G for Ghost Flower, by Michele Jaffe (book review) – missing heiress, ghostly best friend, forever?

The resemblance is uncanny.
This no-money runaway looks just like a missing heiress,
the one who will inherit millions on her birthday this month.
What could go wrong with a short-time acting gig?
Oh, Eve, if you only knew…

With no roots and no need to be protected, Eve is even more like the desert’s ghost flower than Aurora was. Perhaps that’s why Bain and Bridgette chose her to fill in as their missing cousin, so it’s that much easier to sweep her away later and let The Family’s money flow to those who appreciate it and badly want it??

And why does Eve get such conflicting stories about Aurora’s best friend Liza? There’s something wrong about Liza’s suicide, something that Eve can almost figure out – when the phone calls start, from ‘unknown number‘ – phone calls from Liza, trying to warn Aurora about something, someone,
reminding her that they’re best friends… forever.

Grab this page-turner at your local independent bookseller as soon as it’s published on April 12, 2012 – and once you get to the halfway point, plan on staying up late to finish it.

(p.s. Giveaway for ARC of Cat Girl’s Day Off continues here through 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012.)

Book info: Ghost Flower / Michele Jaffe. Razorbill, 2012. [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: Oh, she looks just like their missing cousin! Two rich teens offer Eve a chance to break out of poverty. Just convince the family that she really is runaway Aurora, come home in time to collect her inheritance, then conveniently disappear again once she’s given most of the money to them. What has she got to lose?

Maybe it’s time for her to take a chance on a better future, one far away from Tucson and the troubling flashbacks to terrible times in foster care which have increased since she moved here.

Studying photographs of Aurora’s relatives and school friends, eating only her favorite foods, wearing only her favorite colors – Eve is being transformed into wild, crazy Ro under the exacting instructions of Bridgette and Bain, secluded in a desert hideaway.

Bridgette has Aurora’s return to Tucson society meticulously planned for the week of her high school’s graduation, just before the memorial to its two lost classmates – Aurora and her best friend Liza, who committed suicide on the night that Ro disappeared.

But the new Aurora has her own ideas for convincing everyone that she’s the real deal and jumps back in early, encountering a psychic medium with a chilling message at a graduation party séance, a police officer who believes her memory is gone but sees her sorrows too well, and eerie phone calls day and night – from Liza!

Glaring omissions in the detailed information that Bain and Bridgette provide Eve to study – do the cousins want Eve to succeed or fail in her attempt to convince her wealthy grandmother, the rest of the Sterling family, and Tucson’s high society that she truly is their wild, impetuous Aurora?

Ghostly phone calls from Liza – can the dead truly communicate with us?
Who is she warning Eve about?
Why don’t all the puzzle pieces surrounding her death fit together right?

The desert’s Ghost Flower only blooms where the spirits of the dead rest uneasy. Lock the door, turn off the cell phone, and venture with Eve into Aurora and Liza’s privileged and perilous world. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)