YA Reads: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

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“Bravery meant the possibility of death. And wasn’t that funny? Because it took being dead for Wallace to finally be brave.” 

Stories having to do with ghosts, hauntings, or anything supernatural is one of my greatest guilty pleasures! When “Under the Whispering Door” by T.J Klune became available through Libby (the app for the Digital Library of Illinois, a fantastic resource to find your next great read) it seemed like perfect timing, since October is the month of all things spooky! That’s not to say that this is your typical tale of terror. It’s actually a charming story about a successful lawyer named Wallace who suddenly, inconveniently finds himself no longer among the living. He is shuffled off to an undisclosed location with his own personal grim reaper to begin his afterlife in a teashop. To complicate matters, Wallace is falling for the handsome ferryman who owns the teashop and is meant to help Wallace cross over to the other side.

This is a quirky story sure to appeal to both adults and teens. While there is a strong focus on the romance, this also tackles some serious issues like coming to terms with your own mortality and the different ways in which people deal with grief and loss. There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of family or “found family” and what it means to be a good person. Should you choose to read Klune’s latest novel, be sure to keep a box of tissues nearby and a strong cup of peppermint tea to warm you on a cool, fall evening.  

“It’s never enough, is it? Time. We always think we have so much of it, but when it really counts, we don’t have enough at all.” 

If you’re looking for other stories having to do with ghosts, reapers or the supernatural, check out these great titles:

“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman, “Hold Me Closer Necromancer” by Lish McBride, The “Bone Houses” by Emily Lloyd-Jones, “Croak” by Gina Damico, and “Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden.

--written by Laura K., Technical Services

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Krista Hutley
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