Author:Christina Leigh Pritchard
Series: Cin Series # 1
Genre: YA Supernatural
Source: Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz / B&N
I received this novel free of charge from BBT in exchange fro an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
The Doctor said I should be dead. My heart beat furiously. I looked up at the flashes of lightning in the sky. Yes, I should be dead. Why wasn’t I? Seventeen year old Lisa Brown’s life is falling apart. First, her mother and father divorce, then their house forecloses and now, her mother has decided to commit herself to a psychiatric hospital. If that weren’t enough, she must leave sunny south Florida to attend a boarding school full of geniuses in cold, Lynn, Massachusetts. The city where the locals chant “Lynn, Lynn, city of sin; you never come out the way you went in.” And, they aren’t kidding. Lisa must live in a tiny shack with two strange teenagers, a dog named Pig who growls when you look at him and a cat named Rat. “Mind the cat,” everyone says. What the heck is wrong with this place? Lisa thinks she’s landed in her own house of horrors with the anti-social Alex and his facetious sister Ally. But, the real drama begins the day she is struck by lightning
Perfect for those who are making their entry into the supernatural world since it is not the heaviest supernatural world intro. It is a still great book though. It feels contemporary but the veil of the supernatural is always lurking in the commentary by the characters. Don’t expect the supernatural to make a full-blown entry until halfway through the novel.
Let’s talk about the main character, Lisa Brown. She is all right protagonist. Quick to anger, a little slow in comprehending her new world but she is aware of the oddities around her. What is great about her is that she is aware of herself and her place in the world but she still tries to fight her role in society. She doesn’t just accept what she is being told (she launches into battle before she has the entire facts). She is complicated. She believes Alex is a villain but she still wants him. It is an interesting internal battle because she is aware of herself. Internal debates about what is going on are fantastic if the character is right on the mark and Lisa sometimes is.
Alex and Ally are the siblings and I suppose could be viewed as the antagonists but not as villains. In Lisa’s mind, they are cold people but they are just quirky. Although, Ally was mean at first. Both have unique histories and abilities; pay attention to the Michael’s history lesson and you will be set. It is not really explained why but both of them really want Lisa to stay in town (especially Ally since she was aggressive to Lisa). It’s a question that is meant for the second book since this book was just an introduction to the semi-supernatural world of Alex and Ally. Overall, their interaction with Lisa has changed them dramatically. Ally becomes more friendly while Alex becomes possessive of Lisa. Alex and Lisa have this pain-addiction connection that causes problems for them but should work in their favor.
A quirky element of the world-building is that it is not heavily supernatural. It is supernatural because of what Alex and Ally are and can do but it just barely glosses the supernatural world. It feels contemporary because of the lack of supernatural elements but it is not contemporary because it erases heavy issues from the characters. It is in between two worlds. The school was a nice addition to the storyline. It appears to be a normal school but it is far more complicated what it seems. For students that are shut-ins, they are pretty connected to the world. The secondary characters and their relationships with other characters are not really explored but Lisa is definitely thinking about how everything connects.
It is a fantastic book that I would love to give five butterflies to but it just falls short of it. The book gives away too many of the answers to important questions and highlights the odd behavior that a reader would have already notice. It is easy to detect what is going on and what it means. What Alex and Ally are and can do, the students, Lisa’s father; the only mystery that I didn’t figure out before Pritchard told the reader was Rat the Cat. I kept thinking “Maybe Rat is a real person” but he is not. What he is far more interesting. I love Pig the Dog, too.
Overall, it is a pretty good book. It is about Lisa just trying to fit into a world that she forced to live in. Alex and Ally are misunderstood individuals but with good reason are they misunderstood. I’m looking forward to the second book. Hopefully, the secondary characters get more face time. Maybe stronger ties to the supernatural world would be a good idea as well.
Pritchart is holding giveaways on her site so feel free to stop by and try your luck.
CASTING CALL! Please join the raffle to be one of four new characters in upcoming C I N books! Submission Form. (No purchase necessary to win)
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58th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a Series, E-book, Where are you reading?-Massachusetts
Title: The Carousel Ghost
Author: Andrea Pelleschi
Genre: YA Supernatural
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amazon / MuseItUp Publishing
I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Fourteen-year-old Kate’s traditional first day at Wildwood Lake Park couldn’t get any worse. Besides problems with her best friend and the obnoxious, but cute, boy from school named Tommy, there’s the new haunted carousel ride. When Kate goes for a spin, she finds herself transported back in time and into the body of a ghost named Isabelle, circa 1928. Isabelle’s husband carved the horse, and the rumor is that he also murdered Isabelle.
Back in the present, Kate teams up with Tommy to solve the mystery of how Isabelle died, even if it means more terrifying rides on the carousel. As the investigation goes on, Kate finds herself growing closer to Isabelle than she is with Meghan. So when the carousel is slated to be dismantled for the park museum, Kate hurries to solve the mystery before Isabelle is doomed to wander the park–and Kate’s dreams–forever.
What I liked: A great clean ghost story that does not rely on blood and mayhem.
This is a ghost story without shock or bad luck. It is just a simple ghost story about a woman haunting a carousel which is a great contrast to most ghost stories that are used to scared people. The story of Isabel spiked interest instead of terror.
Kate was a great protagonist. In the first chapter, she was a bit annoying with the whole “I don’t like Meghan’s new friends so I’m going show I know more about her” attitude but it is realistic. Kate would feel possessive about her friendship with Meghan around new people who want to claim Meghan as their new best friend. The fact that we see this possessive side of her is a good thing because it shows Kate’s character growth. She slowly goes from being pessimistic about losing the friendship and finds a silver lining in moving away from from Meghan. As much as this novel is about solving a mystery, it is about the Kate growing up.
One of the best features about this novel is that even though Kate is hanging out with Tommy, it is not focused on building a romance between them but rather a friendship. Kate, at the start, couldn’t stand Tommy because he acts like a typical boy for his age. She grows to tolerate him and then truly considers him a friend because the mystery murder quest brings them together. He may turn her into a little trespasser and lawbreaker but that is part of growing up. Tommy proves he is just not an annoying boy but can be a loyal and interesting person. He helps Kate mature as a person and he does too.
The ghost story of Isabelle haunting the carousel was a nice, little creepy story. Especially with the dream sequences. Isabelle had more power to communicate with Kate through the dreams than through the carousel warhorse. She wasn’t creepy, she was just sorrowful. I like how they solved the case as well. It wasn’t just independent research or looking for clues. They had adults involve in the case (without full details) in a positive way. The adults weren’t too oblivious and instead of hindering the case, they contributed to it. I applaud Pelleschi for showing well-meaning and present adults.
Overall, this is a five butterfly rating for me. It is a different type of ghost story, Kate and Tommy grow into their own skins, and a positive portrayal of adults make me love the book.
53rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Ghostly