Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Notes from Ghost Town, by Kate Ellison

Barnes & Noble

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.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover: bleak, desolate, and haunting. Right up my alley! I don't usually read ghost stories, as I am a complete chickenshit and freak out over the slightest frights. I was intrigued by this novel, however, since it also dealt with mental illness. I'm really glad that I was approved for the galley; this is a beautifully-written story that otherwise would have lived on my TBR shelf for the foreseeable future. And it would have been a shame to miss out.

And the writing?  Sublime!
Think about a moment, a little centimeter of time you’d happily exist in forever, if time could be laid out along the spine of a ruler. Maybe it haunts you in that blue inch of half consciousness just before you’re fully awake.

The words seem to just float off the page.
I liked Olivia a lot--even if she did seem to know more than your average sixteen-year-old about certain (spoilery) things and not enough about others. And I love Stern. I kept hoping for a Soap Opera moment wherein he would come back to life. Grumble stupid death grumble.

Things were wrapped up nicely at the end, though maybe a little too cleanly to be realistic.

One thing that bugged me was the overuse of italics. The writing should stand on its own without needing to emphasize certain points; let the reader infer for him- or herself.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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