The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen

We’ve talked about book that are too pretty to pass up on this blog before. We’ve all but come out and said it: Linnea judges books by their covers.

There’s all that logical stuff about how the cover is the first thing you see, et cetera, et cetera. Covers are important, and Linnea picks books based on them sometimes.

The thing about ANNIE is that it was was…not what it appeared.


The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen

  • Author: Katherine Howe
  • Publisher: Putnam
  • Year: 2015
  • Genre vibe: Urban ghost story, his-fic
  • At a glance: Wes is in summer school, in NYC, filming a documentary. Annie is…Annie is. And that’s kind of a big deal.

This book has some of my favorite things in it. Ghosts, boys with personality tics, urban location, beautiful cover. Cool story. Kissing. The list goes on.

But it also has some of my least favorite things in it. His-fic, exclamation points, ALL CAPS YELLING. The lack of a consistent urban setting. Confusion as to who’s head I’m in.

Annie has it all.

Annie is a ghost story that never uses the word ghost. Which is, in and of itself, a fantastic concept. Annie is also a ghost story that uses basically every ghost line, but without the satisfaction of the eerie that’s-a-spirit-we’re-looking-at feeling. Annie is a ghost story–but it’s not a horror novel, not in the least.

I read a lot of ghost stories, basically any I can get my hands on that aren’t an immediate turn of. I will read ghost stories until the day I die and someone can write mine. I love them. I love ghosts.

Which means that, even though Wes is a bit like my favorite character type, Annie was hands down, the best character in this book. And I think that, maybe, she should have been the only one. Lots of story elements got lost inside of Wes’ head, things that I think could have been seriously cool if we saw them with Annie’s eyes. And I understand why Wes was necessary. But towards the end–he bored me.

And then the last chapter happened, and I begrudgingly admitted that I really enjoyed this book and what it was trying to say between all the exclamation points and the avoidance of the word Ghost.

I can’t say I’ll be reading Annie again. But I’m not sad to see it on my shelf.

So overall:

  • Rating: 3/5 stars
  • Recommended to: Mostly, his-fic fans, or die-hard ghost lovers like me
  • Lasting impression: Annie Van Sinderen, sitting on a bench in central park, smiling.





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