A Kiss for Emily

Young Adult

Emily Stokes is in a funk.  She’s moved to the Kansas countryside – missing senior year at her old high school, her girlfriends, and Alex, her first crush.  It’s all bad.  One day in the woods, however, she meets Sam Easley, a handsome farm boy.  Suddenly country living doesn’t seem so bad, and Emily is falling in love!  But, there’s something strange about Sam – she tastes smoke and smells a musk  whenever Sam’s around, and he appears to be living all alone with no family.  Then there’s the cute farm house where he lives – when she goes back to find it with her friends, it’s just a deserted, broken-down house.  Is Sam real or a figment of her imagination?!  As Emily uncovers the truth about Sam and her feelings for him, Sam reveals what it’s like to be a ghost from times gone by.  

Ms. Galuska writes an engaging ghost story about a teenage girl’s quest for love.  The dialog is fun, as the reader follows Emily in her relationships with her family, Sam, and her girlfriends  The occasional mentions of Alex (her first love) are somewhat distracting and don’t add anything, especially after Emily decides she’s not interested in Alex.  A hospital stay with a mental illness diagnosis is also introduced suddenly and quickly becomes extreme, seeming somewhat unbelievable.   As there is undoubtably a book two planned, hopefully some of these hanging issues will be resolved so readers can continue to enjoy the developing but unusual relationship between Emily and Sam!

Victoria Z. Burg