Title: Vintage: 13th Anniversary Edition
Author: Steve Berman
Genre: Young Adult Dark Fantasy
On a chilly, autumn night, on a lonely New Jersey highway, a teenager meets the boy of his dreams dressed in vintage clothing. When the boy vanishes, the teenager discovers he's encountered the local legend, the ghost of a young man who died four decades earlier and has haunted that stretch of road ever since. Curious and smitten, the next evening the teen returns with his best friend. So begins an unusual story of boy-meets-ghost complete with Ouija boards, hours spent in cemeteries, scares and macabre humor. This new edition of the book, to celebrate its thirteenth anniversary, features an introduction by New York Times best-selling author Holly Black and an afterword by the author.
Timing is everything with a book. The 13th anniversary of this classic should lead it to bestseller territory. Simply a brilliant book. What Vintage is, in a nutshell, is just an incredible ghost story. Steve Berman takes a kid who could be any person living in the challenging times of the early oughts and faced with questions about his own identity. Top that off with rabidly homophobic parents and add the unasked-for ability to see and speak to ghosts...uh oh.
Ashby, the fake name given to the main character, is so well written. The fact he is gay is presented in such a smooth fashion, it is as if it is also part of the daily weather forecast. It isn't shocking, it is just there, so live with it. The ghosts and hauntings in Vintage are so creepy and well written, it will interest fans of Peter Straub's work. I own more than two dozen ghost stories in the horror section of our library and Vintage would sit nicely next to those gems. The writing is smooth and flowing. The character development is nonpareil. A terrific read that sticks with the reader so that they don't want to put it down. The realistic portrayal of Ashby and Trace's friendship is special and so well done. A fantastic ghost story, I recommend Vintage to every fan of paranormal and horror. Just a great book that should be a bestseller.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Steve Berman sold his first short story at the age of seventeen. Since then he has written over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. He has edited almost 40 anthologies, mostly ones of queer speculative fiction. He resides in Western Massachusetts, where he has many stacks of books to read.
Social Media Links:
Twitter - @thesteveberman
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/bermanlethe/
Reviewed by: Mr. N