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Panther Tales

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Panther Tales

The student news site of Great Bend High School

Panther Tales

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Book Review

I Heart You, You Haunt Me
I+Heart+You%2C+You+Haunt+Me+By%3A+Lisa+Schroeder
I Heart You, You Haunt Me By: Lisa Schroeder

“I Heart You, You Haunt Me” by author Lisa Schroeder is a book about a girl named Ava that’s grieving over her boyfriend’s death and all the obstacles she faced between his funeral and moving on. 

In the beginning of the story, Jackson was just a new kid that Ava was attracted to. He had a shaved head and a goatee to where it made him look old like a junior. Ava and Jackson immediately fell in love and Jackson also became her best friend.

Throughout this story, Ava has almost lost herself trying to figure out how things would be without him, that it was her fault, and is there any way she could talk to or see him again so she could tell him she didn’t want any of this to happen. Ava starts pushing away her friends and being rude to people because she doesn’t know how to handle her emotions.

Her friends Callie and Jessa try to get her to get out of the house and do things that Ava would do since she’s even pushing off school saying she needs more sleep. She thrashes around in bed with tears and flashbacks of memories with Jackson almost like nightmares because of how bad it hurts to know he’s gone now. 

Ava and Jackson had a thing they both did with each other. It was daring one another. Jackson died because Ava dared him to jump off a cliff and he did it. Cliff diving is what it’s called. It was a rush for any adrenaline junky, which was what Jackson was. Although, Ava had never intended for this to happen.

“She might think that it was her fault because she dared him to do it,” Sophomore Kinzy Martin and Sariah Cox stated.

Ava made herself think that it was her fault her boyfriend died so she carries that guilt with her. You can read more in the book about how Ava tears herself down before she starts seeing her boyfriend’s faint reflection in the bathroom mirror. His reflection of barely anything made her think she was going crazy but she wasn’t. It actually was his ghost.

Jackson can talk to Ava sometimes but he can’t answer any of her questions according to the “ghost rules.”

Every time Jackson came around she got this cold chill. Ava doesn’t want to tell anyone about this because she’s afraid they’ll think she’s crazy and make her go to some kind of therapy. Which is exactly what she doesn’t want. Someone writing strange notes about her life and locking it in a journal.

Ava’s had visits from Jackson often. At first, she was curious and was eager to go home back into the bathroom, the first place she’d seen him, and talk to him, mainly to apologize for what happened. 

Ava had also met a boy named Lyric that was talented in singing and newly popular. Lyric was interested in Ava too but Ava’s friend Callie was head over heels for him and already getting closer with him by friendship, as a starting place. 

Martin stated, “My favorite part of the book was probably when Ava met Lyric.”

Cox said, “My favorite part of the book was when the CD player started playing Here By Me.”

There can always be two sides in a romance book. One side who would rather a different person for the character, and the other side who would rather the right person for the character. In other words, different opinions about who should be with who is one of the main things people think about when watching a movie or reading a book. So, I think having another boy in the picture during this made all the things more interesting.

After multiple visits from Jackson, and Ava finally getting the apology out of the way, she’s almost gone crazy with these visits. Only because Ava knows she can’t touch or feel him and it gets her irritated so she lost it and yelled at Jackson. She told him he has to go but Ava didn’t know he was only haunting her because she’d carried guilt about the accident with her and refused to let it go. Jackson said he’d only leave if he was allowed to take her guilt with him, and so that’s what happened. Before he’d left, he said, “That’s my girl. Live a good life, Ava.” 

This was a heated moment between Ava and Jackson. There’s no limit to how much a person can miss another. There’s no doubt Ava is still going to miss Jackson even though she no longer feels guilty for his death. 

Then, Jackson was gone. Ava felt enormous amounts of loneliness now that he wasn’t here, for actual good. But this time, when she lost him, it was different. She wasn’t in pain or questioning “How can I get him back?” She felt better. Like a ton of bricks lifted off her shoulders.

Just like that, everything was back to normal. Ava went on to live her good life just like Jackson had told her to do. He will forever have a special place in Ava’s heart.

Lyric had stopped by shortly after wanting Ava to go out with him. Ava made it clear she is still grieving over her dead boyfriend and that Callie is very interested in him and told Lyric to take her out instead. So he did and all went right for them.

Martin said, “I liked the book the way it was, but if I did have to change something I would have explained what happened to Jackson earlier in the book.”

“In my opinion, I would change how naive and delusional Ava is, ” Cox stated.

“I think it was a sad romance. In my opinion there was no worst part. If I was in Ava’s shoes I probably would have handled it the same way,” Martin shared.

Cox also shared, “Definitely fantasy since Jackson is a ghost. There was a worst part and that would be in the beginning where Jackson’s mother was fake being nice to her. I would have argued back to her because she AND Ava are grieving. I would handle it better. I would be distraught but I wouldn’t start thinking that my boyfriend would be a ghost. I think that’s just her trying to cope.”

I like this book because there were so many touching moments and real feelings shared in the writing. Even reading the part about Jackson leaving as a ghost too made me tear up. I think anyone who is interested in lost love and sad romance would love this book. I find the book entertaining but also so heart-touching that I almost had to pause when reading it. “I Heart You, You Haunt Me” is a somber book with a passionate background of love that inspires the theme. Ava is nostalgic about her lost love and fights for relief upon her shoulders in hopes to take the pain away. This book is to any human being who’s sought peace after losing their lover and, eventually, guilt.

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