Ghostly Mystery: NOTES FROM GHOST TOWN by Kate Ellison + a Giveaway!

Posted 25 March, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 14 Comments

YA Paranormal Mystery
336 pages, hardcover
Available now (February 2013)
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

They say first love never dies…

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.

Beautifully written and enthralling, NOTES FROM GHOST TOWN surprised me with its intensity. Olivia’s had it rough — her mentally unstable mother is convicted of killing Olivia’s best friend, Lucas, and locked up in a mental institution until sentencing. Olivia’s not only lost her best friend but her colors, seeing the world only in shades of gray, which means she can’t paint any longer. 

I liked how Olivia’s inability to see colors is symbolic of the huge losses she’s suffered. Without Lucas, her world has quite literally lost its color. She’s suffering not only the loss of her art but of her best friend and love as well as her mother, who she believes is wrongly accused. Her anger at the world around her shades her entire life, making it much darker than it should be. 

Then there’s the mystery of who actually killed Lucas. When Lucas first appears to Olivia, she thinks she’s going crazy, just like her mother. It’s heartwrenching because it just adds to the pile of crap dealt to Olivia, especially since no one else believes her mother is innocent. The twists behind the mystery were definitely unexpected (though, I’ll admit, I’m horrible at guessing whodunit) and kept me turning the pages until the very last.

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14 Responses to “Ghostly Mystery: NOTES FROM GHOST TOWN by Kate Ellison + a Giveaway!”

  1. I love that there seems to be so many good YA reads in the market especially in the mystery area. I am happy for all my YA reading buds and what it means for the adult market as well (it will have a great impact for them too)

  2. YEAH MARY!!!! I was really pleasantly surprised by this one too, I didn’t expect it to be as emotional as it was. I was a mess after the first chapter even though I knew his death was coming. *sobs* I did not guess the mystery either, sometimes I can see them coming, but I didn’t at all see this one and I loved that about it. Definitely looking forward to more from Kate!

  3. Glad that this one surprised you and kept you turning the pages! NFGT is next in my TBR pile, and you’ve made me excited to start it.

    Fabulous review!

  4. I have such a negative attitude toward Egmont, having been burned more times than I can count, but I keep reading amazing reviews for this one so I suppose I’ll have to give in, especially now that it has your seal of approval. I love that the mystery isnt’ obvious!
    GReat review, Mary!

  5. I keep seeing this one around, but I haven’t read a lot about it. I don’t think I would go out of my way to pick it up (unless I was in the mood for something emotional), but if I stumbled across it at the library I would definitely give it a go. Thanks for the review!

  6. I’m with you. I really enjoyed this one and the mystery as well. I just disagreed with the point she couldn’t paint anymore. LOL However, I did get it was paired with her fear of becoming like her mother. I also got the symbolism and I really enjoyed that aspect! Such a unique way of putting things and getting the reader connected.

  7. Ooh, I’m so excited to read this one. I’ve heard a lot about this author, so I really need to give this one a try. Thanks for the lovely review, Mary! 😀

  8. Oh, Mary, WOW. This sounds amazing! I haven’t read that much about this one, but I love how you’ve spoken about her loss of colour and and and… wow :O

    *so* intrigued!

  9. I’m totally convinced now that I need to read this! I love a good mystery, and I’ve read so many great reviews I can’t hold off any longer. 🙂

    Thrilled to hear that the author kept you guessing until the end. And I feel horrible for Olivia just from reading your review. I’m sure this book will give me all kinds of feels. Lovely review!