Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of I Am the Ghost in Your House by Maria Romasco Moore

I Am the Ghost in Your House by Maria Romasco Moore
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
ISBN: 9780593177211

Seventeen-year-old Pie (short for Pieta) is invisible, and the only other person who can see her is her equally transparent mother. The upside? They can stay in the most luxurious homes, enjoy the fanciest food and clothes and take everything they want. The downside? They can never stay in one place too long, as being discovered almost always leads to freakouts about ghosts and exorcisms. Unlike her mother, who views invisibility as necessary camouflage, Pie longs to be seen–especially by Tess, the girl she fell in love with while “haunting” her house.

Everything changes when her unwell mother, who’s been fading in and out from Pie’s sight for hours, suddenly disappears. On her own for the first time, hiding in a noisy, crowded punk house full of queer teens, Pie is desperate enough to risk exposure while she tracks down the only other person who knows her existence – her father.  

Moore uses this irresistible concept to tell an intimate story of loneliness and human connection that will appeal to any reader who has ever felt like an outsider. Pie’s present-day narrative is interspersed with poetic vignettes of moments from her past that tie in thematically. Light mystery elements create compelling drama: in looking for her unreliable father, Pie learns of other invisible people. Teens will relate to Pie’s use of punk music to let loose and express her complicated tangle of emotions, while giving her a voice she never knew she had. The group of diverse teens that become Pie’s found family offer friendship and support that allows Pie to finally feel like she belongs. 
Recommend I Am the Ghost Inside Your House to readers who like lyrical, character-driven fiction that mixes magic with the everday, and queer found family stories, such as We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu or The Lost Coast by A.R. Capetta. An older book about an invisible teen, Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, may make for an interesting two-fer, as well.

Krista Hutley, she/her

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.