and who can blame her? Nathan is hot and nerdy; what's not to love?), and who -literally - fainted after one of her first encounters with him. But the romance isn't central to the plot, there isn't even the hint of a love triangle, and Nathan's hotness doesn't distract Holly from doing what needs to be done.
Oh, for more heroines like Holly Bennett.
Plus, the plot is good, fast-paced and interesting. The baddies are seriously creep-tastic (both the human ones and the supernatural ones), and there's the underlying arc of Holly's mother that sort of wraps the whole novel together, running beneath every other, smaller arc, and keeping things neat.
The one issue I had with Bone Dry, was that some characters (mostly the secondary characters, ie Laura and the other people from school) all sort of blurred together for me after a while, and I would have liked to get to know them a little better. Laura got a little more of fleshing out, but she was a fab character, and I hope to see more of her in the future!