Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet

A teenage girl wins the chance to bring her best friend back from the dead in this quirky and compassionate debut YA novel.

Every 10 years, the small town of Lennon, Calif., holds a peculiar contest in which the winner gets to bring one person back from the dead "for exactly thirty days, after which they must return to the afterlife." Seventeen-year-old "Resident Virgin Dork" Wilson Moss doesn't believe she'll win when she impulsively enters to resurrect her ex-best friend, Annie LeBlanc. It therefore comes as a surprise when Annie comes back to life eager to spend time with Wilson, acting as if nothing has changed between them. Wilson then discovers a loophole in the contest rules that she hopes may let Annie stay alive. The only problem is the plan requires the cooperation of Ryan Morton, daughter of the owner of Lennon's "most famous restaurant" and Wilson and Annie's former friend who now hates them both. (Except for that one awkward evening when Ryan and Wilson kissed.) With her 30 days dwindling, Wilson is determined to "bring my two best friends back together again" for good.

Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet does not elaborate on the magic behind Annie's return or the origins of Lennon's contest. Instead, author Molly Morris uses an outlandish speculative premise as the starting point for a coming-of-age story exploring grief, nostalgia, and friendship. Though the novel's pacing is uneven--despite the time constraint on Annie's return, there is little sense of urgency--compelling characters are likely to endear readers to Morris's work. --Alanna Felton, freelance reviewer

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