I was fortunate to be able to review a ARC digital copy of Ghost House at no cost in exchange for my honest opinion. My review of Ghost is not biased due to the previous statement. I would like to take a moment and thank both Alexandra and Kismet Book Touring Company for allowing me to review this book.
By Alexandra AdornettoPublication September 2014 by Harlequin Teen Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Paranormal Fiction, Romance
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.
Ghost House begins with the unexpected death of Chloe & Rory’s mother. This is where the family dynamics begin to take shape, bits of Chloe”s past comes to light, and where the decision by their over-grieving father is made. This is also the time that we meet the stern grandmother, that will eventually take her grandchildren to England, to be more precise to Grange Hall.
Chloe has a unique ability to see ghosts, although she learned at a young age from her mother to suppress this ability. The death of her mother and the move to Grange Hall is the catalyst to unlocking and trying to control her given abilities to communicate with the dead. In hind sight, I also see it as her very own secret connection that only she has with her deceased mother.
Upon arrival to Grange Hall, there is no anticipation-no happiness-not an ounce of excitement. Leaving home and their father at such a traumatic time was not what the kids needed or wanted. I did very much enjoy reading the description of the trip leading to Grange Hall, as well as the description of what it looked like. Grange Hall was in being made over to accommodate the grandmothers hotel business venture.
Grange Hall becomes the key to a very rich, sad, and disturbing history. The mystery of the place and why ghosts are still haunting the place, especially Alex and Isobel. Alex provided not only a strong character, but was instrumental in learning of history of the past of Grange Hall. While, it was up to Chloe to have the visions, and to also put puzzle pieces together- it was Alex that proved to be the trigger for Chloe’s abilities.
Isobel, was a terrifyingly cruel character. I found her to be fascinating, as I tried to figure out the mystery behind the obvious anger she had towards the living. There were times that you will hate her, but there are times where you will begin to pity her-even understand her. Such a strange statement considering how she treated people in life and in death.
When the reader first begins to read Ghost House, you must keep in mind that this is geared towards younger teens. I feel that this would be the reason for the simplicity of the storyline, the words chosen as dialogue, and the feelings that are expressed. As I read Ghost House it became very clear to me that while I enjoyed the story- I would have adored it if I were 12-14 years old! I was emerged in the book fully, just because I wanted to learn the mystery of how all things came to be the way they were. The story is gripping when it comes to that piece. I did have difficulty connecting with the fact that Chloe falls in love with Alex, and vice-versa. But then again at a younger age I would have devoured each detail, as I could easily become jealous of a love like the one they were sharing.
My favorite characters in Ghost House were not even the focal point of the novel, I enjoyed the ghost-hunting sisters tremendously. They had me giggling with the way they seemed to fumble around their “craft”. The other lesser character, the housekeeper, was another favorite. Her non-verbal angry at the whole world kid hating self, seemed to make me want to know her more. I knew that there must be a reason for her outlook on life. I was right- there was and I don’t blame her a bit!
When all the pieces of the puzzle came together at the end it was bitter-sweet. I found myself excited for the future of Chloe and her family, but yet saddened by all that had been lost. I would recommend this book to any teen that loves ghost stories with a bit of haunting romance. I am looking forward to seeing the next two installment in this series!
I think the more history a house has the more secrets it has. I’ve always thought houses give off a certain vibe that you can pick up on it as soon as you walk in. Grange Hall, the setting of my new novel, has a dark and troubled past. I’m no stranger to living in house that was shared with “invisible tenants.”
If you haven’t already guessed I believe in ghosts lingering in places that were important to them in life if they aren’t ready (for whatever reason) to move on. These entities left behind can be harmless, but not always. A spirit who perhaps met some tragic or violent end in life can be a dark and destructive influence.
We called the house I lived in growing up “The Boo Radley House” because it was ramshackle and a little neglected. My mother and I lived there alone and it was too big for us and pretty creepy. Whenever she went out and I was left alone, strange things would happen.
Sometimes I’d hear heavy footsteps walking on the upstairs landing and with each step, the chandelier above my head would shake. At other times doors would creak open and close on their own and I was sure I could hear strange voices whispering in the sitting room. My dog felt something too because she would bark at something or someone I couldn’t see.
We eventually moved to a much more modern house where nothing like that ever happened. I think it taught me that spirits attach to places and we can be very deeply affected by their presence. On occasion I wondered what might happen if I tried to befriend them, rather than be afraid of them. Hence, the idea for Ghost House was born.
What if the ghosts became your closest friends? What if you fell in love with one?
I thought it was a cool idea to explore; the idea the person you’re meant to be with isn’t in this world at the same time you are. They say that love conquers all but that would be one heck of an obstacle to overcome!
Alexandra Adornetto started writing at a very young age, with her first novel being released when she was only thirteen. A native of Australia, Alexandra moved to the US to study at the University of Mississippi.
She is currently living in Hollywood and working on a number of film projects, both as a writer and an actress.
GHOST HO– USE is Alexandra’s seventh published novel and the first book in what will become her third trilogy. The first two novels of her beloved Halo series both debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and her books are sold in more than 25 countries worldwide.
— Danelle (@DanelleJohns) August 11, 2014