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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Every Ghost Has Its Story by Lynda Marie Austin is about a teen's journey of acceptance of a unique ability that allows her to help ghosts. After dying and being revived four years ago, Quinn now has the ability to see the dead. When she reveals her secret to her closest friend, this sends her running out the door. At least Quinn has her parents to stick by her and assist her with the ghosts who have asked for help. As Quinn works to understand her ability, she makes new friends and is introduced to people like her who guide her on the right path. Quinn seeks out a way to help the ghosts she sees but soon she's the one in need of help when a serial killer starts stalking her and she's drawn into a decades-long murder mystery.
Each ghost has its own story and each of their stories tie together in a surprising way as Quinn learns about her abilities and reaches out to help them. The ghosts each come to her asking for help and she opens up by figuring out their story which Austin weaves throughout so each ghost has a moment where their voice is heard. This gives the story a poignant tone that shines a light on each loss so it's deeply felt and resonates. Several of the ghosts don't remember the full cause of their death which adds some mystery to the story. The youth of several ghosts adds a weight of emotion as each tragic story is written in vivid detail of a life gone too soon. The innocence lost with each life is what flips this tale from a ghostly scare to an emotional tribute to life. The various ghosts Quinn meets will tug on your heartstrings but these tragic tales do lead towards an uplifting ending for each once Quinn gets involved and learns to embrace what she can do.
This is a story about embracing one's gifts and one's self but also honors the lives of those who have disappeared as many of the ghosts were those who went missing. Austin does incorporate a murder mystery throughout with a larger and darker plot that brings Quinn directly into the middle of a horrific situation. The mystery provides suspense and plenty of frights to keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what happens next. Every Ghost Has Its Story isn't your typical ghost story as it's full of heart and emotion which is driven by the loss and tragedy behind each ghost's journey and the uplifting way Quinn reaches out to every spirit. An intriguing paranormal mystery story that YA readers will love.