Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Notes From Ghost Town

Media Type: Print Book (ARC)
Title: Notes From Ghost Town
Author: Kate Ellison
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy delving into paranormal romances.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
They say first love never dies...

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn't really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.

I've followed Kate Ellison ever since her debut novel blew me away. I fell in love with her writing style, and with the way that she manages to weave in interesting roadblocks for her characters to deal with. That being said, I was thrilled to be offered a chance to read Notes From Ghost Town. I hoped for mystery and maybe even a little romance.

The story actually kicks off with the romance element, and I can't deny that I thought Lucas and Olivia were adorable together. Ellison builds a quick, but believable back story for these two. Friends as children, growing up together, and ultimately ending up at that fork in the road where you wish you could be something more. Isn't that what every girl dreams of? Sadly Lucas dies, and from that point on everything sort of starts to unravel.

It was really tough for me to like Olivia during the majority of the book. Even 10 months after the incident that changed her life, she is withdrawn and angry. I couldn't blame her for missing Lucas, or even for worrying about her mother. What bothered me most was that she absolutely refused to accept any help. Her excuse was always that she didn't want people to think she was crazy, but it just felt forced. Like a way to keep her isolated so things would flow better.

The mystery aspect I was craving was also lacking a bit. I did enjoy the breadcrumbs that Kate Ellison uses to lead the reader on. I would have liked a quicker moving plot though, and possibly less of a paranormal feel to it all. The way that Olivia's mind works made me frustrated at times. I'm sad to say that I almost put this book down about halfway through. I'm glad I didn't, since the ending was great, but it did almost happen.

It's my opinion that Kate Ellison's first book, The Butterfly Clues, is a better fit for me as a reader. This story was a little to slow moving, and a bit more unbelievable. Still, the writing prowess that I fell in love with in the first place is still here. I know I'll be back for anything else that Ms. Ellison writes.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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