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Review: Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto (Ghost House Saga #1)

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Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto // VBC ReviewGhost House (The Ghost House Saga #1)
Alexandra Adornetto
Published: Aug. 26, 2014 (Harlequin Teen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jannelle

Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars

Chloe Kennedy is a 17-year-old high school student from California. Ghost House begins with the death of her mother and the rehabilitation of her “psychic” abilities. Basically, Chloe can see ghosts. The only problem for her here would be that she hasn’t been able to see them for a long time because her mother had helped her block them out. With her mother passing, she has broken down a wall that has allowed all of the ghosts to flood back into her life.

The devastation felt by her family after her mother’s death has led to her father passing on the responsibility of taking care of his two children to his mother, who lives in the south of England. Chloe and her brother Rory’s grandmother lives in a mansion called Grange House.

Upon her arrival, Chloe believes that she will be able to collect her thoughts and emotions well enough to be able to block out the ghosts again. Unfortunately for her, she creates a bond with ghost Alexander Reade, who lived at Grange House more than 150 years earlier and has a crazy ex-girlfriend, Isobel, who is haunting the house and physically hurting the inhabitants who she deems a threat.

In order to prevent Isobel from continuing her reign of terror, Chloe must work with Alexander and develop her abilities to protect her family, herself and any future residents of Grange House.

While reading Ghost House I was trying to pinpoint what it was exactly that I didn’t like about it. It feels like a classic ghost story, which is why it felt predictable at times and the story worked. Protagonist goes into a haunted house, encounters the ghost(s), discovers the reasons for their troublesome behavior and solves the problem.Since it did not have any slow points and the plot moved steadily, it kept me reading.

It also had that young adult paranormal feel in the way Adornetto does best—mystery, a touch of foreshadowing throughout the novel and a plot-twist cliffhanger on the very last page. This plot-twist cliffhanger, by the way, made me ecstatic as I had been hoping for something different from the usual ghost story and though it wasn’t much, it definitely made me consider picking up the next novel in The Ghost House Saga.

The character development, however, was flat. I actually didn’t really feel like there was any development with any of the characters. Chloe was one-dimensional for me in that what you see is what you get; there aren’t many layers to her. She sees ghosts, her mother died, and she has the hots for a man—ghost—she can’t have.

The scenes between Chloe and Alexander felt a bit one-dimensional as well. As the story progressed, Chloe began to collect new information regarding Alexander’s past and at that point I can understand her infatuation with him. What was initially difficult for me to understand was the depth of her love for him when it felt like their ‘love’ lacked enough knowledge of each other and seemed to be based on the whole love at first sight theory. I will say, however, that their relationship was unusual (as Alexander is a ghost) and that definitely added to the overall appeal of the novel.

All in all, Ghost House was okay. A decent storyline and lackluster characters made me feel like I was neither gaining nor losing anything from this reading experience. If you are into unusual romances and ghost stories in general, you may enjoy Ghost House.

Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex, references to child abuse

Warning: graphic violence toward children

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