Series: Ashes to Ashes #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on December 23, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.
Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.
When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.
Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.
However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.
As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.
~ Callie has a pretty sweet life in the opening of the book, but since her mother’s death she’s become a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
~ Callie’s thrill seeking is not something I can easily relate to, as I’m a anxiety ridden wimp. Unless you count my horror movie watching as a thrill seeking activity?
~ Despite the fact that Callie’s death (not a spoiler!) comes fairly early on in the book, I really felt the connection she had to her life and the relationships she had with her dad, best friend and boyfriend. I felt awful for the people she left behind.
~ I love Walker’s version of haunting! In Ashes to Ashes, souls of the dearly departed haunt their loved ones, not to harm them but to bring them peace so that they can move past their loss. It’s kind of a lovely idea. Once their haunting is complete, the souls move on to the next plain.
~ I liked Thatcher, but I connected early to Nick despite events that happen throughout the book. This is probably the first time, when confronted with two love interests, that I could honestly say I didn’t have a preference, although I stayed Team Nick through the first half of the book.
~ You know, like in real life, so much conflict and misunderstanding could be cleared up if people would just talk to each other! It’s frustrating, but all too realistic. Still, it’s better to tell people too much than not enough.
~ Given Callie’s personality, I totally got her interest in the after life that Reena and Leo were living. Plus, it’s not like Thatcher was handing out the information that Callie was begging to know.
~ Another way that Callie and I are different? If people become evasive with her, she let’s the subject drop. I go full Zero Dark Thirty if I think people are withholding information from me.
~ The ending did not come as a surprise to me, but it was both weirdly too long and too short on resolve. Of course, that’s probably due to the fact that there’s going to be a sequel.
Callie- named after Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird, she’s our thrill seeking dead heroine.
Carson- her hippie-ish best friend.
Nick- Callie’s boyfriend, is fairly perfect, but he’s not flawless.
Thatcher- Callie’s soul guide, one of those emotionally distant hotties that we all love so much.
Reena & Leo- souls that don’t play by the rules of haunting.
The train scene- it totally reminded me of The Lost Boys when Michael is hanging out with David and his vampire posse.
Stop the Clock:
Tis the season for ghost stories! Although there’s nothing groundbreaking here, it’s still a good story, and I do think Walker’s afterlife is unique. I’ll almost probably read the sequel.
Ashes to Ashes gets a Midnight Book rating of:
The code word is: Ouija
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