Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto (ARC Review)

The Ghost House Saga #1
Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts
Publication.Date:August 26, 2014
Pages:320 (eARC)
Published By:  Harlequin Teen
Website:Alexandra Adornetto 

Ghost House on Goodreads
My review copy:
Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:

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. (Goodreads)

Quotes obtained from ARC copy and are subject to change
I could feel the walls I'd built to keep the ghosts out starting to crumble. They were slipping through the cracks. My grief had made me weak, and I didn't have the strength to rebuild by inner fortress. There was no room for anything other than the overwhelming ache of missing my mother.
Some realizations are too devastating for tears.
You couldn't hide from the dead and you couldn't keep secrets from them. They saw everything.
At least I finally had an answer to my question. Where did our loved ones go after death? They didn't go anywhere. They stayed right where you left them, because you carried them with you. They were a part of you, like a tattoo. Trying to forget them was like trying to forget you had legs.

I love ghosts. I love ghost stories. I love stories about people who can see and interact with ghosts. Unfortunately, this is not a "waking up in the middle of the night because the ghosts are going to get me" story. This is just your typical paranormal teen romance.

Ghost House starts with the untimely death of Chloe and Rory's mother. After having not seen ghosts for years, Chloe begins seeing them again after her mom's death, whose funeral we begin the story on. Not long after said funeral, Chloe's grandmother decides she and her 12-year-old brother should go back to Hampshire with her for a change of scenery.

Almost immediately, Chloe encounters the ghost of Alexander Reade and he is the most beautiful thing she has every laid eyes on. If you've read my reviews before, you know how I feel about instalove. Nine times out of ten, it's a deal breaker for me. I didn't immediately close the book because it doesn't start out as instalove, but as a crush. Something innocent that everybody goes through. However, just a few short days and minimal encounters later . . . L-O-V-E to the max. A delayed instalove if you will. At one point she even states that she'd "been waiting all my life for Alexander Reade to show up." Slow your roll, kid.

Now Joe was a love interest I could get behind - and he had a lot going for him: 1) British 2) Nice guy 3) Good with animals, especially horses 4) Great with Rory 5) Has flesh and a pulse. But no, she goes for the dead guy whose crazy, also very dead, girlfriend is out to get Chloe for unknown reasons. 

I found myself to just be . . . underwhelmed. Plot, dialogue, descriptions, characters. All relatively underwhelming. There were interesting aspects (the flashbacks into the history of Alexander and Isobel, for instance), I was intrigued as to what Isobel's deal was, and on occasion Chloe's narrative pulled me into the story. Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good and I was unable to get fully enriched  in the story.

However, I can see younger readers enjoying this book. I envision giving it to my 16-year-old cousin and her thoroughly enjoying the book and hankering to get her hands on the next two. Also, I think I would have enjoyed this back when I was a Twilight fan (and if you are a Twilight fan I don't mean anything bad by this, I'm merely making a comparison). For me, the book just felt been there, done that, don't wanna go back. I am just not the right audience for this book and there's nothing wrong with that.

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