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Séance Tea Party: 03/18/20

Séance Tea Party

Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee is a graphic novel about friendship and self esteem. Lora feels herself drifting apart from her friends. They are becoming interested in boys and makeup and she still enjoys make believe. While pretending to have a séance tea party, she ends up meeting the ghost, Alexa, who haunts her home.

Alexa is willing to play with Lora but she knows from experience that she'll lose her as she has every other child that has lived in her home since she died. Alexa, though, isn't ready to move on until she can remember her life and her death.

We eventually learn when Alexa died and we hear from an old (and still living friend) that 50 years have passed. That puts Séance Tea Party in 2027. Like The Haunting of Rookward House by Darcy Coates (2017), the book confuses how much time has passed between the character's death and the present.

Séance Tea Party reads like Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks where the ghost story has been emphasized. With the way Alexa and Lora pal around, I'm reminded of The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alka (2020) — minus the curse. The inclusion of a middle grade aged ghost haunting a home, also brings to mind No Such Thing as Ghosts by Ursula Vernon (2011).

Alexa's journey from dead girl, to imaginary friend, to ghost friend, to released spirit, can be mapped on the road narrative spectrum by how her two friends travel. Lora, her young friend, and her original best friend, are marginalized travelers (66). Their destination is uhoria (CC), essentially Alexa's past, to help her remember her life and death so she can move on if she wants. Their route is through the cornfield (FF) as represented by a large overgrown hill they travel up regularly with Alexa. Altogether, Séance Tea Party can be seen as marginalized travelers going through uhoria via the cornfield (66CCFF).

Five stars

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