Whisper by Alyson Noel, published by Macmillan Children's Books on 2nd August 2012
Twelve-year-old Riley Bloom - ace Soul Catcher - faces her toughest challenge yet. She must travel to ancient Rome and convince dead gladiator Theocoles to accept his fate and move on. Then she meets the charming Messalina, who gives Riley a dramatic makeover, transforming her into a beautiful teenager. Finally Riley experiences her first kiss... In a world this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?
Riley Bloom is growing up in this fourth book in the popular series by Alyson Noel. She faces yet another challenge as a soul catcher when she is sent to the Colosseum in Ancient Rome to convince Theocoles, a dead gladiator, to move on.
Riley is such a great character. She's bright and intelligent, funny and endearing. Although she may not always make the right choices and decisions, which is realistic considering she is only twelve, she has a habit of learning valuable lessons along the way which help her to do the right thing in the end.
In 'Whisper' she comes up against her toughest challenge yet when she has to achieve something that no other soul catcher has managed to do, get through to the pretty tough and scary Theocoles. But she also has so much more to experience, including a first kiss and the very real possibility of finally becoming a teenager at long last.
Alyson Noel manages to convey so many important messages in her books about embracing what matters most and never forgetting to believe in yourself. Riley learns from the mistakes she makes and in the process is becoming a much more rounded and grown-up character.
This is one of my favourite series as Riley Bloom books never disappoint. Although a quick read, I spent a very enjoyable afternoon curled up with this title and honestly didn't want it to end.