Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky
Brian Yansky (Alien Invasions and Other Inconveniences, and Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments) has created a unique town in Utopia along with some very unique residents. Jack Bell can see and communicate with ghosts, his grandmother is a powerful witch, an elderly neighbor spends his time rocking on his front porch but seems to have some special insights that he shares once in a while with Jack, and his little sister is just beginning to exhibit some rather special gifts (or curses, depending on your point of view). Jack is an aspiring script writer for the movie world, and he sees his world through the lens of past favorite movies. But lately all is not well in Utopia. Two young girls have been apparently murdered and both have come to Jack for help. There are actually two worlds existing simultaneously in Utopia, and they will very soon collide.
This is not just fantasy, or romance, or murder mystery, but a combination of all three with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. It is a story of a boy about to graduate high school finding his way in both worlds and learning that sometimes you have to leave to get where you want to be. I would recommend this book to both boys and girls who like strange quirky stories.