Author: Katie Bayerl
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published Date: March 14th 2017
Genre: YA, Mystery, Contemporary
My Rating: ★ ★ ★.75
Tess da Costa is a saint — a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that's what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess's sainthood official. Tess's mother is ecstatic over the fervor, while her sister Callie, the one who knew Tess best, is disgusted - overcome with the feeling that her sister is being stolen from her all over again.
The fervor for Tess's sainthood only grows when Ana Langone, a local girl who's been missing for six months, is found alive at the foot of one of Tess's shrines. It's the final straw for Callie.
With the help of Tess's secret boyfriend Danny, Callie's determined to prove that Tess was something far more important than a saint; she was her sister, her best friend and a girl in love with a boy. But Callie's investigation uncovers much more than she bargained for: a hidden diary, old family secrets, and even the disturbing truth behind Ana's kidnapping.
"The voice is telling me not to be afraid, reminding me that even in the worst moments, when nothing makes sense and doubt and worry make everything bleak, there is still love in my life."
This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2017!
A combination of sainthood, small town desperation, kidnapping and mental illness made this a really quick read for me.
"That was how it was with us. Back and forth. You built me up one day, I did the same for you the next. We fell asleep talking woke up talking, filled the moments between with laughter... and when the voice appeared and your life began to spin out of shape, I was there to help you restore order. Or I tried to anyway"
Callie lost her sister Tess a few months back and is still reeling from it due to her mom pushing for her sister who was hearing a voice into a saint. Not to mention that Tess was the one that kept Callie and their mom from constantly batting it out, means that now they don't really get along at all.
The real sainthood possibilities become even more prominent when Ana a six year old girl who has been missing for six months shows up at one of the Shrines set up to honor Tess.
This of course makes the sainthood possibility really explode with the media and the church as well. As more and more people claim it is a miracle and that Tess was responsible for me Callie becomes more determined to prove that her sister isn't a saint.
"What's wrong with me? Miracles are supposed to be good things. Miracles make people happy. A little girl survived something horrible. I should be happy for her, for her grandmother, for all of us. For you, Tess. Instead I feel like I've been gutted all over again, my chest torn wide."
Callie enlists the help of Danny and together that start trying to find clues to point to what happened. And hopefully for it to show that Callie was no saint. Callie and Danny make a pretty good team. Danny is kind of the misunderstood guy to everyone else but Callie and Tess and we get to see him really change and start to work towards a future. As for Callie she is rather mean at times and really just needs to step back and consider others a little more. We do see her change as well though thankfully.
"You do seem a little stressed?"
"Stressed you think I seem stressed?"
"If the only person who ever lobed you was dead and being pimped out by our mother and the entire medical establishment was lining up to support her. DON'T YOU THINK YOU"D BE STRESSED TO?"
Told from three different main perspectives of Callie, Tess and Ana making this book really feel like you were right there with Callie trying to figure out what happened.
Overall this book was a really quick read for me. It was interesting to see how the whole town was reacting to the possibility of one of their own becoming a saint and how they reacted to it in what I believe to be a rather normal way. Some were all for it while others didn't believe it, which tends to happen to people who get "famous" and are from small towns. Also the modern day saint hood process was interesting to me, and how some of the higher ups in the church were reacting to it.
Ultimately though this book did feel more like it was about finding closure for Callie, her mom and Danny than figuring out a mystery. Which is completely okay and is still an important thing to read because of how it shows that they all dealt with grief differently. I was just personally expecting more of a mystery about finding out who took Ana and her story I guess.