Title: Ghost House
Series/Universe: The Ghost House Saga #1
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication date: August 26th 2014
Page Count: 320 pages
Age Rating: Young Adult (vague sexual references, death)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Ghost House
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Halo trilogy comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series
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.
17-year-old Chloe Kennedy can see dead people. It’s a gift she’s had since she was 6, but managed to block with her mother’s help. Now, with her mother gone, the ghosts are back and they want her attention. With her father lost to his own grief, it is decided that Chloe and her younger brother will spend winter vacation with their paternal grandmother at her English country estate turned Bed and Breakfast, Grange Hall. Almost from the moment Chloe sets foot on the estate, the spirits that haunt it make themselves known. One of those spirits is Alexander Reade, a devastatingly handsome gentleman ghost Chloe feels a strong, unshakable attraction to. Alex’s past and present are intimately tied to the dark history of Grange Hall and to Isobel, the vengeful spirit who haunts its halls.
I liked the premise of this book – teen can see ghosts, stays at haunted manor with tragic backstory, falls into star-crossed romance with handsome ghost – but my enjoyment was seriously hindered by the fact that I didn’t really like the main character. She came off immature, self-centered (her father is grieving so hard for the loss of his wife that he can barely function, Chloe complains that he is unfairly not taking responsibility for his children. The father realizes he can’t take proper care of his kids right now, so he sends them to his mother’s house for a few weeks over winter break, but Chloe, completely unsympathetic, doesn’t see it this way. She tells someone “’Our dad decided to fly solo for awhile.’ The words my dad decided to abandon us seemed more fitting”.) and hypocritical to me (She thinks Isobel is a crazy possessive bitch, but when Alex doesn’t give Chloe his attention for a few days she throws a fit, screaming about what a jerk he is and how he’s “bailed” on her).
Honestly, my favorite character in the story was the villain – Isobel. Her story is so heartbreakingly tragic it’s no wonder she went mad. And I even understood her crazy, possessive tendencies when it came to Alex and Chloe – Isobel had risked, and lost, everything for Alex and now some 17-year-old hot, blonde psychic comes around and turns his head completely away from her – I’d be mad as hell too!
I stuck with the book until the end because I wanted to know the whole of the tragic backstory between Isobel and Alex, and I’m glad I did, because, to me, it was the best part of the book. I might have enjoyed Ghost House more if I had connected with the main character, but I didn’t. This is a personal preference though; some might really like Chloe, just not me. For this reason I won’t be reading anymore books in this series. However, since I did like the premise of the story, I would probably read other books by the author. Probably.
One of the things that Chloe has to cope with while at her grandmother’s estate, besides vengeful ghosts, is caffeine withdraw since there aren’t any Starbucks around for her to order her drink of choice: “double tall skinny cinnamon dolce latte with drizzle”. Luckily for Chloe and her Starbucks addiction, she can tide herself over at home with Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce – a sweet cinnamon light roast coffee that tastes fantastic with creamer.