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Stitch - Samantha Durante 3.5 Stars
Alessa is trying to study but her mind keeps wandering back to the young male ghost in her sorority house. She hasn't been able to pull up any useful information on his history yet. Between that fixation and the reoccurring nightmares, her sleep and social life along with school work are suffering. She thinks her reaction to the ghost is curious, the severe feelings she feels and some connection between them. Alessa starts researching her sorority house to learn who he was, with the leads her sorority sister Janie finds. The visions and feelings from the ghost become stronger with each visit, until finally they both see each other. When Alessa's world, as she knows it, becomes more and more suspicious, she might learn her nightmares could be more real than she realizes. The nightmares involving her ghost and a few others. Deep down Alessa's subconsciousness knows the truth and her feelings spark from it. But what she learns about her school will shock her.

Alessa seems like a strong girl that's had some bad things happen to her. Her parents died when she was in high school, she finished, barely, and found a college that would except her marred grades. She's strong and carries on. But then you learn more about Alessa than I ever thought possible, and see how she has learned to stand on her own two legs and gets through for others. What has spared her to carry on and be stronger. And deep feelings she holds for a few very special people. We then meet Isaac, and he sounds like a wonderful curious boy of one hundred years past. Then everything changes.

The story starts with a preface, which made me rather curious. I have questions that are stirred up by this, and wonder what has happened. Then in the first chapter there's a hint that maybe Alessa's nightmares are of the preface happening, and others after this. For me the book had a slow beginning. We learn of Alessa and her college, her history, and her infatuation with the blue eyed ghost she sees. I would say about the first ninety pages where slow reading for me, an introduction more than anything. I felt like there were repeats in one section of telling me the emotional drain, exhaustion, and all emotions flooding Alessa when she sees the ghost. When Alessa was out posting flyers, it felt to drag some. But all this is to get the feeling of a setting a stage.

Suddenly! The story took off flying for me. We got into more of Alessa and Isaac's story and getting the ghost and person together. I was hooked. The dreams of a place not so found, and dreams of the two together -- even though one hundred years apart in time. We see more to this world as it opens up to us with the characters and what is really going on. Yes, I was hooked and had to read through the story to see what happened and where we ended up.

This book had a feel that reminded me of the movie The Lake House, not from letters going back and forth but from seeing the story of present and past between Alessa and Isaac, and that there is a connection, maybe even a love there.

This is a young adult read, and I think a very good one. There is a touch of love, not only from a boyfriend/girlfriend aspect (which is later in the book), but of the family and how that connection can always carry through strong. There's no swearing or sexual content, which is refreshing to read.

We get the glimpse of a dystopian world that I hope we see more of in the coming books. I will say in the end I am hooked. I'm very curious to see what Samantha Durante will take the trilogy next in book two, Shudder. Strong ending, and lead in to the next book.