From the highly acclaimed author of The Other Side of Perfect comes a layered YA novel about grief, love, and what it means to believe in the beyond—perfect for fans of Emily X.R. Pan, Dustin Thao, and Nina LaCour.
THE MEMORY HOTEL
by Mariko Turk
Little, Brown, Winter 2024
(via Writers House)
Natalie and Imogen were inseparable—Imogen was always the infuriatingly humble and intelligent one, while Natalie was the brave one, jumping into danger and new adventures. Despite their differences, one thing tied them together: their love of the supernatural. Every summer, they’d vacation with their parents at the famously haunted Harlow Hotel. Imogen fully believed in the tales of the supernatural, while Natalie saw ghosts stories as nothing but pure fun. Natalie has never been a believer.
Then, their summers change forever. When Imogen unexpectedly passes away from an undiagnosed heart condition, Natalie is left to take on the summer before senior year alone. Now that Imogen’s gone, Natalie’s doesn’t have much to focus on besides her senior project. Her passion is still horror so Natalie decides her project will be all about ghost chasing—specifically, she’s planning to spend her summer back at the Harlow Hotel recording fun fake footage that will get her on the teen ghost hunting show of her dreams. And her plans would be a lot less complicated if Leander, her arch rival from school, wasn’t working on his senior project at the very same hotel.
But the longer that Natalie stays at the Harlow Hotel, the more she realizes that her nemesis Leander might be helpful for her project. After all, she could use an extra hand to help record her fake footage. But, when strange occurrences suggest that ghosts could be real, Natalie questions her long held beliefs and whether Imogen is truly gone. In this story about the way grief shapes the way we look at the world and what we choose to believe, Natalie Nakada learns what it means to let go and let new love in.
Mariko Turk teaches writing and rhetoric classes and works as a writing tutor at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her PhD in English from the University of Florida, with a concentration in children’s literature. The Other Side of Perfect was her debut novel.