Parted by death. Tethered by love.
Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.
Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.
Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.
Set in 1996, against the backdrop of the declining Grunge music era, Grunge Gods and Graveyards is a YA paranormal romance/mystery.
Winner of the 2015 Silver Falchion Award for Best YA!
Part ghost story, part mystery, this atmospheric piece set in 1996 combines teen angst with small-town dynamics and a touch of urban legend. High school senior Lainey Bloom is in mourning for Danny Obregon, the boy she loved, who was killed in a hit-and-run accident over the summer. She’s also contending with bullies (including Danny’s ex), an unsympathetic school administration, and a perpetually busy widower father. While Lainey’s life spirals into confusion, Danny’s ghost appears, asking her to help figure out who killed him. As they investigate Danny’s death, romance continues to bloom between girl and ghost, and they discover that the truth is almost fatally complicated. Giarratano makes a solid debut, though she takes a kitchen sink approach to her plotting and worldbuilding: Lainey’s life takes on the qualities of a soap opera, with everything going wrong at home, at school, with her friends, and so on. What proves overwhelming for the protagonist risks feeling excessive for readers. Nevertheless, the mix of murder mystery and supernatural love story makes this an entertaining if unfocused read. Ages 14–up. (Publishers Weekly)
All her life criminology student Liz Bloom has heard this rhyme, meant to scare young campers. When she’s about to take on her first cold case, Liz learns the eerie song is about her great aunt Lana. Liz isn’t big on studying, but she does have one advantage most criminologists don’t — she can speak to the dead.
In 1955, Lana Bloom was an eighteen-year-old beauty with Hollywood dreams who fell in love with a stranger. When Lana died in a bloody car crash, all signs pointed to the mysterious man who was never seen again.
As Lana unravels the details surrounding her last week of life, the tale she weaves for Liz is one of desire, betrayal, and murder. But if Lana can’t identify her killer, not only will a murderer escape justice, but her ghostly form will cease to exist. And Liz will have failed the most important assignment of all – family.