Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Olivia Tithe was excited for the summer and spending it with her best friend, Stern. But that was ruined when he was mur­dered...by Olivia's mother. Flashing forward, Olivia's life has been transformed since that awful night.

After her mother's incarceration, Olivia must move on, but she hates her father's new fiancée, Heather, and with her dad's new real estate development (she calls it Ghost Town) in the works, she barely sees him. But a new boy, Austin, has kindled feelings inside her that she hasn't felt since Stern's death.

Arriving at the same time as this new guy is a mysterious note that brings Stern's murder back to the forefront; Olivia knows that she must discover the truth behind her friend's death once and for all.

Upon receiving Notes from Ghost Town in my mailbox, I was beyond excited! The premise sounded amazing, and while I never could get into Kate's first book, I still had high hopes for this. Thankfully, Notes from Ghost Town not only reached my expectations, but it went far, far past them, as it was romantic, mysterious, and beautifully written- three aspects I love in a book!

Notes from Ghost Town starts the story of Olivia Tithe, a girl who used to have it all. She had loving parents, amazing friends, and an incredible talent with art. However, everything changes when her mom's accused of killing Stern, Olivia's best friend and possibly something more. Olivia doesn't know what to think. Of course, her mom always struggled with mental illness, but how could she have done something so horrible? Everything changes once again, though, when Stern shows up in ghost form. He tells her that there's more to the story then is known and it's up to her to figure out what went on. Will she listen to him? Or push him away? Only time and more pages can tell in this compelling and emotional read sure to have anyone reading late into the night.

From the first page, I was instantly taken aback by Kate Ellison's writing. It's stunning to say the least. With every scene and really every paragraph AND sentence, she managed to capture the scene and make me, as the reader, feel all the emotions and feelings that were occurring and not only from Olivia's side but Stern's, Olivia's parents, etc. Better yet, she did a great job of creating the "gray space," the area according to Olivia's mom that contains no art. When Olivia found that space, Ellison really used it to develop Olivia's character even further, and that did tons for the book.

Moving on, I adored the characters in this. As expected, Olivia was pretty much broken at this point in her life. She was acting out, not really caring what people thought of her, and that was only made worse as her "gray space" expanded. However, everything changes when she starts to find herself again with the help of Stern and another boy friend she makes along the way, and truly, I loved seeing that happen. I also enjoyed the wide variety of other characters introduced, especially Stern. He was such an amazing and funny guy, which made it even sadder, in my opinion, to see that he had his life cut short.

The plot in this was also fabulous! When I first went into this, I was expecting a coming of age story. However, I got that as well as a nifty mystery. The mystery of what happened that fateful night really manged to pull the book along, especially when more was revealed as time went on. I was constantly coming up with possible answers, even as it started to come to the close. Adding to this, I also really loved the family dynamic and relationship dynamic Kate introduced in it. Both had a lot to do with the plot as well, and without it I don't think the book would have been the same.

In all, Notes from Ghost Town is an emotional and beautifully told story. Highly, highly recommended, especially for fans of Sarah Dessen and Lauren Oliver.

Grade: A+

Notes from Ghost Town (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) will be released February 12, 2013!

Source: Paper Lantern Lit- thanks Beth!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great read! I added it to TBR pile :)


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