From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo 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.
Ghost House (The Ghost House Saga #1)FeaturedHot
What worked: I'm a huge fan of the paranormal. Add a hot ghost and an otherworldly romance? I'm so there! GHOST HOUSE is a little edgier than THE MEDIATOR series by Meg Cabot, another paranormal novel with a similar premise. Both of these books have the haunted house, handsome dead guy, reluctant girl with the ability to not only see but communicate with the dead. Here though, Adornetto adds a little more suspense, intensity with the two main characters(omg on that dream scene!). I loved how Chloe starts off with saying how she'd always seen the dead but it was her mother that taught her that they don't have any power over her. Then her mother dies and that block between worlds fades. We see that the dead can create havoc and problems.
After her mother's funeral, Chloe's English grandmother takes her Grange Hall, an English home which she's refurbished back to it's glory days of the mid 1800s. Problem is some ghosts have stayed on the grounds. Chloe not only can see them but actually talk and touch them. Alexander Reade has been dead more than 150 years and carries a painful secret that involves a beautiful ghost that has done damage in the past.
I liked the chemistry between Chloe and Alexander. He's the guilt ridden ghost that is stuck at Grange Hall. She's intrigued and then falls for his charm. There are a number of scenes that show the bitter sweetness of their relationship. Because how can anything become of a mortal and ghost being together?
Isobel is the thorn in Alexander's side. She reminded me of a British La Llorona-weeping lady-only more deadly and sinister on her attempts to get rid of Chloe which she sees as a threat. Why is revealed later on.
There's some great dialogue here too! More than a few exchanges with Alexander(him asking Chloe what's a G spot while perusing a Cosmo magazine) are too hilarious.
There's also a creepy hired help with her own secret that ties in with the house; a cute British guy; and a pair of paranormal investigators.
What I had issues with had to be with how similar this story was to Cabot's series. Yes, it's edgier and does have a very charming 1850s English guy who would sweep any girl off her feet. I just wanted more of the passion and chemistry between Chloe and Alexander. The times that is on the page were my favorites. There's a dance scene that is so powerful but bittersweet with the longing ending in a kiss. This is kind of like a reverse Romeo and Juliet story as the guy is already dead.
Isobel at first came off as one-dimensional but having the flashbacks about what lead up to her death helped give her some vulnerability. A few times she's mentioned as a siren but I really think she was a product of her times and driven to madness after one horrific event. Her choice affected not only herself but Alexander as well.
For fans of ghost love stories, this is one to check out. Haunting with suspenseful action and a bittersweet love story that you hope will go on. This is book one in a series, so I'm sure readers won't see the last of these two!
When Chloe was a little girl, she was able to see ghosts. But her mother told her that if she told the ghosts to leave Chloe alone, then they would. And for the past ten years Chloe didn't see a single spirit. That is, until her mother's death. Suddenly, Chloe is seeing ghosts all over the place.
Chloe's grandmother then decides that Chloe and her brother need to take a trip to England with her to Grange Hall, and old house that she fixed up. And, of course, the house has ghosts. One of them is Alex, who is the very first ghost that Chloe can actually talk to and she has an undeniable attraction to. But not all ghosts are nice and Alex's past girlfriend does not like Chloe...
I just want to come out and say that I have never read a book by Alexandra Adornetto before. And I haven't exactly heard good things about her Halo series. But I decided, kind of on a whim, to read this book. To be honest, I was hoping for a good ghost book. I love ghost stories and I love books with ghosts, I find them scary but interesting at the same time.
I don't think I looked close enough at the synopsis.
"Alexander Reade is 157 years dead."
Gosh, you mean that our main character falls in love with a guy who happens to be in the triple digits (and dead)? Hmmmm, I've never read a book like that before!
Yeah, this book wasn't going to be a nice creepy ghost story, just a stereotypical paranormal teen book.
It also doesn't help that the more I got into this book, the more it sounded almost exactly like another book I've read, The Deepest Cut(seriously, it's scary how similar these two books are).
I could probably deal with an unoriginal storyline, as long as it's entertaining, but I did have a major issue with this book. The romance was enormously cliché and full of, you guessed it, INSTA-LOVE.
The romance was what I call the "Bella and Edward Romance" because, just like those in Twilight, our main couple would continuously profess love to one another and that's it. There was no thoughts that would let all believe it, no build-up, just a "BUT I LOVE HIM!"
I didn't even know that Chloe was attracted to Alex until he talked about a previous girlfriend and then Chloe just gets all said thinking that she could never compete with her". Excuse me? But when did you all of a sudden what to date this guy? And you do know that he is dead, right?
