Release date: August 26, 2014
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.
First thoughts – Ghost House, despite it’s name, lacks some good amount of horror. Chloe has come to her grandma’s house in England for the holidays, a way to get away from the sadness in her life due to the recent death of her mother. Being psychic, she has always been able to see ghosts, but they never really communicated with her until she comes to Grange Hall. Of course, the first one had to be a hot charming dead guy – Alexander Reade, who in no way makes you cheer for him with his misogynistic ideals from two centuries ago. Of course, there is insta-love because that is how it will go, even though there is a really cute living guy called Joe who would be more suited to her. Of course, there is angst in the form of I’m-dead-you’re-alive and the ghost of the ghost’s ex love. Isobel is a vengeful spirit who is a ghostly personification of a 10 year old – she swings from alluring to vengeful to adoring in a matter of seconds.
Okay, rant over. Now, what I liked – Chloe. No really, she was a step up from Adornetto’s last heroine. At least this one is not ready to let a guy walk all over her and go, but yeah, a little less angst would have made her character more likeable. I liked how she was in general- sarcastic, witty and confident, just not the whiny mess around Alex. It’s not even that she can’t interact with guys – she is fine around Joe. I don’t even get why we are we supposed to root for Chloe and Alex. We know she is smart because she doesn’t go directly after a ghost that is out for her blood. In fact, I liked the book in the start. Mid-way, I was rolling my eyes at nearly every page because the chessiness was dripping off the pages. I found it perfect until Chapter 27, too – it closed off really well, and the climax would have worked into a standalone perfectly. I was hopeful that it would just leave it there, but alas, it has to be a series so on the last line of the last chapter is a bombshell (which I was hoping wouldn’t come and came anyway) which is supposed to leave us wanting for the next book but just leaves me thinking – how the hell could that happen?
About the writing, I am on the fence – the descriptions and style seems good but the progression and dialogues seem stilted. In terms of setting, I felt Halo had a better structure than Ghost House. Quite many things are unexplained and there are plot holes, which I would rather not start enumerating. Overall, an okay sort of book, but could do with a little more of the horror.
Received an ARC from Harlequin TEEN via Netgalley, for an honest review
Oh, and since the book trailer was released two days ago, I though I might include that as well in the review.
Chilling, right? Wish the book was half as much interesting as the trailer. Also, none of the scenes in the trailer actually happened in the book.