Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Paperback: 432 pages
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Pike comes a brand-new fascinating and seductive new novel about a girl with a mysterious ability—but one that carries an unimaginable cost.
From the moment Fred meets Aja, he knows she’s different. She’s pretty, soft-spoken, shy—yet seems to radiate an unusual peace. Fred quickly finds himself falling in love with her.
Then strange things begin to happen around Aja. A riot breaks out that Aja is able to stop by merely speaking a few words. A friend of Fred’s suffers a serious head injury and has a miraculous recovery.
Yet Aja swears she has done nothing.
Unfortunately, Fred is not the only one who notices Aja’s unique gifts. As more and more people begin to question who Aja is and what she can do, she’s soon in grave danger. Because none of them truly understands the source of Aja’s precious abilities—or their devastating cost.
Love Aja or hate her—you will never forget her.
In Strange Girl, #1 bestselling author Christopher Pike has created the rarest of novels—a love story that swings between a heart-pounding mystery and a stirring mystical journey.
I STILL GET asked about Aja, where she came from, what it was like to be her friend, to actually date her, whether the stories about her were true, and who—or what—I really thought she was.
The last question makes me smile, probably because I understand it’s hard to talk about Aja without sounding like a nut. That’s what I try telling people who want to know about her. She was a mystery, a genuine enigma, in a world that has more trouble each day believing in such things. And now that she’s gone, I think she’ll forever remain a mystery.
At least to those who loved her.
And to those who feared her.
My name’s Fred Allen, and I was a seventeen-year-old senior in high school when I met Aja. I was heading home on a hot Friday afternoon after a boring two weeks of classes when I spotted her sitting in the park across the street from campus. I’d like to say I saw something special about her from the start but I’d be lying, although later I wondered if she might have been kind of strange.
There was a perfectly fine bench five feet off to her left but instead of sitting on it like a normal person she was kneeling in the grass and plucking at a few scrawny daisies, while occasionally looking up at Elder High’s sweaty student body as they poured into the side streets or else cut across the park toward their homes.
The sweat was because of the humidity. From June until October, it hovered around 90 percent. But the stickiness was usually vanquished by a brief autumn that blew by in a month or less, and was replaced by bitter winter winds that were so cold they’d bite your ass off—even if you had the bad taste to wear long underwear to school, which only the principal and the teachers did.
I suppose it could have been worse. Elder could have been located in North Dakota instead of South Dakota. Our northern neighbors were something of a mystery to most of us. I mean, it’s not like anyone went to vacation up there. All we really knew about them was that they were always lobbying to change their name to just plain “Dakota.” For some reason they thought that would make their state sound more inviting. Go figure.
Anyway, the thing that struck me about Aja at the start, besides her love of grass and daisies, was that she stared at many of the students who walked by. She didn’t smile at them, didn’t say hi or bat her long lashes or anything seductive like that. She just looked straight at them, which probably made most of them feel uncomfortable. I noticed the majority looked away as they strode by.
I mentioned her long lashes, and yeah, I did happen to notice she was pretty. Not beautiful in the usual social-media way, but an easy eight or nine on Fred Allen’s relatively generous scale of one to ten. Even at a distance of a hundred yards I could see her hair was dark brown, shiny, and that her skin was the same color as my favorite ice cream—Häagen-Dazs Coffee.
Yet I didn’t equate her with ice cream because I wanted to take a bite out of her or anything gross like that. It’s not like I felt some mad rush of seventeen-year-old hormones and experienced first love for the twentieth time. I just sort of, you know, noticed that she looked nice, very nice, and that her long lashes framed a pair of large, dark eyes that were, sadly, not looking anywhere in my direction.
That was it; that was my first impression of Aja. Oh, there was one other thing. I did happen to notice that she had on a simple white dress that didn’t quite reach to her knees. The thing that struck me about the dress was—not that it was filthy—it looked like it could have used a wash.
Introduction to Aja complete. I went home and didn’t give her more than a few hours of thought all weekend. And no, honestly, my fantasies were not a hundred percent sexual. I mainly wondered why a girl her age, if she was new to town, wasn’t going to school. It was just a thought. Elder High, my school, was the only one in town for someone our age.
Aja Smith wandered into Fred's small town one day and changed his whole world. From their first encounter to the end Aja remained a mystery. She was the definition of serene and Fred was just a normal teenage boy. Fred didn't believe in an all powerful being that created everything, but his non belief was shaken when strange things started happened when Aja was near. A healing, a quieted mob, and a camera phone capturing it all got the public's attention. Soon people were surrounding her, seeking her out and asking for miracles. Through it all Aja claimed that she wasn't responsible for any of these wondrous things. But Fred couldn't help but question how involved she really was. Could she perform miracles? Was that even possible?
I wear my emotions on my sleeve and so I get attached to characters easily. I grew to love these characters. Fred, Aja, Shelly, Mike, Dale and Janet all grew on me in their own way. And this story was an emotional roller coaster of a ride. I'd go from laughing to crying in a chapter. I cheered them on and my heart broke at the tragic events. And through it all I remained just as clueless about Aja as anyone else. She was such a mystery. Even after it's ended, you’re left wondering.
I think Strange Girls is well worth 5 stars! I’d love to find out what happens to Fred after this story.
About the Author:
Christopher Pike is a bestselling author of young adult novels. The Thirst series, The Secret of Ka, and the Remember Me and Alosha trilogies are some of his favorite titles. He is also the author of several adult novels, including Sati and The Season of Passage.
Thirst and Alosha are slated to be released as feature films. Pike currently lives in Santa Barbara, where it is rumored he never leaves his house.
But he can be found online at www.Facebook.com/ChristopherPikeBooks
Series of writing advice on Wattpad:
25 paperback copies of STRANGE GIRL
5 paperback sets of RED QUEEN and BLACK KNIGHT
5 paperback sets of all 5 copies of THIRST series (1-5) in PB.
5 paperback copies CHAIN LETTER
5 paperback copies UNTIL THE END
5 paperback copies BOUND TO YOU
5 paperback copies REMEMBER ME