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I Belong

Early Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Title: Notes from Ghost Town

Author: Kate Ellison

GenreYA Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 12, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 1606842641 (Egmont USA)

ISBN-13: 978-1606842645 (Egmont USA)

Reviewed by:  Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: This is a great murder/mystery book that has good romance, heartbreak, and isn’t too scary.

Opening Sentence: Think about a moment, a little centimeter of time you’d happily exist in forever, if time could be laid out along the spine of a ruler.

Excerpt: No

The Review

Olivia is 16 years old and has just recently flunked out of art school.  A year ago her best friend was brutally murdered.  Her mother is the one accused of murdering him, she is a schizophrenic that went off her medication and they say she didn’t know what she was doing.  Lucas Stern and Olivia grew up together and were pretty much inseparable.   Olivia was big into art and Stern was an amazing piano player.  One week before Stern was murdered Olivia realized that she had more than friendship feelings for Stern but she never got a chance to tell him how she felt.  The last time she saw Stern they shared a sweet moment together but it left her colorblind and now she can only see the world in shades of Grey.  That’s why she dropped out of art school.  How can she be an artist if she can’t see colors.  Her life has pretty much turned upside-down and she doesn’t know how to move on from all the bad that has happened.

It has almost been a year and her mother’s trial is only ten days away.  She gets a surprise visit from Stern’s ghost and he tells her that her mother didn’t kill him.  Olivia needs to find Stern’s real killer and the only clues she has are the inconsistent memories that Stern has from being alive.  Together they try to piece together what really happened to him on that horrible night, before it’s too late for her mother.  Along the way Olivia has to confront her feelings about the boy she lost forever and can never really get back.

Olivia is a pretty average teenager.  She likes to flirt and drink a little too much, but she feels like she might be going crazy at times.  She was a fun character that has a lot of depth to her.  You get to see her try to deal with everything that has happened and the author does a wonderful job of making you feel and see the pain that Olivia is going through.  She tries to cope the best way she can but the only way to find peace and move on is to find the truth.  I really liked her as a character and felt that she was easy to connect to.

Stern is an interesting character.  You get to see two sides to Stern.  His ghost and then memory’s that Olivia has of him.  The ghost Stern doesn’t really remember much from his life, but he remembers Olivia and a few clues they need to solve his murder.  In Olivia’s memories he is a sweet boy that she did everything with.  He was her best friend and it’s cute to see how their relationship developed through their lives.  He is a good guy and I liked getting to know him.

This book was a great read.  It really caught my interest and kept it the whole way through.  I did figure out parts of the plot pretty early on, but there were also some twists that caught me by surprise.  It had a great pace and was very well written.  There was sweet romance, and some very heartfelt moments throughout the book.  The ending was perfect because it left you satisfied and I would love to read more by this author.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good mystery.

Notable Scene:

“Stop freaking out,” he says, gazing down at me, a little crack in his deep voice. “I meant it: I think your painting is beautiful, Olivia.” I realize by the heat in my cheeks that I’m blushing like crazy. And so is he. Cheeks vibrant pink, almost electric. He’s moving his big hazel eyes over me like he’s never seen me before. We stay like this, heat pressing against us from all sides. And then, tentatively, he moves his hand to my cheek and draws me toward him, touching his lips to mine, so soft. I feel his fingers through my hair, his big hand cradling the back of my head; a hot rush, a pulse, fills my whole body as I press into him, kissing him back. I let my eyes shut as he presses even closer into me, and I stop noticing the heat. I stop noticing anything but a vague, vibrating dizziness pulsing through me—my body melting and trembling into his. Stern. This is Stern.

He pulls away for a moment and when I open my eyes to look at him my stomach drops out from beneath me, hard, like on a roller coaster. His eyes.

His hazel eyes have turned gray.

I scuttle back, dizzy, blinking hard—his eyes won’t change back. We kissed and now his eyes won’t change back. The world seems to tip, pulling me with it. I can’t get steady, can’t make sense of it. His skin isn’t tan anymore; it’s the color of old newspaper.

FTC Advisory: Egmont USA provided me with a copy of Notes from Ghost Town. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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