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4.4 out of 5 stars
I Heart You, You Haunt Me
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
He's here, in this room, right now. Jackson. Ava knows he's dead, and that it's impossible, but that doesn't stop her from being able to smell his unique, sandalwood aftershave. Or seeing his image in her mirror, hearing his words in her head,and finding him in her dreams. Her boyfriend is a ghost, and it's Ava's fault he's dead to begin with.

So now what?

Ride the waves of Ava's emotions, sometimes rippling, sometimes crashing, in this haunting book. Written in verse for maximum impact, the book grips readers and keeps them turning page after page, waiting for a release that never comes. I know, because I'm still waiting to be released from the clutch of feelings invoked by Ava's tale.

That's why I'm nominating this one for the Gold Star Award for Excellence in the TeensReadToo Hall of Fame. This award is reserved for books that we'll read again and again. A definite for me in this case.

Reviewed by: Julie M. Prince
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
THREE QUICK POINTS:
* Point 1: It's really written in verse. OK, I read that it was a verse novel, but I really didn't know what to expect and true enough, the entire novel, all 200+ pages of it, is one long continuous verse.

* Point 2: So he's a poltergeist? Sort of. Let me be upfront here and say I expected a creepier haunting (I found it filed under "Spine-Chilling Horror" at Amazon) and it was anything but.

* Point 3: Short story in book form. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but once I finished the book, I realized it could easily be translated into a short story.

SHORT SYNOPSIS:
The story is told in verse from the perspective of fifteen year old Ava who's mourning the death of her boyfriend Jackson. The story begins at his funeral and as we follow the thread, we learn how he and Ava met, about their relationship, and ultimately his death.

During this grieving period, Jackson comes back to Ava as a ghost. Ava is afraid to tell her parents and friends about Jackson because they would call her crazy, so she decides to keep him all to herself. Of course, dating a ghost is tricky; a lesson that Ava learns the hard way and she's forced to make a decision that could change her life forever.

MY THOUGHTS:
The book was not what I expected. I expected something creepier, but nothing in it made me want to flick on the lights or sleep with one eye open. That doesn't mean I didn't end up liking it. In fact, the opposite and it haunted me a bit after I finished reading.

It was an easy read, bringing you through all the stages of Ava's grief in quick bursts; sometimes too quick. I would have liked to know more about Jackson and the details surrounding his death. Not to say that glimpses aren't given, but sometimes I found myself wondering if he was abusive in life (eventually, that was cleared up and, as far as I can tell, he wasn't).

Toward the end, a character named Lyric was introduced. While I understand why he was introduced (from an analytical standpoint), something about its development stuck out like a throbbing red thumb.

When Ava first met him, I was looking forward to seeing how the relationship would develop, but it was too rushed and the problem it presented was resolved far too easily. I don't want to say much more than that for fear of giving up too big a spoiler.

That section should have been stretched out, possibly through another interlude that transitions their relationship. And even though I yearned to know more about the characters, I didn't feel as though I didn't know enough.

What I believe is so beautiful about this book is the message of healing it imparts with the resolution of Ava and Jackson. Again, I'll hold my tongue, but suffice to say that anyone who has ever lost love (whether through a break up or death) could relate and, I hope, gain something from this book.

I'd also like to add that I can definitely see myself re-reading this book in the future. It's sensitively written with an ethereal quality.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Fifteen-year-old Ava knows it's her fault that her boyfriend Jackson is dead, and that makes his death all the more difficult to bear. But then one day she's home and the room goes cold and she knows that Jackson's there with her. But can she have a ghost as a boyfriend or must she move on with her life?

I don't think I've ever read a verse novel before this one, so I'm not sure how this one compares to other verse novels. As it is, I have somewhat mixed feelings. It was very emotional, and I think that's because of the verse. I don't think this book would have been as good in prose. That being said, the story seems sort of incomplete, like there could have been more. In a way, I'm not completely satisfied because I feel like the book's missing something, and I'm not sure if all verse novels are like that or just this one. But I did love this book regardless and can't give it anything less than five stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I've seen so many reviews of this around that I'm not going to bother summarizing it because it would take me forever. Basically, it's the story of a girl who's boyfriend dies but doesn't leave her.

That said, I am in LOVE with this book. It's written in verse so I was hesitant to pick it up because I've never read a whole book in verse before. But I'd seen so many good review of it and the plot of it seemed so great, that I had to buy it. The minute it came in the mail, I started reading it. I was hooked from the first page and stayed up much later than I should have to finish it.

