The Stranger Inside by Melanie Marks

After her father's mysterious death, seventeen-year-old Jodi Logan is forced to move back in with her mother and stepfamily. This in itself tears at Jodi. Her mother kicked her out two years earlier after discovering Jodi was romantically involved with her stepbrother, Jeremy. To make matters worse, there’s Jeremy himself. No matter how hard Jodi fights it, she’s still drawn to him.

Adding to the suck-fest that is now her home life, lately Jodi has time lapses she can’t account for, waking places she doesn’t remember going. When she comes to one day and finds herself making out with a boy she's never met, Sawyer, Jodi learns she's been living a double life as a girl named Kenzie. But who is Kenzie? Jodi fears she's going crazy—maybe developing a split personality. But when she discovers the truth, it's even worse. Jodi is possessed by a ghost—a stranger inside her that refuses to leave. When a girl from school is murdered Jodi doesn’t know who she can trust: her new friends? Sawyer? Jeremy? Or the stranger inside?

Note: The main character in this novel does not drink alcohol; however, other underage characters in this book do

Possession, ghosts, romance, drama, dealing with death of loved ones.

This book caught me off guard a couple of times. There were several different layers to the story.

Firstly there is a lot of confusion on who Kenzie is, the most prominent plot line that pushes the story forward.

Secondly the decision that Jodi made to date the best friend of her last love, Jeremy. The story behind how Jodi and Jeremy was more like soul mates than a lot of teen love triangle factor. I knew that something had to happen when it was found that she was now dating his best friend Sawyer. There had to be some uncomfortable conversations there!

Thirdly there was the story of the death of her father. And the draw Jodi kept having towards the psychic center and things being moved around her bedroom suspiciously ghost like behavior.

Throughout the book Jodi has a constant atmosphere of mystery and saddness that surrounds her. I found myself wondering why she was drawn to Sawyer, he seemed to be hiding something or not ever telling her the full truth. Very suspicious behavior especially surrounding his band.

As the story behind Jeremy, how they met, fell in love and eventually broke was so sad! It's true that sometimes you just cannot help who you fall in love with. It's a real story of true love.

Jodi had lost her father tragically and she missed him so much that it was my first conclusion to think when the idea of ghosts appeared that it had to be him trying to contact her. There is much more to the story and some twists that I definately did not see coming.

I think this is one of my favorite books so far from this author. Even though I just finished reading it this week, I have already added it to my list to read again later this year. Something that I don't do very often, but it's one of those stories that tend to resonate with me and would like to visit again.

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