Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of the book Sixteen Souls, a young adult book that has captured the hearts and souls (pun very much intended) of social media, and is being referred to as ‘Heartstopper with ghosts’, which, having read it, seems very fair.
Someone is stripping Europe’s most haunted city of its spirits. When self-destructive, 16-year-old seer, Charlie Frith, realises that one of his own ghostly friends has gone missing, he must put aside his own safety – and reclusive existence – if he is to find them.
Charlie reluctantly teams up with Sam Harrow – the new seer in town – and a rag-tag group of ghosts, to save their friends from a fate literally worse than death.
But there is a dark purpose behind these disappearances – more sinister than Charlie could ever have imagined. And, as he slowly comes to terms with his romantic feelings for Sam, the stakes become even higher as time quickly runs out.
I absolutely fell in love with Charlie and this ghostly story. With a supporting cast that has heart beyond heart (even if they aren’t beating), and a “will they, won’t they” romance that will have you cheering from the sidelines, Sixteen Souls will capture you entirely.
Charlie is battling plenty of demons, and trying to keep his head down, away from the attention of the ghosts of York. He has his ghostly companions and the rules for them to follow, but when Sam comes crashing into his life, everything is turned upside down, whether Charlie is ready for it or not. While I wouldn’t quite put these two in the grumpy / sunshine category, there’s definitely moments where that would feel appropriate. Charlie isn’t a grump… he’s just coping in the only way he knows how with the hand he’s been dealt, and I found myself relating heavily to his attitude at times.
I felt that the friendships – living and dead – that supported Charlie throughout, and the way they developed, was the kind of story that everyone needs to have in their life. Heather especially made me sob at times, and I would very much like a ghost dog, please and thank you. The wisdom and empathy these ghosts and humans display captures the absolute essence of what it means to be alive.
There were so many layers to Sixteen Souls. Layer after layer unfolded, revealing the most fantastic mystery. Talbot carefully crafts her own ghost lore with a mix of established myth and that of her own creation, resulting in a York that makes you very much want to visit, and yet stay far, far away from at the same time.
Debut novels rarely come as strongly as this, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from this new voice in the young adult section.
Thanks for stopping by today for this review. I’ll be back again soon with more reviews, and some planned author interviews also, so make sure you’re following to never miss a post!