When I was reading this, I felt as if it was I who had just lost the boyfriend and it was the face of my boyfriend in the mirror. Ava's emotions were easy to relate to and I could feel the pain she was going through, along with her confusion. The fact that it was written in verse was not a set back but more of an asset to the story as it kept the story from being bogged down by details and descriptions that would have slowed Ava's story down.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me is an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone, especially if they aren't a huge fan of reading. If you haven't picked this book up yet, be sure to pick it up next time you see it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Lisa Schroeder is such a meanie! She made me cry! ;) Seriously though, --I Heart You, You Haunt Me gets 5 BIG hearts from me--I just couldn't put it down! I read it in one sitting, and through tears for most of the last half. Ava's dead boyfriend Jackson haunts her days, appearing in visions in the mirror, a breath of chilly air, a song on her CD player. Ava wants and dreads his presence all at the same time. Is she going crazy? Or is Jackson really trying to send her a message that she needs to hear? A beautiful novel in verse about love, loss, grief, guilt, and recovery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
** spoiler alert ** Like I said when I reviewed Chasing Brooklyn; I have fallen in love with Lisa Shroeder and am now reading all of her books. I realized since the last review that what I was calling prose writing is actually her writing in verse, though I guess they could be the same thing:)
I like that Lisa is writing about death and how teens deal with it. And also how most of them are haunted in the beginning of her books, but soon realize that they can't go on living like they were. Of course in both of her books that I have read, the ghosts are only sticking around to help the person. In I Heart You, You Haunt Me. We meet Ava, at almost 16 she is the perfect girl. She has best friends and the perfect boyfriend. She attends a "School's Out" party with her friends and boyfriend; Jackson. When Jackson is dared by Ava to jump from a cliff into the water, he of course does it.... Only no one expected to be attending his funeral....
The book starts off with Ava at the funeral and moves on from their. She has the usual haunting experiences, cold areas, items moved, radios turning on... And she just knows that it is Jackson as soon she feels him. Ava believes that Jackson is sticking around because she needs him, and so she slowly pulls away from everyone; afraid to leave the house because she knows that Jackson can't go with her. She is in a sense still dating Jackson in her mind and she almost refuses to give up and let go.
We meet Ava's ex-boyfriend Nick, who is trying to help her, but with still being in love with her, she only see's it as him trying to get back with her. Ava's parents finally just pack her off to the beach for the 4th of July, where she meets Lyric love the name!!), he's older than Ava; but she feels alive with him, normal in a way that she hasn't since Jackson passed. Of course, being Ava; she freaks out and runs, only to meet up with him again at a party. Turns out that Cali, Ava's friend is crushing on Lyric; though Lyric isn't really interested in Cali. He wants Ava, and after seeing her at the party, he realizes exactly who Ava is.
Without giving away the ending, let's just say that Ava realizes she must let go of Jackson, so that she can live again. I loved the book and it is one that will be added to my collection so that I can re-read it from time to time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Written entirely in free verse, the spare and poignant I Heart You follows 15 year old Ava and the spirit of her boyfriend Jackson, killed in an accident for which Ava blames herself. Jackson just can't let go - he plays special songs for Ava on the stereo, whispers to her, and holds her in her dreams. But, ultimately, Ava must choose between the ghostly romance and moving on with her life. A quick and satisfying teen read, and a lovely debut novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This story is so wondrously written in verse, that it's impossible to put it down. If you're skeptical to read it because it's written verse, DON'T BE! It's so worth it & honestly amazing! I totally forgot that this was my first "ghost story" but i didn't forgot how emotionally impacting it is. Gosh, why are ghost stories always so freakin' sad? Tears will fall (kinda like heads will roll...but not) when reading this book!

The story starts off with the main character Ava at her boyfriend Jackson's funeral. So the book is filled with flashbacks of their relationship and those flashbacks are nothing short of beautiful. They really let you see what Ava and Jackson's relationship was like and it was absolutely adorable.

While Ava tries to cope with losing Jackson she suddenly starts to feel his presence, and it becomes even harder to move on while he's still around (sound familiar? Kinda like another one of my favorite books!)

Ava goes from blaming herself for Jackson's death, to understanding she needs to move on and let him go completely. A incredibly heart-wrenching and touching read, i HIGHLY recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
the story is about a girl named ava, who just lost her boyfriend, jackson in a trajic way. after jackson dies she keeps seeing him everywhere...she doesnt know the reason that he keeps haunting her, and belives he is doing it because he is mad at her for the way he dies. when she finds the reason for why he is haunting her she is overcome with his true love for her and finally lets him go.

this is one of the most beautiful and saddest books i have ever read. the good thing about this book is that its so short you can read quickly. i cried so hard when i read this. it touched my heart and made me feel ava's love for jackson and made me sad that she will never see him again.

i recommend this to anyone. its a great book and one you wont regret reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME in one weepy sitting and savored Lisa Schroeder's free verse poems that come together to tell a touching story of love, loss, and healing. The book opens with the funeral of Ava's boyfriend Jackson -- a funeral for which she can't help but feel a sense of responsibility, given what happened. This isn't a traditional tear-jerker, though -- because Jackson comes back. As a ghost. And Ava finds herself pulled in two directions, forced to choose between the love she lost and the life she still has.

Lisa Schroeder's poems are spare and beautiful -- the kind of poems that paint an amazing picture and then hit hard in the last lines. This book will have huge appeal for fans of other verse novels. Kids who love Sonya Sones, especially, are in for a treat. Like Sones, Schroeder takes a realistic look at teenagers. Simon & Schuster recommends this title for grades 9 and up. There are some very mild references to sex, but nothing, in my opinion, that would make the book inappropriate for a 7th or 8th grade reader who has read Sones' work or other books that deal with teen romance.

Ava and Jackson were so real to me during the hour I spent in their world, I couldn't help being swept up in their drama. Part of me was glad I read this one at home, so I didn't end up sobbing through sustained silent reading in front of my students. But part of me thinks that would have been just fine, too. Sometimes, an old-fashioned cry is a perfect reminder of how transporting a great story can be.
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