Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
Number of Pages: 336
Publisher: Egmont USA
Source: ARC from MM Publicity
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. 
If there’s one thing I can say about Notes from Ghost Town, it is that it is full of emotions. There is something beautiful and addicting in this book. From the summary, I didn’t it would be the kind of book that would keep me hooked enough to read it in one sitting, but I just couldn’t put it down once I started. Writing a novel revolving around someone’s murder and the emotions that comes with losing a loved one, and having her mother accused of the murder isn’t a easy thing, but Kate Ellison managed it. She created a beautiful and heartbreaking novel, balancing the mystery and the pain of the loss.

Olivia sure doesn’t have it easy in this book. She’s an artist who just lost the ability to see colors, and she ends up dropping out of art school. She just lost her best friend, Stern, who she also loved. And on top of that, Olivia’s mother is the one accused of his murder. Yes, Olivia doesn’t have it easy. Kate Ellison gives us the roller coaster of emotions that comes with all that drama, without ever making it feel over the top. We get a main character broken, but still strong. She’s the average girl trying to survive her grief, trying to make sense of something that never really makes sense.

Stern’s appearance as a ghost only she can see brings another wave of dilemmas and questions Olivia has to face. All of this made me fall in love with her as a character, simply because you can’t help but feel something for all she has been through, and all she has to go through. Stern is the kind of character you can’t help but like. He appears like such a great guy, and he is after all the best friend, before being the guy Olivia falls for. The mix of Olivia’s memories and Stern’s ghost creates this character that you wish you could have had a chance to know more about, to see more.

Other than this entire emotional overload she has to live, Olivia also ends up having to solve the mystery of Stern’s death. With Stern ghost proclaiming her mother’s innocence, she now needs to find who really killed him. She needs to prove her mother’s innocence before she is convicted of his murder.

I was a little scare, seeing as the book isn’t that big, that those two elements would feel like too much in the novel. Yet, Kate Ellison created a well-balanced story that will captivate your mind and heart. I fell in love with her writing, and I enjoyed every pages of this book.

About the Author:
From NetGalley

Kate Ellison is the critically acclaimed author of The Butterfly Clues. She spent a lot of time as a child, in Baltimore, pretending to be things she wasn't: a twin, a telekinetic, a benevolent witch with a box full of magical stones, a spy, a soccer player. She trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker, and has at least one artist friend who really does keep his true name a secret from the world. He told her, but don't ask her to tell you—she's not gonna do it. Kate lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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