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The Other Side of Dark

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  548 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Katie Mullens is known as the weird kid. Dead dad. Dead mom. Loner. Maybe crazy. Always drawing in her sketch pad, and she talks to herself—or at least that’s what it looks like. But Katie is talking to real people…they’re just dead. Law Walker is drawn to Katie when he sees the sketch she’s made of a historic home—the way it looked before it burned. Law soon discovers th ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Heather Anastasiu
This book wormed it's way inside me. The Other Side of Dark is one of the most poignant and honest fiction books I've read about the haunting (dramatized literally) legacy of slavery, so honest and transparent about all the complex ways we think--the good and the bad--the multiple truths that exist alongside each other in our heads. Our UNlovely motivations. This book makes me want to crack open my hardened chest again and start giving a crap about people, with humility and love.

Katie and Law's
Diana Renn
May 21, 2011 Diana Renn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's so refreshing to find a page-turning mystery for teens -- in this case, a search for a hidden treasure box in a condemned historic house. But it's equally refreshing to find a mystery that confronts history head-on and doesn't shy away from complex topics -- here, the history of slavery in the United States, reparations, and racial identity and racism in America today. Add to the mix an orphaned teen girl (Katie) who sees ghosts and has the gift (or curse) of being able to draw them in maca ...more
Oct 15, 2014 Zainab rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review
The novel I read is Other Side of Dark which was written by Sarah Smith. The novel dealt about a girl named Katie who has dealt with a lot of death in her life. Katie is constantly being visited by ghosts who come to share their stories with her. The part that I dislike in this novel is when a boy named Michael liked Katie and wanted to take her to the dance but he wasn’t allowed to because his mother would not accept her son being with a white girl. My favourite scene in the book is
Missy Phillips
Apr 01, 2014 Missy Phillips rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Katie, a young teenage girl who has now lost her mother, and her father, is discovering new abilities in herself that she never knew before. Katie sees and draws ghosts. She draws horrible accidents, murders, and pretty much any other way a person can die, in gruesome detail. But one ghost really stands out, George. Her and her new friend Law must figure out how to help George move on and cross over.
In my personal opinion, this book was amazing. It had very well described details
Oct 06, 2015 Farah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about “The Other Side of Dark.” This book was pretty interesting to read, and it led you towards a different path than what you’d expect. You have the main character Katie Mullens struggling to cope with the death of her mother and you have Law Walker fighting an internal battle about his identity. Katie is able to see ghosts, and the only person she tells this revelation is Law.

In the beginning, it was interesting. You had this girl who could see the unrested dead but as
Powerful blend of suspense, mystery, and real issues, 4.5 stars

Sarah Smith's young adult debut, THE OTHER SIDE OF DARK, combines just the right amount of mystery, suspense, and ghost story into a historical fiction narrative that packs an emotional punch. Growing up as the son of his black professor father and his white architect mother, Law feels increasingly pulled between them and their professional and racial identities. Ever since her mother died tragically, Katie has also been pulled in tw
Jan 31, 2011 Brodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-swap
I was lucky enough to win The Other Side of Dark from my friend and fellow book-blogger, Precious from She wrote a fantastic review of this book, so naturally I was excited to dive into my own copy!

And wow, what a story.

The Other Side of Dark is written in alternative POV's - Law Walker, son of well-known African-American history professor - bent on the destruction of Pinebank - and his white, architectural historian mother - bent on the preservation of Pinebank. Ka
My Summary: Ever since her mom died a year ago, Katie's been seeing ghosts... and not just any ghosts either - ghosts that died violently. She sees the ghosts of people who were murdered, people who've committed suicide... all of it.

Katie thinks she's crazy - she thinks these 'hallucinations' are all a product of the grief she's feeling, never taking them seriously. She draws every single ghost she sees, though, keeping them all in a sketchbook. Each sketch is more disturbing than the last, usu
Donna (Jaevenstar)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2010 Precious rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See full review here.

