Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

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. But there's a catch: Olivia has gone color-blind, 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 trail 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.

 As much as I loved The Butterfly Clues, I can't say the same for this second novel from Kate Ellison. Olivia isn't nearly as strong a character as Lo, and the romance here wasn't "sweet" to me like a lot of other reviewers on Amazon. Part of the problem, too, is that Lucas is dead when the story starts, so we don't really get to know him as Olivia does - we just know him as the ghost that she knows.

Also disappointing was that I had the mystery figured out quickly, the whodunit part, anyway. The why of it all wasn't entirely satisfactory, either - felt like a very stereotypical sort of why, but with no real clues about it beforehand.

Overall, the only relationship I enjoyed in this book was the one between Olivia and her soon-to-be stepsister, Wynn. That felt very real and also very sweet, and I would have liked to have seen more of that on the page. Very sad that this sophomore offering from Ellison is just sort of there, very predictable, and not really what I think of as a good book.