Rebecca Brown has to go stay with her Aunt Claudia while her father is away on business in China. It wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t have to leave her school and friends in New York to go stay with family she doesn’t really know in New Orleans. She’s not thrilled when she gets there and is not impressed with her aunt’s supposed psychic abilities. But she discovers that there is even more to dislike when she gets to the school she has to attend for the rest of the semester. But among the things she doesn’t like- not fitting in with the girls at secrets, not being privy to the social customs and the long history of New Orleans, she finds two things that she does like. First she befriends a girl in a cemetery who turns out to be a ghost, and Anton Grey who she has been warned to stay away from. Both play a vital role in revealing the local curse that has been placed a New Orleans “royal” and secrets that somehow involve Rebecca and her family.

First one of my favorite things about this book is that it strings the mystery along until the very end. Despite that it takes you just about all thirty-five chapters to know the whole mystery, there is never really a dull moment.  Rebecca’s time in New Orleans was filled with lots of details and history that was not overpowering. It added a succulent flavor to the story.  Although the relevancy of the history of the families is important, there were moments when I felt that there wasn’t enough given.  I was glad to read that though the book covered secrets done by adults and other issues that were more adult than youth, the youth perspective was still there. The high school/new girl drama was still there. More than that it was relatable.

The final revelation, once you know all of the history and the full story of the curse, is not surprising at all. I may have even be able to figure it out before it is revealed. But somewhere in my mind I blocked it out, I didn’t want to know until it was time.  At the end, when it all boils together, I have to say that I am not surprised to discover that after 155 years families, blood hasn’t changed all that much. One thing that I have learned from this book is that the secrets that bind you together are also able to destroy you.

If you are interested in learning more about Paula Morris or any of her other books, you can visit her on her webpage:


Always Shine,



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