- Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date: 1/1/2013
- Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.
Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.
Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?
I love a good mystery so of course I was drawn to this book. Me being perceptive like I am I fully expected to figure out who killed Kayla, but that still didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all. I loved getting to know the characters and trying to figure out not who did it, but why they did it. There was a few good chilling scenes in the book to keep my creepy book loving self satisfied, and a few swoon worthy moments to make my romantic side happy. This was a great and somewhat creepy mystery book that will appeal to people who love this type of book. What made this book even better for me is that it is set in Massachusetts and I love when I can find some familiarity in a book I am reading. (I asked the author if the small town Jade came from was a specific one, and it wasn't, but it made me think of a town I grew up in.)
Jade is a great character. She is originally from a small town in western Ma (woohoo shout out to my area!) and has now moved to Woodbridge, a more populated town with rich kids and a fancy school. She has always wanted a big house in a bigger city, but she doesn't understand how they could afford a huge house like that. It's not until she starts school and finds out that a girl not only died in the house just months ago, but it's suspected it was murder. Now she has to figure out what really happened to Kayla because Kayla's ghost is going to destroy her family if she doesn't. Her little brothers life is at risk and there is no way Jade will let that happen. She does everything she can to discover the mystery of who killed Kayla. She also collects gemstones which is cool because I do too. I loved hearing the meanings of each one since I didn't know a lot about that.
There is a bit of romance in the story, but it isn't enough to take over. It's there and it's a big part of it, but it's not overwhelming, and it seems genuine and realistic. There does seem to be a bit of a love triangle, but I never really saw it that way. It was always obvious to me who Jade was interested in and she made it clear for the most part too. I really enjoyed the romance in this since it was believable and it fit in with the story well.
I will touch on Kayla briefly since she is a main part of the story. She is not a pleasant character. We get to know her through diary entries which is really cool. We get little snippets of her life and hints at what really happened. She labels people in her diary as numbers so you get to figure out what number correlates to each person. She is the queen bee of the school, but people don't really like her. They all fear her because she can destroy anyone's reputation without even trying. Everything she does is calculated. She is manipulative and evil. She does have issues, but still. She's just not a character you can like. As a ghost she is even more evil than she was when she was alive. She doesn't care who she hurts or has to take down in order to discover who killed her so she can move on.
I thought this book was fantastic and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching the story unfold. Even thought I knew who did it early on, I had not clue why. And of course it's written so cleverly that the book makes you want to doubt yourself, but I know better. I think I read too many mystery books to really be fooled by them. The way the story was put together was great to read since you get not only Jade trying to figure things out, but you also get to read the entries in Kayla's diary and piece things together. Fantastic job Kim Harrington. This book had just enough creepiness and mystery to keep me engaged from beginning to end.