Told in alternating perspectives, by Katie and Law, we get to see the difference in the narrative of the two characters. There was a distinct tone for each character. The priorities are not the same and to some extent, the level of sanity is not as well. I appreciated the change in the tone of the two characters. They were talking about the same things and yet it was as if they were talking about entirely different things. Although this novel was a collision of two lives, tw
Amy Rose Thomas
Nov 18, 2010 Amy Rose Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is utterly amazing. Sarah Smith has touched my soul. And not in a sweet little whispy way.. in a scraping make-you-bleed way... her style of writing is intriguing all on its own. She writes how I think if that makes any sense. There's less attention to perfect grammatical structure and more on conveying what the character is really thinking, saying and feeling. The subject matter is absolutely horrifying and thrilling. I adored Katie from the very start. Anytime I read of a female char ...more
Apr 07, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't know where to start....

Katie sees ghosts ever since her mother died a year ago. A ghost of a young man, George, befriends here and tells her he guards an important treasure inside a condemned historic house. Meanwhile, Law Walker, who used to have a crush on Katie, finds himself interested again.

This book really takes on some tough issues--race, class, society, education, reparations. It also weaves Boston history into a haunted story--one all the more disturbing because of its basis in tr
Anne Michaud
Jul 28, 2015 Anne Michaud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Intelligent, just like its characters.

May 20, 2014 Lizette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Side Of Dark is a great book. I recommend this book for people who enjoy reading about other people's lives along with history, the supernatural, and a hint of romance. I like that all the characters in the book have a caring and deep personality, and each character has a different way of showing their love for others and their job/role. My favorite character was George because he is purely innocent, and he always does his best to obey even though he has autism. I admire him because a ...more
May 18, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first book I've read in a while that I think I may truly love! At first, as the introductions always are, I was bored and regretting choosing this book. But I'm so glad I followed through with it! The characters...are so easy to relate to! Feeling absolutely crazy and like you're just not worth it...but then also feeling the expectations of a high-strung father and the perpetual fights between the parents--oh these teen years are the hardest! Anyway, back to the book:
(view spoil
Tori Anderson
Mar 20, 2014 Tori Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Side of Dark is about a young girl named Katie who last her parents at a young age. Ever since she lost her parents Katie has drawn weird unusual things or people that have to deal with deal. And to make matters better Katie can see Ghost. Katie met a ghost named George and is now interested in the house he lives in because there is word there is still a hidden treasure in the house. Now Katie and her friend Law are trying to figure out what the treasure is. I think this is a great boo ...more
The Other Side Of Dark is a disturbing, empowering, thought provoking exploration of slavery and race. It’s a book with that special factor. It has that special ‘fire’ that captures the teenage condition, mixed paranormal elements.

Katie Mullens is no longer an ordinary girl. Ever since the unfortunate death of her mother, Katie has been insane. She sees ghosts everywhere- and she can’t help but be haunted by them. Katie is especially haunted by a ghost named George Perkins, a boy with Down Synd
Well at first I was intrigued by this book because of the really cool cover and the insures ting summary but then I opened the book and started reading....... Then it all went down hill from there. The only reason that I gave this book two stars is that I laughed once and I actually learned some things. That is the only reason. I found the characters to be dull and 2-Dimensional. When Susan described Law's father as an angry black man obsessed with reparations I was upset with that because in my ...more
Morgan Wolf
Jan 24, 2011 Morgan Wolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely phenomenal book! I cried through the second half for both the characters and the ghosts. This book should find its way onto the required reading lists for high school students, it's that good.
Aug 05, 2014 Anthony16 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was just one of those books that I just didn't even know was gonna be good. I literally walked into the library and grabbed it for its name and interesting looking cover. I am so glad I did because this book really is one of the better ones I have read. Katies a very well rounded character with a troubled past and an ever present sadness about her but still managed to some how keep it together in some very sticky situations. The only reason it didn't get five stars is because I didn't think ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Melani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy, favs, horror, 2015
I really, really liked this book. It's the perfect combination of haunting and thought provoking. However I have some minor quibbles, and I can't decide if they're enough to bring it down to four stars or not.

The metaphor the book uses of ghosts to help explain modern race issues is both surprising and obvious. Of course America is haunted by the ghosts of slavery and racial tensions, but for some reason it's never been laid out quite so obviously to me before. So to have Katie literally haunted
Christa Ludlow
I love all of Sarah Smith's books so although this is young adult fiction I gave it a try.

