Spirit Talker

Is goodbye ever truly the end?

Since the death of her mother, Sara Brooks has seen things. Things that aren’t really there. Or so she’s been told…

Desperate for a fresh start, Sara’s dad moves her across the country where a new life awaits. Between a new therapist, a new school, new friends and the handsome boy next door, Sara tries to get back to ‘normal’.

But what is ‘normal’ when you’re followed by ghosts?

Nightly visits from a 17th century poet and the haunting melodies of a child guitarist make living an ordinary life complicated.

After Sara’s secret is discovered at a sleepover, she watches in horror as the fragile friendships she’s built fall apart. More isolated than ever before, she starts to wonder if perhaps she’s as crazy as everyone says.

But when the boy she’s falling for is losing the battle against his own inner darkness, Sara can’t sit idly by.

Will she learn to trust herself in time?

Brimming with poignant themes of mental health, friendship and belief, Spirit Talker is the latest heart-warming coming of age tale by YA author, Rebecca Laffar-Smith.


Animated gif featuring some of the things readers have been saying about Spirit Talker


“Spirit Talker is a great, easy to read story which, on the surface, is about a girl who sees ghosts, however scratch beneath that you find a sympathetic look at real life mental illness struggles, the dangers of not having your voice heard, and the importance of self advocating, whether with medical and mental health professionals, or with your loved ones. The author does a great job of destigmatising mental health treatment – both therapeutic and medicinal- while balancing it with self care, self reflection, and personal growth, through characters actions and reactions. She captures a widowers optimism, and scared parent’s pain, and child’s loss, and yet leaves you with the taste of hope on your tongue and your eyes drawn to a bright horizon.” ~ Nici Poland

“This is a crazy beautiful story of coming to terms. Touching on some sensitive subjects in a very open minded way. Heartwarming and hopeful 💖🌻” ~ Jodie Sexton

Amazing story both heart breaking and endearing.
Man where to start. First off I am American and know nothing of Australia but feel like I now know a little town near Perth. I am also a licensed professional counselor so the character who played the psychiatrist was interesting to me. I wanted to like him based off his profession alone but his rigid thinking made him almost the villain of the story for me.

Sara. What a complex and compassionate narrator. She had so much on her shoulders and she carried it so well. Will was the dark and broody boy next door but the cliche ended there. His depression is one that is common but often left out of stories due to the taboo of mental health. I loved how the author showed the truth of depression; where it can lead and how you can be lifted out of it.

Grae was my favorite by far. His story ending brought tears to my eyes and then the author had to dig it a bit deeper by quickly wrapping up with Bobby. Need a tissue or two by the end. Overall this was a well written story of death and overcoming the pain that comes with it. A bit made me think of a young ghost whisperer. Maybe this in a way could be her origin story in the Australian continent. Well done.” ~ Vicky West

Sweetest Page Turner EVER!
It was my pleasure to get an early peek at Spirit Talker and I was hooked from the first page.

Set in my hometown, the familiar surroundings made me feel like I was taking Sara’s journey with her. Rebecca’s descriptions had memories flooding into my mind of familiar places and favourite haunts from my childhood as I walked in the park or splashed in the river with Sara and her friends.

Sara’s story is more than a mental health journey. Teen angst and questions about what was real or not combine skillfully as Sara comes to terms with her own personal reality. I fell instantly in love with Grayson, regardless if he was real, a ghost, or a delusion as he charmingly and respectfully holds Sara’s hand through her breakthroughs.

And without giving any spoilers away, there was a scene toward the end of the book that caused extreme allergies. Must have been allergies pouring down my cheeks. Must have been.” ~ Elaara Wylder

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