DNF: Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Series: The Ghost House Saga #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Format/Source: ARC/From Publisher, via BEA
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
Just Couldn’t Get Into It…
I picked up the ARC of Ghost House at BEA, thinking that I’d give it a try even though I’m not a huge horror fan. I was hoping it would fall more on the creepy side, rather than truly scary. But unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into the story at all.
I did like the fact that when the story starts, Chloe could already see ghosts. It wasn’t the typical story where the main character realizes that he or she is different in some way–Chloe already knew that she was different. I also enjoyed the Narnia references. But there were a couple of Harry Potter references and the first one was used as an insult! I was like, “Oh no you didn’t!” I also liked Chloe’s little brother, Rory. I pictured him as the kid who played Sammy’s little brother on Dance Academy and that made me like him even more.
But there were SO many little things that just bothered me. First of all, Chloe’s grandmother asks her what a certain symbol is, pointing to a hashtag on Twitter. Chloe then has to explain to her what the symbol is. I call BS. Those symbols (pound signs or hash marks) were used before Twitter, and although Chloe’s grandmother might not understand the symbol’s use in Twitter or other social media, she knows what the symbol is. Also, after Chloe’s mother dies, her grandmother stays with them for a while. And then suddenly she tells Chloe and Rory that she and their father have decided they need to move in with her in England, and that they have to leave THE NEXT DAY. She doesn’t even hardly have time to say goodbye to her friends. This just seemed like a sloppy way of causing conflict.
Also, there seemed to be tons of inconsistencies with Chloe as a character. She says she loves to read, yet when she first sees the library in her grandmother’s old mansion, she doesn’t even mention the books and instead focuses on the dial-up computers and the fact that there isn’t any cellular reception. Then there was an instance where she says, “I’m usually more articulate” but she hardly seems articulate at all. She also claims to be a “people-pleaser” but this is not a characteristic that is shown through her actions in the pages that I read.
And then there’s the whole plot of the story–she meets this ghost named Alex, and falls in love with him, and that had me rolling my eyes already. But then there’s a love triangle between her, the ghost, and another (live human) guy? Commence the groaning and throwing of book. I read 119 pages and skimmed through the rest, and there’s even a part where she dreams, and Alex the ghost somehow actually goes into her dream and they almost have sex. WTF???? I just can’t.
I’m not a huge fan of ghost stories, or paranormal stories in general, but there are some that do it well and I can root for a human/paranormal couple. But this one just didn’t work for me.