Author: Alexandra Adornetto (Twitter)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: August 26, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
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.
It's been a long while since I fell for a ghost story - or a paranormal story for that matter - so I figured it was high time I actually read a book like Ghost House again. It must be said before I review this book that I knew going in it would follow the somewhat stereotypical young adult paranormal formula. Why? Simply because it's far too seldom that I read a ghost story that scares the crap out of me but manages to charm me at the same time. So, I knew that we would see love, we would see drama and I was certain there would be a plethora of cliches, as well. Alexandra Adornetto is now a veteran author though, and with an avid fan base, I wanted to give this new series a chance.
Ghost House starts strong, developing a strong bond between readers and our protagonist Chloe, who can see ghosts. Though she's managed to turn them off and away for years, they're back in full force since the death of her mother, and she sees them everywhere. I liked that there was a delicate balance between the naiveté of Chloe, and this deep-seeded pain that ruled her actions, as well. She's torn between two worlds - the one she lives in, and the one that haunts her all the time. I understood her desire to escape it all. Furthermore, I was impressed to see that Chloe does develop through the story, and we get to see her mature and come into her own. Her explorations of her abilities and her desire to help Alex were definitely intriguing, and it was that degree of empathy that really hooked me on her persona.
In terms of secondary characters, Alex was a bit more tedious for me through Ghost House. I felt like he offered pretty much the standard insta-love connection to the story, and though I was intrigued by his backstory and his tragic past, I wanted to see more of a rich and layered personality from him. I also struggled a little with the budding relationship between Alex and Chloe, simply because I didn't see as strong of a connection from both sides. So, in the case of this novel, I was actually happy to see a love triangle develop - if only because it offered us a human counterpart to our ghostly lover. All that said though, I must admit that I felt the romance overshadowed the actual plot, which was a shame. What could have been a really strong ghost story about a girl coming into her own and helping the other side did, unfortunately, fall prey to a few too many cliches for me in the end.
Overall though, I must say that Ms. Adornetto's writing is much stronger this time around, in my opinion. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Halo series, and I think that she's learned to develop her characters better, which is a huge plus for me. That being said, I liked Ghost House, but I didn't fall absolutely, madly in love with it. I give it a strong 3 out of 5, and I definitely recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy lighter paranormal dramas.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.