Rating: 1 Star (actually, even that’s too high of a rating. Goodness me, this is going to be a fun review.)
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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.
It’s been a long while since I’ve read a book that was so horrible I found myself laughing hysterically at the dialogue at random intervals, because, good gosh, this was just ridiculous.
The amount of insta-love was ridiculous. I mean, I didn’t think it was actually possible to put this much insta-love in a book. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve read a lot of insta-love books, where your typical beautiful-but-doesn’t-know-it sixteen/seventeen-year-old girl falls for the mysterious hot-hot boy immediately upon initial sight, but, oh, there’s that other boy, you know, the other ridiculously hot boy-next-door type but just a hundred times hotter, who is also in love with the girl for no reason whatsoever besides that she’d special (*gag*).
But this? This was all that on crack.
Chloe has just lost her mother. No one understands her. She has all of two girl friends who have no other purpose in the book besides being catty, b-words who had literally almost no appearances, but were simply page fillers as a background noise to highlight how amazing and pure and unique of a girl Chloe was.
Excuse me while I barf.
The girls (who I cannot even remember the names of) are pointed out fairly early as, well, sluts. They are your A-typical stereotypical teenage girls who party and get drunk and sleep around and throw up in the bathtub on a weekly basis.
Firstly, I take offense to any books that depict girls this way. Yes, there are girls out there like that, but to simply paint them in this light, to show them as nothing more than slutty girls who have no other desire than another drink and cute boy at the next party is just so pretentious. Because Lord knows that boys are almost never painted in this light. Oh, he sleeps around and cheats on his girlfriend? Whatever. He’s a stud and a typical teenage boy. But for a girl to do this? She’s a slut. She’s vain and selfish and doesn’t have a brain cell to her name.
And this is shown especially true when compared to the light of Alex (aka, unrealistic ghost boy), who had not only slept with his brother’s wife and carried on that affair until he and everyone died a tragic death, but is he ever held accountable? Nope. Because it wasn’t his fault. He loved her, maaaaannn. He tried to leave her so her reputation would stay intact. He tried to be the good guy, okay?
Oh, hell no.
This little ghost boy had the gall to call Chloe’s friends “harlots” because of how they dress, but him? He’s pure as a saint.
To be fair, I kind of went into this book knowing that it was going to suck, badly. I mean, all anyone would have to do it go onto Goodreads and look through a handful of reviews, and I think the overall feeling is pretty clear.
And this is also because I read Adornetto’s first series, Halo, when I was younger. A lot younger. Like, during the time when I first was finding my love in YA books. So, no, I will not be held accountable that I initially liked her first series, but then later, after I’d realized what good YA looked like, I realized it was complete crap.
There is very little else that can get my blood boiling as much as (what I’ve heard other reviews refer to as, so I will also call it as) slut-slamming. When the perfect little heroine has two or three female friends that have no personality whatsoever except to be held up against the angel light of the protagonist, for everyone to go, Oh, look how perfect Chloe is compared to her slutty little friends!
Now, let’s talk about the insta-love.
(Oh, how I loath thee.)
It’s times like this that I wish I was able to legally drink. It’s books like this that would push me towards becoming an alcoholic.
Let me give you an example:
“I’ve never encountered a girl quite like you, Chloe,” he said. “You’re quite remarkable.”
This is on page 94, people. PAGE. NINETY-FOUR.
Firstly, Alex, the reason you’ve probably never encountered a girl like Chloe is because you’ve been dead for quite a long time now. And I would suspect that your possible reads around that gray, old British mansion don’t include many YA books. But don’t worry, I’ll ship those right over so you can see just how un-unique Chloe really is.
Also, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL.
There is literally nothing special about Chloe. LITERALLY. Name one thing, I dare you. And don’t even think about saying it’s because she can see and hear ghosts. Because I can think of a handful of books off the top of my head with girls exactly like Chloe who can see ghosts and, oh yeah, falls madly in love with some supernatural boy.
Alex says this not even three times after meeting her. THREE.
What does he even know about her? Oh, yeah, it’s because she’s so flippin’ SPPPPEECCCCIIIIIIAAAALLLLLLLL.
God have mercy.
And then there’s poor, stupid little Joe. The third part of our disastrous love-triangle.
Because, of course, when Chloe gets shipped off with her little brother to live with her grandmother in a ridiculously large mansion, there has to be that hot-sexy-beast of a town boy who works around the land. Who, oh yeah, plays music and loves horses. OHMIGOSH GUYS. HE LOVES ANNIMMMAAAALLLLSSSSS! IT’S A DUN DONE DEAL.
Right off the bat, Joe is all over Chloe. Because she’s ssooooo prreettttyyyyy. But she doesn’t know it. And she feels the need to argue with every compliment anyone ever gives her. JUST SAY THANK YOU. IT’S REALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT.
Joe is asking her out and trying to get her to go to the ball with him (oh, yeah. Did I mention there’s a ball at her grandmother’s mansion? Because of course there is. Where else will the chandelier fall on the love-interest and almost kill him? You silly) after, like, ten minutes of meeting her. Because she’s special. And she’s puurrrtttyyyyy.
Did I mention she’s special?
Because she’s ssoooo flippin’ spppeeccciiiiaaallllll.
Gosh. Am I twenty-one yet?
Don’t even get me started on the writing. It was just atrocious and that’s all I’ll say about it. Because if I really went into it, this review would need a second review to hold all the critiques and bashing I could do on the writing alone. SO. Let’s not go there right now in the sake of my blood pressure.