Title: They Stay
Series: They Stay #1
Author: Claire Fraise
Publisher: Sabertooth Press
Publication date: October 12, 2021
Genres: Dark Fantasy/Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
From the author—
For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.
What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?
Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.
When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?
But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.
And a ghost told her where he is.
As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.
THEY STAY is the first book in the They Stay Series. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.
Content Warnings: This book contains death, kidnapping, domestic abuse, references to suicide, bullying, and mild adult language.
There’s nothing really new about the premise of this story—after all, there are a limited number of plots out there—so it’s incumbent upon the author to make her specific tale interesting and appealing to readers. Ms. Fraise has done this quite nicely, particularly in her evocation of emotional attachments between the reader and various characters as well as emotional tension.
I think my favorite element of this book is that of Francesca being able to see ghosts and interpret their actions but the developing friendship, if that’s what it really is, between Francesca and Shiloh is truly intriguing and I’m interested to see where things go with this relationship.
Although I’m decidedly not a fan of first person present tense, especially in a mystery, I enjoyed They Stay and will look forward to the next installment of the series.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2021.
About the Author
Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She is also the author of YA dystopian novel Imperfect (winner of the San Francisco and Beverly Hills Book Festivals), which she published when she was 16. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at clairefraise.com.
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