YA Romance - Social Issues


We Were Ghosts - The Secret Life of a Survivor

When Alicia meets the new guy in school, there is something about the mischievous look in his eyes that implies he's breaking the rules by talking to her. The rule abused kids live by - don't let anyone into your life. Don't let them see the real you.

She and Zack both have secret lives that only the other can understand. They suffer in silence, afraid that no one will believe them. Can their love for one another help free them from their turbulent lives, if only for a few minutes at a time? Together, can they find the courage and strength to escape from their hidden world of lies and deception in order to live normal lives?

Content warnings: This is story is meant to inspire hope in abused teens and young adults, some scenes may be disturbing for readers.


5 Star Review - by Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite - "Some stories should never be uttered. Some are the most important words ever to be penned. The pain in We Were Ghosts: The Secret Life of a Survivor by Tabitha Barret is the most important story I have read in long, long time. As Alicia enters her junior year at St. Theresa’s Prep School, she is under no illusion that this year will be any different than those in her past. But at least in school she is safe from the cruelties that await her at home. At home she zoned out in the hands of Phil, her mother’s boyfriend. The abuse was unspeakable, especially knowing that her mother would never believe her. Living a dual life was much easier than publicizing her secret. No one knew. No one would ever know. No one could ever understand. Until Alicia came into contact with the bluest, most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. Of course, Zack was out her league, but he didn’t seem to realize it. Drawn to one another in an unlikely match, Alicia discovers she is not the only abused teen in town. 

We Were Ghosts is a candid look at the hidden physical, mental, and emotional abuse endured by our seemingly innocent youth. Tabitha Barret provides inspiration and hope for recipients of physical abuse. Her resource information at the end of the story is the perfect way for victims to gain hope. We Were Ghosts, though a work of fiction, is obviously a very realistic insight into teens in trouble and searching for answers. Realizing that they are not alone is part of the healing process which Barret has successfully and passionately narrated. A strong plot and convincing dialogue. Through my tears, I urge readers to get this book."

5 Star Review - by Katie S. - "We Were Ghosts is the heartbreaking tale of Alicia and Zack. The lies they are forced to tell and the lives they are forced to lead to keep the deepest and darkest secrets of reality from spilling forth. Not because they don’t want the lies exposed, but because they fear that no one else will believe them. They have learned that when no one else believes them it is just that much worse. So, they lie to themselves and others, so that they can survive. They go about their lives as Ghosts, going from moment to moment and shutting themselves off and away to endure the hell they live in."

5 Star Review - by Alicia  -"While this is one of Tabitha Barret's shorter books, she sure does pack in a hell of a lot of emotion. Alicia and Zach are drawn together, and as they learn that both are victims of domestic violence, although 2 different types, they try to help and be there for each other.  This was a bit of a hard read but it was well written and I'm really glad I read it."


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