Publisher: Egmont USA.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
Release date: February 12th 2013.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source:Received from Media Masters for review.
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.
When Olivia Tithe kisses her best friend Lucas Stern, she thinks it the start of something special. Instead, she’s about to find out that the kiss she’s been waiting for is the end of life as she knows it. And not in a good way. As soon as she opens her eyes after the kiss, art student Olivia finds herself stranded in of grey – colorblind. And that’s not all. A week later, Stern is dead, and Olivia’s mother, a woman who has struggled all her life with mental illness, is the prime suspect in his murder. Olivia, though, is convinced of her mother’s innocence, and when the ghost of Stern visits her and assures her of the same, Olivia sets out on a mission to free both her mother, and the ghost of her lost love, who can’t rest easy until he finds out the truth.
But it Stern real? Is he imagined? Or is Olivia about to succumb to the same illness that may have cost her mother her freedom?
A compelling read from start to finish, Notes from Ghost Town is a murder mystery that flirts with the unusual and unknown, dealing with topics of murder, death and mental illness. At its core, though, Notes from Ghost Town is the story of a girl who’s had her life turned upside down and inside out, and who is struggling to make sense of it all.
Olivia, herself, is a great character, and by that I mean that she reads as very real. Moody and bratty – she’s prone to outbursts especially where her dad and soon-to-be new wife are concerned, but she’s capable of great love too, as evidenced not only in her dealings with Stern, who she never wants to let go, but also in her relationship with her adorable soon-to-be step-sister, Wynn. Those two had such a cute relationship, and it really showed all the good that was in Olivia, because for the most part, we don’t get to see the best of her in this book. Angry and confused, she lashes out at almost everybody, gets a little too drunk a lot, neglects any and all of her friends and responsibilities and flirts with a boy who likes her only because she thinks this might help her get over Stern. Okay, also, because he’s really hot. But no matter how long she spends flirting with Austin, it’s Stern who is always on her mind. Olivia’s grief is right there on every page – it’s raw and real, and even if you don’t really like Olivia (I did, by the way), you’ll probably find yourself rooting for her because of this.
The mystery in Notes from Ghost Town is pretty well done. Because of the inclusion of the ghost of Stern in the storyline, I was always second guessing what exactly was going on in Olivia’s life. And while I did figure out in the end where the story was going, it took me a little while to get there, which is always good, because lately I’ve been finding every twist and turn in my YA reads a little too obvious for my liking. This one had just the right amount of ambiguity to keep me guessing.
Refreshing in its originality and beautifully written, Notes from Ghost Town kept me hooked right until the end. Kate Ellison is definitely an author worth checking out. I missed out on her debut The Butterfly Clues last year, so that’s one I definitely have pick up sometime soon.
Giveaway! Thanks to Media Masters one lucky reader can win a hardcover copy of Notes from Ghost Town and a copy of the newly released paperback (complete with pretty new cover!) of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison.
Competition is open to readers in the US/Cananda and closes February 28th 2013.
Fill in the Rafflecopter form below to enter!