“An inventive paranormal gambit, a compelling lead character, and a plot that twists and turns through to the last page.” — Claudia Gray, New York Times best-selling author of the Evernight series

“Intelligent, sharp-edged and action packed.” — Alan Lawrence Sitomer, author of The Hoopster and Caged Warrior

John “Smoke” Conlan is serving time for two murders-but he wasn’t the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke’s new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they’re asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn’t care that the “threads” that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink’s help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he’s willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Holding Smoke is a smash-you-in-the-mouth book that's intelligent, sharp-edged and action packed. Fans of hard-hitting YA better get ready to strap themselves in, because Elle Cosimano has arrived on the scene."—Alan Lawrence Sitomer, author of The Hoopster and Caged Warrior
"A complex story of shady guards, honorable bad guys, romance, and the foibles and limitations of the justice system."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An inventive paranormal gambit, a compelling lead character, and a plot that twists and turns through to the last page . . . HOLDING SMOKE stands out as original and inventive."—Claudia Gray, New York Times best-selling author of the Evernight series
"Compelling . . . Cosimano, a warden's daughter, brings authenticity to the depiction of prison life . . . Smoke is a complicated, sympathetic character, and his redemption feels earned."—Booklist
"Part ghost story, part redemption story, part mystery, and very engaging."—School Library Connection
"[A] fantastic yet real portrait of a survivor seeking answers . . . Intertwined spectral and real worlds deliver double the thrills."—Kirkus Reviews
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