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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“The sudden breeze, plus the séance gone wrong, left a cold sensation in the pit of my stomach like a bad omen. Willow Marsh could be the death of me.” After the death of her mother and younger brother, Tessa Isaacson and her father move to Willow Marsh to start over. Still unable to let go, Tessa tries to contact her mother and brother through a séance. However, other souls slip through from the realm of the dead with selfish intentions, bringing problems that threaten to play havoc with Tessa’s mind. Several town residents also have their own dark secrets and Tessa isn’t sure who to trust. Willow Marsh is a supernatural YA story by Jo Cassidy.
Willow Marsh is perfect as a small town that holds a dark secret of its own. The supernatural concerns are balanced with the complications of losing family members, starting over, and adapting to a new life. The narrative is engaging and the plot has a steady pace; it’s full of interesting characters who are somehow connected to the town's buried past. Tessa's struggle is understandable and it's easy to empathize with her emotional state. I gravitated toward Leya, Tessa's best friend, who provides much-needed support despite being miles away from each other, while the shy but intriguing Graham Dixon becomes a comforting presence. Unfortunately, 'unwelcome guests' and some residents quickly establish themselves as unexpected trouble for the teen. Time is of the essence as Tessa's mind and soul are at stake. With love, trust, and hope as prominent themes combined with suspense and horror elements, Jo Cassidy's Willow Marsh is an entertaining read that will satisfy its targeted readers.