The title Facebook Phantom drew me to this book; I thought it might be a book on Facebook addiction and how to overcome it. Though my guess was close, the story was slightly different.
Written by the author when she was fifteen years old, the story revolves around Sonali Machado, the protagonist, also of about the same age.
After her tenth board exams, when she is killing time and idling with her best friends Joanne Leslie and the gay boy Neel Sarathy, Sonali is confronted with a facebook message asking her if she is happy. Unaware that it would be the beginning of a sinister episode in her life, Sonali (Li for her friends) replies, and thus starts a conversation with the handsome Omi Daan.
What starts as a casual exchange of messages turns into an obsession, which makes Li withdraw into her room. Her parents do not sense anything wrong, though her younger sister Sonya does.
Meanwhile, Jo and Neel are concerned (now being ignored by Li), and sense the danger she is getting entangled in. But Li will not acknowledge her condition, and thwarts all efforts by her friends to help.
When the well-meaning Jo, who comes to meet Li out of concern is found dead next to her bed, things take a dangerous turn. Neel and Li are in it together. Neel also senses an attraction towards Li.
Can the pair of youngsters counter the sinister attempts of the dead Omi Daan? Read this paranormal thriller to find out.
+ + +
- A teenager having the determination to sit and write a book of about 50000 words is in itself an achievement. In addition the flow of events without any logical inconsistencies is noteworthy. Kudos to Suzanne Sangi for her control over the language. Mind blown.
- Using Facebook as a medium through which another world ghost contacts Li is innovative.
- The teen dynamics and the relationship between the three friends has been handled with ease and originality. It takes a teen to understand teenagers, does it?
- I appreciate the publishers Duckbill for encouraging such young talent.
– – –
- I think paranormal is not my genre. What started as a good read started sagging en route, and I found it difficult to go through the entire story. The concept of a dead boy’s ghost getting attracted to a girl who is a namesake of his dead sister and getting in touch with her is incredible for the earthy person in me. In addition, there is a point, where the dead come alive to get killed again.
- How did the gay Neel suddenly become straight, and get into a relationship with Li? It beats me the way Li and Jo, and their parents have no qualms about their friendship with Neel. In addition, all parents know of his sexual orientation and talk about it matter-of-factly. They live in Bangalore and it is a contemporary story. I am not convinced that our society is so progressive, well, not yet.
A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.