I really wish that I could ignore the stupid romance, but it’s very hard to ignore. The focus of the book is on the psychotic ghost (which I'll say more about later), but Alex would always be popping up and suddenly BAM! cliché-ness!
I was actually okay with the book for a while in the beginning, but when the romance can in it just made be dislike more and more things about the book. I began to look at the characters in a lesser light for example. Chloe especially. I began to see her as an idiot, mostly because she thought that she could be in a relationship with a dead dude. But she also began to always call for Alex's help and just do idiotic things.
I also noticed holes in the story. Like the fact that we are never told how Chloe's mom dies! This is an important fact, but all we get to know is that she died!
Now, there is one thing that I did actually liked about this book. I liked the psychotic ghost. I wanted a creepy ghost and I got some of that with this ghost. Granted, she was not exactly what I wanted for a ghost story, but she was definitely scary and that is what I want in a ghost book.
Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of this book. It's just like every other YA paranormal book, with added cliché romance. If that's what you like, then you can give this a try. But if you're like me and want your ghost stories to be a little less romance and a lot more horror, then you should skip this one.
I'm probably not going to continue this saga (It's a trilogy, but it's called a 'saga'? Really?), but I am curious to see if this book is going to go the same direction as The Deepest Cut (Guys, I'm not joking at how similar these books are) since it looks like it might be...
Ghost House starts with the untimely death of Chloe and Rory's mother. After having not seen ghosts for years, Chloe begins seeing them again after her mom's death, whose funeral we begin the story on. Not long after said funeral, Chloe's grandmother decides she and her 12-year-old brother should go back to Hampshire with her for a change of scenery.
Almost immediately, Chloe encounters the ghost of Alexander Reade and he is the most beautiful thing she has every laid eyes on. If you've read my reviews before, you know how I feel about instalove. Nine times out of ten, it's a deal breaker for me. I didn't immediately close the book because it doesn't start out as instalove, but as a crush. Something innocent that everybody goes through. However, just a few short days and minimal encounters later . . . L-O-V-E to the max. A delayed instalove if you will. At one point she even states that she'd "been waiting all my life for Alexander Reade to show up." Slow your roll, kid.
Now Joe was a love interest I could get behind - and he had a lot going for him: 1) British 2) Nice guy 3) Good with animals, especially horses 4) Great with Rory 5) Has flesh and a pulse. But no, she goes for the dead guy whose crazy, also very dead, girlfriend is out to get Chloe for unknown reasons.
I found myself to just be . . . underwhelmed. Plot, dialogue, descriptions, characters. All relatively underwhelming. There were interesting aspects (the flashbacks into the history of Alexander and Isobel, for instance), I was intrigued as to what Isobel's deal was, and on occasion Chloe's narrative pulled me into the story. Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good and I was unable to get fully enriched in the story.
However, I can see younger readers enjoying this book. I envision giving it to my 16-year-old cousin and her thoroughly enjoying the book and hankering to get her hands on the next two. Also, I think I would have enjoyed this back when I was a Twilight fan (and if you are a Twilight fan I don't mean anything bad by this, I'm merely making a comparison). For me, the book just felt been there, done that, don't wanna go back. I am just not the right audience for this book and there's nothing wrong with that.
Okay, rant over. Now, what I liked - Chloe. No really, she was a step up from Adornetto's last heroine. At least this one is not ready to let a guy walk all over her and go, but yeah, a little less angst would have made her character more likeable. I liked how she was in general- sarcastic, witty and confident, just not the whiny mess around Alex. It's not even that she can't interact with guys - she is fine around Joe. I don't even get why we are we supposed to root for Chloe and Alex. We know she is smart because she doesn't go directly after a ghost that is out for her blood. In fact, I liked the book in the start. Mid-way, I was rolling my eyes at nearly every page because the chessiness was dripping off the pages. I found it perfect until Chapter 27, too - it closed off really well, and the climax would have worked into a standalone perfectly. I was hopeful that it would just leave it there, but alas, it has to be a series so on the last line of the last chapter is a bombshell (which I was hoping wouldn't come and came anyway) which is supposed to leave us wanting for the next book but just leaves me thinking - how the hell could that happen?
About the writing, I am on the fence - the descriptions and style seems good but the progression and dialogues seem stilted. In terms of setting, I felt Halo had a better structure than Ghost House. Quite many things are unexplained and there are plot holes, which I would rather not start enumerating. Overall, an okay sort of book, but could do with a little more of the horror.