The two main characters are students Law Walker and Katie Mullens. Law's father is a successful African American Harvard academic but Law knows he does not want to follow in his father's footsteps. Katie comes from a less well off white family and both her parents are dead. She also sees ghosts.

The book is written in the first person alternating between Katie and Law. I didn't find Law as convincing as Kati
Dana Davis-avants
This book offers the reader a great variety of subjects (race relations-slavery, ghosts, dating and friendship), hence its appeal. The story of a white orphan girl named Katie Mullens, who sees and talks to ghosts and Law, her black classmate, who wants to be an architect creates a real page turner. Both are very strong characters. Katie lives with her stepfather Phil after her mother's death in an accident and constantly encounters ghosts in her daily life. As an artist, she draws the things sh ...more
Told in the alternating view points of Katie and Law THE OTHER SIDE OF DARK dabbles in what it means to find ones self. I picked this book up purely because of the title. I was in the mood for something spooky and this was what grabbed my attention. I didn't read anything about it--this means the summary on the inside--until I was maybe fifty pages into the book and began to wonder what in the world I'd picked up. Because it was obviously not your usual, cookie-cut out ghost story.

But that doesn
Shellie Foltz
Mar 27, 2012 Shellie Foltz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-big-25, ya-titles
I wasn't sure how Sarah Smith was going to work out her convoluted tale, but when she did, she worked some real magic. The Other Side of Dark is a Christmas ghost story. Well, it begins around Christmas, anyway. But, for all its sweet, teenage romance and frustrating teenage angst, the story is rich and deep and breathtakingly beautiful when it is resolved.

Katie sees ghosts. She can't help it.

Law is the son of a white woman and a black man. He doesn't know who he wants to be. He can't help it.

Jan 17, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fascinating...
I enjoyed this from start to finish. Katie is a poor troubled white girl, who has lost her father, her mother, and can see ghosts. Law, with his white mother and black father, is fighting to find his identity. These two are brought together for the cause of saving the Perkins house and it's Down syndrome ghost, George.
Smith alternates Katie & Law's viewpoints, so we get to see inside both their heads. Katie is struggling with accepting her mother's death and the whol
Nov 28, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Side of Dark is a great ghost story that Sarah Smith has written, creating an interesting mix of history and romance that made this novel so darkly interesting.

What I really liked about this book was the ending. Usually, I find the conclusions of many titles to be predictable and boring but Smith has definitely stunned this reader. Although the book started off a little too slowly for my comfort and was a bit boring at times, the ending definitely made up for the not-so-great parts. An
Cassie at The Orange Bookshelf
So I am going to begin with the ending. This books last 50-60 pages or so made the book. Without them this book would probably be down to a C. So try and stick with it I promise it will be worth it. Now back to the beginning, this book was absolutely not what I was expecting. As some of you may know, I hate summaries on the backs of books. They are way to spoilery for me; it’s the reason I write my own. So when I decide to read a book it is usually based on what other people have said about the ...more
Melanie Goodman
The most interesting ghosts have something to teach us about the past. Sarah Smith’s The Other Side of Dark is a ghost story and a human story with a historical twist. I walked into this book knowing virtually nothing about it and was pleasantly surprised by how much was packed inside. This is an under-buzzed title, but I was thankful for that because I got to uncover all of its secrets on my own. Smith’s book ties in death, family problems, racial issues, architecture, coming of age, and romanc ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Meg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Law Walker is a conflicted young man. His father is a well-know African-American historian and his mother is a well-known Caucasian architect. His father insists on calling him Lawrence, because he doesn’t like the fact that his son was named after Frederick Law Olmsted, a white man.
Katie Mullens is a poor white girl. She lost her mother in a tragic accident about one year ago, and it has affected her very badly. She is a talented artist, but she tends to draw pictures of people dying; pictures
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What Is It About? 2 26 May 08, 2010 07:09AM  
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Sarah Smith has been interested in ghosts and storytelling since she was four. Her sitter told her Japanese ghost stories at night, which she retold on the schoolbus the next morning. When she heard the story of the haunted house and the Perkins Bequest, she knew she had to write about it. No one knows what became of the real Perkins Bequest. She hopes The Other Side of Dark may help solve the mys

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