Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?…
Okay so to start this one off I’m first going to mention I haven’t been doing reviews so my format and organization might be a bit spotty but oh well, we’ll just roll with it or you can always stop reading. Anyways, let’s begin:
First of all we can do a quick focus on the author of the series. Kelley Armstrong seems to be becoming a more well-known author in the book-lover world and I’ve found myself reading a number of her books. In general, her writing style doesn’t disappoint, it always keeps a nice flow and it’s always a great at pulling at your own emotions and bring someone into the books sentiments. Always a great thing. Not to mention she has a lot of books out there now so if you end up liking one, you can move on to more. This book is the beginning of a trilogy, but there are also some other series, that while different, connect with this one as well.
The characters in this book, first of all the main character we have Chloe Saunders. She starts out as a young teen with the same goals of everyone around her and a passionate love for movies. And then everything goes terribly, horribly wrong on one ill-fated day. Now she’s being put away with ‘crazy’ kids in a home just looking for a way out. She’s someone who is easy to connect to and understand as she tries to figure out how to work through her situation. That of course becomes a lot harder when the plot comes into play and the supernatural part of this story begins to reveal itself. Suddenly, she may not have to accept having a mental illness. Instead, something much more unbelievable, but possibly much more dangerous. And she needs to figure out how to deal with all of this after being thrown out of all she’s known. Wow, that’s a mouthful and a lot for a fifteen year old. Now here’s where I’ll add in my negatives, sometimes in my mind, she does seem rather immature and some of her judgements are irritating. That’s when a reader can simply take a look back and see the situation as a whole and it’s easier to deal with. Not to mention, further along the series, her character development goes along quite nicely.
Let’s transition into plot now. Armstrong does a nice job of sneaking those little hints for the reader into the story that leave you trying to figure out what it all means and feeling frustrated right along with Chloe as she tries to discover what’s really going on in this group home. The secret behind it all is given light in a way that had me genuinely excited and flipping from one page to the next. I can’t say much else otherwise I’ll be scared of giving things away.
Character relations, well let’s face it, Chloe is judgemental going into the group home, but sometimes that’s any typical teenager, not understanding something leads to judgement. But she begins to see the other characters, builds relationships and non-relationships as she figures her way through everything. Friends and enemies are never certain as a teenager, I’d say that much is true with relationships between the characters in this story. Very true.
Any other tidbits I can come up with: there are some good messages and morals behind events and actions throughout the story if you take a look at them. Also the plot line really does leave you itching to know what’s going to happen next and if you’re like me when I first read the trilogy you’ll probably get through it fairly quickly because of that. Then, there is the bit of romance that’s always nice to add into most stories, then some angst and all other crazy jumping emotions along with them. I enjoyed the series a lot, it was a good read that left me with some interesting conspiracies running through my head and of course the question, so what happens next? There are those negatives hidden in there, but they’re the type that are easy to deal with in the overall. As for recommendations? I’d probably say people who are looking for another spin on the supernatural selection without going too far off from it altogether. And conspiracy enjoyers would probably go for it too. Age groups I’d say is pre-teen and teen, same as stores say.
Until next time,