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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
Every day, Miss Erickson hears mysterious music coming from behind a locked door at the Lang School of Fine Arts. When the strict Mrs. Borg tells her to leave the door alone, her curiosity drives her to uncover the secrets of the ever-closed door. There are consequences she must face. Finding Viola: A Short Story by Bo Burnette had the creepy feeling of a really well told ghost story and reminded me of Neil Gaiman or even R.L. Stine. Visibility Fiction is an online magazine for young adult stories that are mostly fantasy and sci-fi, creepy but with a happy ending, and I immediately thought of that magazine when I read this story because it would be a perfect fit.
I liked the melancholiness of the story, the fact that Viola wasn't allowed to hear music, or think that there was music, or even touch the door handle. Her teacher was mean and over the top and kind of the anti Christ -- all of that fitted and reminded me of some of Louis Sachar's characters or even the adults that are always overbearing in Roald Dahl's books. The music was the tie in between what was currently happening in the story and what had happened in Viola's past, how we got to learn about her father through the music as well. I liked that music was something Viola was used to and familiar with, but also that it made her sad and angry and brought back too many bad memories. Good story.