'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Review: Portraits of Celina

When applied to books, I don’t believe in the phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ because I think that a great cover can reveal as much about a book as a great blurb or a fantastic tag line. Portraits of Celina has a great cover and a fantastic tag line – “Make him pay, Bailey. Make him pay” - both setting the scene perfectly for the story within.

Bailey’s family is barely surviving her father’s unexpected death, when her Mum makes the unpopular decision to move to an old house in the country that belonged to relatives long passed. Once there, Bailey finds herself drawn to a chest of items that belonged to the girl who used to live in the house, but disappeared without a trace forty years ago.

Already dealing with her broken mother, her out of control sister and her fast developing feelings for the boy across the lake, Bailey tries to ignore the frightening prompts and urges she feels to solve the mystery, but soon comes to the realisation that the demands of an angry ghost are not so easy to ignore.

With very real characters and a great Australian feel in both Whiting’s descriptive language as well as the character colloquialisms and interactions, this is a fast passed read that gives just enough to keep you guessing until the very end. Part mystery and part ghost story, Portraits of Celina delivers a grisly twist that I definitely didn’t see coming.

There are teachers' notes available for this book.

Title: Portraits of Celina
Author: Sue Whiting
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 April 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781922077479
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction

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