Death of a Kleptomaniac
At sixteen, Molly is a girl who's just started living - at last she's popular. But for a girl who has everything, Molly feels like she never has enough. So she steals. At least there's plenty of time to fix this last little problem.
Even when she's dead, Molly has things to discover and deal with in her own way -- with required screaming, sassiness and a little help from a guide named Louise. Apparently, before a soul can cross over, it needs to settle residual issues, and Molly has them in spades. In addition to her titular kleptomania, she had trouble deciding which guy she really liked and knowing who her real friends were. Somehow this is epitomized by clocks. Lots of them. Do not expect logic, just go with the flow. It's all pretty silly and lighthearted, which makes the read appealingly fluffy despite Molly's death from being bitten on the butt by a rattlesnake while horseback riding. (Too embarrassed to admit her butt is sore, she let everyone think that the horse simply threw her and it's the head injury that matters. Not.) Likable and flawed (Tracy specializes in this kind of narrator), she resists the afterlife as she grapples with the discoveries she makes visiting the people that mattered to her. While setting herself square, Molly can see and hear what she never could alive. No one could take any of it seriously, but perhaps that is its greatest charm. Theft, death and laughter.
School Library Journal:
Kleptomaniac Molly Weller is dead, no matter how much she bargains with Louise, the intake counselor of her soul. Her life, she thought, had been going so well up until now. She joined her school's nationally esteemed drill team, made the right friends, and was popular. Now she is just a soul who finds that being dead is a lot of work. Oddly, the bulk of this novel revolves around a disembodied character more well-rounded dead than alive. As her counselor says, "a lot of times when people are in their deepest sorrows, they have their clearest insights." Nearly everyone imagines life after death; this novel delivers it. While the theme might be too morbid for some, certain readers will enjoy reading about Molly's life and afterlife. - Lisa Gieskes, Richland County Public Library
Death of a Kleptomaniac was released in hardcover on October 30th, 2012.
Recommended for ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up.