The Ghost Files

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The Ghost Files (The Ghost Files #1)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I did not really know what to expect from this when I got started but was very pleasantly surprised with where it went. The story is very nicely executed with the characters becoming more pronounced with each chapter. The language is perfect for the ages of the characters and makes you pay closer attention to them. This is not really so much scary as it is disturbing, but it does not make it any less effective. This is touted as being horror but I see more of a mystery with a paranormal theme involved. It is also more young adult than adult, though maybe that changes a bit in later books.

Mattie Hathaway has been in the foster care system for a good portion of her life, she entered it at the age of five and now at the age of sixteen she is a veteran of the system who knows how to survive. There is one thing Mattie has kept to herself all those years, and that is the fact that she can see ghosts. While in her latest and best foster home she encounters the ghost of a little girl who she ignores as has become her custom. The only thing that goads her into communicating with the ghosts she sees is when she sees her foster sister as a ghost after having just left her alive at home.

While in the hospital after a mishap Mattie meets Officer Dan who will become very important to her and what she finds out about what is happening. A serial killer has been operating in the town and preying on children who in most cases will either not be missed or assumed as a run-away. Mattie brings attention to herself and the killer takes notice. The children who have been killed have gathered around her and she does not know if they mean her harm or are simply drawn to her. Whatever else may happen Mattie may have to survive more than just a bad few days.

Once I got into it I really did enjoy the story. Mattie was a bit much to take because of her teen angst and self reliant posturing throughout the book, with reminding us she does not cry or does not need anyone constantly. Her back story was heart breaking but could have been deeper still. The end was a bit of a shocker and made me more than eager to read the next book in this series. If you can get around the bravado and whining of our 16 year old heroine you will enjoy this. Ghosts, serial killers, revenge, what more can you ask for.

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The Gifted Soul

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The Gifted Soul

by Jeannie Ingraham (Editor), Sharon Prudente (Editor), Nada Orlic (Illustrator)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Based on the blurb and cover I was thinking that I might not enjoy this a great deal. But I have to say that it was not the case at all, I was very pleasantly surprised . I found myself pulled into the story immediately because I really like the main female character from the beginning. There are some glitches with grammar, spelling, and word use in some places but nothing to severe as to draw away from the narrative for long. The main characters are very well fleshed out with the secondary characters having enough depth to still keep things moving smoothly.

Sophie Walters is a junior in high school and has been able to avoid being found out in the Sweeps since she was in the sixth grade. She is one year away from never having to worry about it ever again, then something goes wrong. Sophie can see auras, ghosts, and read minds with touch, she is sought after for these abilities like so many others around the country. Now she is going to be sent away from her home and friends to an institution for others like her.

Lyle Raider ferreted out Sophie even though her administrator could not prove she was gifted. He is the reason she is now going to a school for kids with abilities like hers. But something is not right there and soon Sophie and her new friends will find themselves going against the grain to save themselves and others.

This had a little teen angst with some good psychic abilities on display. Definitely a good read for anyone who likes stories with a paranormal theme. Recommended for all ages!

The Homecoming Masquerade

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The Homecoming Masquerade (Girls Wearing Black #1)

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I have never read anything by this author before and even though this may not have really made a great impression on me, I am willing to try the next book in this series. I was not thrilled with the characters who were flat and did not really make me like or dislike them. I really was interested in the story based on the blurb but the execution was less than I would have liked to have seen. The majority of the story is spent inside a mansion with the mains looking back at what brought them there. The vampires here are not even remotely cuddly, and there is no type of romance between them and humans, these are soulless creatures.

Jill Wentworth has attended Thorndike Academy since her freshman year and knows a great deal about all of her classmates, both public and private. She also knows a great deal about the immortals who are in power in Washington and which families have the closest ties with them. It’s senior year and her class has only three candidates for coronation because it was planned that way by one family who feels they are more deserving.

Kim Renwick and her family have made it their mission to have as little competition as possible at Homecoming. She is surprised when another girl arrives unexpectedly in black throwing herself into the mix. The race to become the next immortal has begun and Nicky Bloom, the new girl, is determined to win.

There was no real action, a lot of talk, a lot of flashbacks and very little else. This was nothing more than an introduction to the characters and what the coronation is about, or so I hope. I was hard pressed to continue reading and if I had not kept expecting more to happen I would have stopped when nothing interesting had happened at 37%. Read this knowing not to expect much more than kids talking about power and money with a brief appearance by the vampires near the end. Enjoy the history of this world as much as is given.

Don’t Even Think About It

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Don’t Even Think About It

I received this book for free through NetGalley for an honest review.

I give this 4.5 stars because I was really drawn into this tale of high school students. This was a light, fun romp with a group of kids who were actually not totally annoying. When you start a book and find out you are going back to high school I think the first thought is that here come the stereotypes, not so here. While you do have a few, mostly what you have are a group of kids who seem like any others you may have known growing up. The characters seem real and act and talk like you would expect kids to and the adults are a bit broad but are realistic in their parenting. The story seems to fly by as you move from chapter to chapter not letting you slow down for a minute. I will not call it fast paced but it definitely moves right along taking you on an interesting ride. The characters are well thought out and have personalities and quirks which define them as individuals, making it easy to like them or not depending on how they act.

Olivia was one of favorites because I like her was a bit of a hypochondriac when I was younger. She is shy to the point of being invisible but you just know that there is a lot more to her. I also really liked Mackenzie because she was not really a bad girl like everyone thought but just confused about who she was and what she wanted. The person who was least likable would be Pi, everyone hates that girl or boy who thinks they are superior to everyone else, and Pi has that in spades.

Everything changed for the students of home room 10B on October 2 when something strange happened to them without warning. The kids go in for a simple inoculation and emerge with more than just a resistance to the flu. The kids end up with an ability which at first scares them but then starts to be useful for their everyday lives, but as these things usually do it causes trouble for all. What they finally do is the right thing for them and maybe for others, but that will come later.

This was the kind of story that anyone can read without feeling bad. The story is cute and the kids are all nice in their own way and make for a fun time.