Books Reviews

The Girl Who Talks to Ashes

The cover of the book The Girl Who Talks To Ashes by Rachel Rener


Fifteen-year-old Willow is terrified of her new baby, Lilah, who has a peculiar form of epilepsy. Every time Lilah’s eyes glaze over, terrible things happen: flowers shrivel, food goes to rot – even Willow’s long, auburn hair turns stark white. But it’s the death of the family cat that becomes the last straw; in the middle of the night, Willow and her mother dump the infant at the fire station two towns over – and are never heard from again.

The next morning, Chief Stanley Quinn takes Lilah home and cares for the toddler as best as he can. With medication, her epilepsy remains under control… For the most part.

But as a teenager, Lilah isn’t always keen on taking her pills, and when she sneaks away to a rock concert with the cutest boy in school, something terrible happens, landing both of them in the hospital. After Stanley breaks down and confesses everything to his adopted daughter, she decides to track down the young girl who gave her up sixteen years ago; the young girl who never made it home that night… The young girl who is now presumed to be dead. Soon, Lilah’s quest to find her birth mother becomes a quest to solve a sixteen-year-old missing persons case. She has everything she needs to find her – she just needs to learn how to control her peculiar ‘gift’ before she kills someone.



This book by Rachel Rener is an interesting mixture of opposites. It is creepy but charming. It is fast-paced but has solid characters and deeply emotional relationships. 

And, the fantasy element in it—the time-bending—is believable! The plot is well-thought-out and complimented by subtle and clever storytelling. 

The main protagonist understands her ability early on and explains it well to others. This means that she garners support from her father, boyfriend, and later on the police chief quite easily. Consequently, the relationships in the book are not entangled in unnecessary misunderstanding or angst.

Overall, a quick, light, enjoyable read. 

Note: I received a digital copy via BookSirens in return for an honest review.

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