Vicky Angel ISBN: 9780440864158
Published by Corgi Yearling, 2001
Jade and Vicky have been best friends ever since nursery school. Nothing separates them, not even boys now that they are in year 9. Vicky, beautiful, out-going and self-assured, has always lorded it over quiet, mousy Jade. When Vicky is hit by a car and killed, Jade is completely bereft, remarkably so. She becomes unkind, twitchy, and difficult, but what no one can see is the that she is being haunted by Vicky. Vicky insists they are still best friends, will be forever, and that Jade is never to have other friends. Her overpowering need to rule Jade's life leads her to haunt her day and night. There are also undercurrents of difficulties in Jade's family, and in spite of kind teachers and friends who try to be supportive, she comes very close to coming unstuck. A bereavement counsellor makes her understand that she can control Vicky's appearances, which helps, but there is still something very wrong. It is only at the inquest that Jade recognizes her feelings of guilt - that she may have been in some way responsible for Vicky's death. Vicky 'haunts' Jade one last time to save her from running in front of a car and being killed, and to convince her that she was not at fault, thereby gaining her own 'angel' wings. The early chapters telling of Vicky's death, Jade's shock, the funeral and all the surrounding emotions are intensely true-to-life. Is Vicky really a ghost, or is it Jade's fevered imagination that sees her so realistically? We can't know, but the novel is a powerful story of a teenager painfully growing out of a loving but not altogether healthy relationship into being her own person.