Series: The Ghost House Saga #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on August 26, 2014
Genres: Supernatural, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.
After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…
Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.
To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.
~ Oh, Ghost House, how I wanted you to be a deliciously scary YA book. Alas, it was not meant to be. Although, the fact that the main love interest is a dead guy who was once having an affair with his brother’s wife and is now romancing a living teenager IS fairly creepy.
~ Main character Chloe can see dead people. But it’s a gift that she’s managed to keep at bay until the death of her mother. Then in sudden move to England, her ghostly visions only increase. Seriously, it’s a super sudden, completely irrational move to England. Still, since it gets us to England and a haunted house, I wasn’t complaining too much.
~ Except about the main character. Chloe as a mc is pretty weak and passive. She also reads young, which makes her romance with an older dead guy even more implausible. And the way she describes her best friends? Total slut shaming. Which I guess is done to illustrate how pure Chloe is, but instead paints her a judgmental hypocrite. September has not been a great month for me, book wise. Sigh.
~ One of the most glaring faults with Ghost House lies with the character of Isobel. She’s supposed to be this temptress who seduces her brother in law, and drives her husband to murder/suicide. It’s all her fault, the men were powerless over her charms. But I all b.s. on this. Plus, her actions after the death of her child don’t seem like the actions of a siren, but rather a loving mother. And then her after death actions make even less sense. I couldn’t help but root for her, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what the author intended.
~ I feel like if you took away the almost sex with the a dead guy scene, and the sexual affair between Alex and Isobel, this could make a much better tween book. Because it’s not scary. And the characters aren’t complex. And the ending (which sets up for book 2) reads like a tween dream.
~ I knew going into this book that several of my blogger friends hadn’t cared for it, but I assumed it was because they aren’t particular fans of the horror genre. I mean, the cover screams horror, right? I like to read horror, and thrillers, and ghostly mysteries. But it’s not a horror, or much of a mystery/thriller. So to my horror reading midnighters out there, I wouldn’t recommend this.
~ Sometimes even ghosts can’t make up for lackluster characters and romance.
Chloe- sees dead people, wants to date them.
Alex- dead guy suitor, who’s actually a bit of an ass.
Isobel- vengeful ghost who won’t let go of Alex, for some reason or another.
Joe- cute local boy that has a crush on Chloe (one can only presume it’s because she’s American).
Rory- Chloe’s cute little brother.
Grandma Fee- Chloe’s grandmother. She’s British though and owns a haunted estate.
Carter- Isobel’s abusive husband and Alex’s older brother.
Two House-guests- there are two ladies staying at Grandma Fee’s estate, amateur ghost hunters. I liked them, but they didn’t make it into my notes because by the time they became important I was already over taking notes for this book.
I did like the gothic drama of the night Carter catches Isobel with Alex (and no, she’s not some vixen, Alex was totally sexing her up too, which is particular insulting since his brother is paying for him to live there, but he’s a white knight and Isobel’s the evil one- wtf-ever), and then goes on a killing spree. Well, he kills 2 people and himself, but it was still the most interesting part of the book. It just felt so completely out of place in the book.
Stop the Clock:
I will not be reading the next book. I just found this book to be all over the place in tone and character, and I did not like the romance between Chloe and Alex. It made no sense. Overall, I was hugely disappointed by this book.
Read for the RIP IX Challenge, but would not recommend it to others participating, since it falls short of it’s promise.
Ghost House gets a Midnight Book rating of: