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Ghost of a Chance    by Laura Peyton Roberts order for
Ghost of a Chance
by Laura Peyton Roberts
Order:  USA  Can
Laurel Leaf, 2006 (1997)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Fans of The Queen of Second Place will welcome Laura Peyton Roberts' Ghost of a Chance. The cast includes Melissa Soul, best friend Chloe Hart, best friend's gorgeous brother Chaz, and mysterious, funny (with the bluest eyes), cute James Harding - a ghostly presence. James is a haunt at the Hart's new house.

Hurricane Chloe is a great friend, though she does daring things like wearing her date's tuxedo to the Junior Prom and convincing Josh to wear her gown. She is never short of boyfriends, as every male in school drools when she walks by. Lissa, who sees herself as practical and pretty, has a crush on Chaz Hart, but that dims in comparison to James and his ghostly charms. But, oops, complications - James may be in love with Chloe, who tells Melissa that Josh Stone really likes her, not Chloe, and is shy about asking her out.

And it's only a few days before school breaks for the summer ... Yea! More time for Melissa to spend at Chloe's house, where she can see James. Melissa wonders 'Why is love so complicated?' Adding further confusion to her life, Melissa's parents are divorcing, and nine-year old brother Nathan requires regular babysitting (resulting in sibling spats). Melissa and Chloe argue, Dad Soul is seen with a girlfriend in a restaurant, Mom Soul has an interest at the gym, and it seems James is a two-timer, who loves both Lissa and Chloe.

Roberts writes a heartening story at a delightfully brisk pace, with rollicking anecdotes throughout Melissa's narration. I wouldn't mind reading more books starring Melissa and Chloe - what a pair - and as for the author - what a storyteller!

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