'Wakefield's bone-chilling supernatural thriller, originally published in Australia, blurs the line between perception and reality, often folding in shrewd discussions of mental illness along the way. With whirlwind pacing, dynamic characterizations, and out-of-this-world spook appeal, Wakefield's writing is a possessive force of its own. Readers, ready your nightlights.'--Booklist; 'The touch of magical realism--or is it psychic ability that Grace inherited from her mother?--is key to making the plot work even if everything is explained away by her therapist, as Grace does in fact solve one mystery and prevent another tragedy. Give this to readers who enjoy a bit of supernatural ambiguity in their crime dramas.' Recommended. Gr. 9-12.--BCCB; 'Evocative descriptions will make readers feel Grace's fear, frustration, and confusion, with sights, sounds, and scents that are as palpable as words on a page can be. Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful. (Fiction. 14-18)'--Kirkus; *Starred Review* 'Wakefield reveals herself to be a master of madness and suspense, rivaling such authors as Adele Griffin and Neal Shusterman. With the effect of both a seductive dream and a nightmare, the story throbs with uneasiness; curses, terrible secrets, and twisted relationships all threaten to explode at any moment. Wakefield's writing is gorgeous. She renders the Australian setting, from the slanted platforms at the train station to the red dust of the outback, with visceral detail, and her characters are disturbing, yet sketched with deep compassion for their lonely, wounded hearts.' Booklist on Friday Never Leaving 'Wakefield's writing is unflinchingly honest...readers who let themselves sink into Wakefield's descriptions of small-town life, its constraints, and frustrations will enjoy following Jack as she searches for meaning, finding love and purpose in the unlikeliest people.' Publisher's Weeklyon Friday Never Leaving; 'for readers who enjoy stories with an emotional punch.School Library Journal on Friday Never Leaving; 'Wakefield...proves again that she's the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.' Australian Book Review
Ballad for a Mad Girl is a ghost thriller with a literary angle. An action-packed page turner about survival and the different ways we deal with grief.