Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams

Messenger by Carol Lynch Williams. October 18, 2016. Paula Wiseman Books, 288 p. ISBN: 9781481457767.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 450.

Evie Messenger knows that her family is different from other families. But it isn’t until her fifteenth birthday that the Messenger gift is revealed to her. Evie has the family’s gift—a special power. Soon she realizes she is able to see and talk to the dead—ghosts—often with no idea who the person was. Or as Evie says: “I see Dead People. It’s a Messenger gift.” That doesn’t mean she wants the Messenger gift. So Evie tries to ignore it but soon she finds she cannot. Can Evie find a way to live her life without letting her power take over?And what if the dead person is someone close to Evie’s family?



Booklist (October 1, 2016 (Online))
Grades 7-12. In the Messenger family, special skills, or “gifts,” are revealed to girls on their fifteenth birthday. Evie Messenger’s mother has the power to heal, and her aunt Odie has established a successful cooking empire by creating and selling boxed baking mixes. Evie awakens the morning of her fifteenth birthday dying to know what her gift is, until her mother and aunt start acting strangely, and the lines between this life, memory, and the afterlife start to blur. Evie’s gift, as she soon discovers, is an unwanted ability to speak to the dead. The one ray of sunlight in her life is Buddy, the handsome older boy who lives nearby, but even he has a secret. Melancholy and sweet, this coming-of-age tale deals in love, loss, and memories, blending together romance, mystery, and the supernatural for a haunting read. Recommended for fans of mild romance, lingering ghost stories, and reluctant heroines.

Publishers Weekly (August 22, 2016)
Williams’s engaging, supernatural-tinged novel opens in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., on Evie Messenger’s 15th birthday-the day that Messenger women are traditionally bestowed with a special skill that determines their life path. When no new ability presents itself, Evie assumes that the “Messenger Gift” has skipped a generation. After a few days, though, she realizes that Tommie-the intrusive girl who has dogged her ever since her birthday party-is a ghost, and that Evie isn’t just able to communicate with spirits but is expected to help them cross over. Being a teenager is difficult enough without having to tackle the dead’s unresolved issues, too. Can Evie strike a balance, or will her gift render normal life impossible? Relatable characters and a down-to-earth narrative carry Williams’s story to a pat yet emotionally gratifying conclusion. The plot is slight, but clever twists and efficient worldbuilding keep the pace swift, and Williams (Never Said) makes smart use of her premise to encapsulate what it’s like to straddle the line between childhood and adolescence. Ages 12-up. Agent: Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (Oct.)

About the Author

Carol Lynch Williams is an author of Young Adult and Middle Grade novels. As of 2016, Williams is the conference director for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference and is a professor of creative writing at Brigham Young University.

Her website is

Around the Web

Messenger on Amazon

Messenger on JLG

Messenger on Goodreads



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