This review is for two stories from the anthology, “Lost and Found.” The collection was inspired by a photo caption that read “Forty percent of homeless youth are LGBQT and the number one reason for that is family rejection”. The ten contributing authors have generously donated their efforts as well as giving all proceeds from the sale of this book to a worthy cause, Lost-n-Found Youth of Atlanta, helping LGBQT teens get back on their feet and find their way. Five stars for this contribution.
A GHOST OF A CHANCE by Diane Adams (4.0 stars)
Carter Evans lies bleeding his life out at the back of a dead-end alley. His weapon is a razor blade’s cold hard edge, used to counter the self-hate and inner numbness, to somehow gain some self-control in his life. Pain upon pain; his faithful friend.
“It was the one thing that grounded him, that gave him control— the razor.”
Discarded by his parents when he came out to them, he has spent weeks on the street and has reached the end, has given up hope.
Unknown to Carter, there is another denizen of the alley, Phillip, who took his own life in the very same spot. Young Phillip, also a victim of cutting, has haunted the alleyway for five years. When he sees Chase, he sees a chance to help another and maybe to also help himself. He reaches out, he ‘falls into’ Chase, and in this desperate bid for connection, sets off a sweet ‘dream’ state. In this dream, Phillip shows Carter, who has truly been ‘touched by an angel,’ that there is another option, that he does matter, that things can get better. There is an instant attraction and the two start to fall in love. But what hope is there for Carter and his ghost?
“A Ghost of A Chance” is aptly named. The author writes about teen self-injury and suicide, crafting a love story with a paranormal touch. Chase has a ghost of a chance of surviving the horrible cuts he makes to his body if only Phillip can convince him to hold on, if only help will come in time. At the end of the story we are left wondering what will happen to Chase and Phillip, how can the two young lovers be united? While the ending is HFN, this is a nicely done story of hope, acceptance and survival.
A CHANCE WITH A GHOST by T.A. Webb (3.5 stars)
“A Chance With a Ghost” is the companion to “A Ghost of A Chance” in that it picks up directly from the end of that story. This follow up is primarily from Phillip’s POV and shows his fight to help Chase. The author comes up with a clever mechanism to work out a resolution for Chase and Phillip which involves the introduction of some new characters to the cast. In addition, two guardian angels come to the rescue (the Angel Gabriel puts in an appearance) putting a unique spin on the story. This author has worked to give a satisfactory ending to Diane Adams’ initial premise.
Incidents of cutting amongst adolescents and young adults are believed to be on the rise, though some theorize that this may be misleading because of greater awareness of the abuse. While the risk of suicide is obviously there, this is not always the intention of cutters. These two YA stories have no graphic sex and would also be suitable for adolescent readers.
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