Thursday, February 28, 2013

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison Review and Giveaway

Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, Kobo, Book Depository
Goodreads Summary-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. 


This was a beautiful, heartbreaking story about Olivia and Stern, two gifted teens. Olivia or Liver as Stern called her was a painter and Stern, Lucas Sternum, was a pianist, a prodigy. Olivia's mother was Stern's teacher, that is right up until the night she confessed to murdering him. And the last time Olivia saw Stern he kissed her, called it a mistake and she lost her colors. She could only see black and white and shades of gray. How does a painter paint without color? She doesn't and gets kicked out of art school and sent back home.

The story was only the tiniest bit sluggish in the beginning and a little bit confusing as Olivia is at a party at Ghost Town, her father's building project, attending a reception. She hates the prep school boys there, her father's business partner's son most especially Asher Oakley, but I didn't really understand why. After that, I was so engrossed in the story, and you'll see why, that I couldn't put it down.

Olivia is angry at the world, her mother for killing her best friend and the boy she loved and never got to tell. She hates her father's soon to be wife, Heather. She hates that her other best friend Raina has new friends on the swim team. She just hates it all. But she won't admit any of it to anyone. And she's really afraid that she's going crazy, like her mother because her mom has schizophrenia. She's a likable character even if you can't relate to what she's going through. And I admired her determination.

The story is almost like a love story to Stern and to Olivia's mom. Olivia searches for the real truth of that night and even though everyone thinks she's just not dealing with the impending sentencing, she knows she's not crazy. What happens are a series of events that are too related to call coincidence, too scary to call pranks and too brazen to call an accident. Getting someone to believe her is the hardest thing Olivia has to do.

Kate Elliston is a great story teller with just the right mix of suspense and longing to keep you going. Her mix of bittersweet with reality was perfect. The thriller aspect of it took my mind off the undertone of sadness and gave my mind something else to focus on. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more from her. I think I'll pick up The Butterfly Clues and give it a try.

Forgot to tell you, I was given a copy of Note From Ghost Town free of charge for review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for my review financially in any way.

You can reach Kate (shown below) on her blog HERE

And now for the giveaway! To celebrate the release of Notes from Ghost Town and the paperback release of The Butterfly Clues (with a new cover shown below) you can enter to win a Hardback copy of Notes from Ghost Town and a paperback copy of The Butterfly Clues (US and Canada only). Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.


GIVEAWAY

15 comments:

  1. I've been on the edge of reading this one because the description doesn't grab my attention but I have to say that your review does! I like the sound of Olivia. I'm willing to give this one a shot. :)

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    1. Olivia is kind of flying by the seat of her pants in this because she just doesn't know who to trust or what's going on. She's not even sure if she can trust herself. You just have to go along with her. And time is not on her side.

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  2. This is a book that I need to read. Your review is great and makes me want to read it even more - you know I like my books on the sad side.

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    1. Joli, I did think about you with this one. I think this is one you'd really like. Of everyone I know, you'd empathize and sympathize with Olivia the most. I keep remembering our discussion of that Jennifer Echols book and how we weren't sure how to review it. I don't think my review above did this book justice. There are so many sweet touching parts to it.

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  3. Sorry the beginning was slow, but glad that you ended up enjoying. The idea of losing sight of colors when a painter is def a unique premise!
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. It must be like losing your eyesight almost. But it was like losing Stern to her and her mother. So much loss. And she keeps the color blindness to herself. She tells no one. She deals with a lot of heavy stuff.

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  4. i will be reading this one soon. i am very curious about it.

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    1. It's good Carrie. I think you'd like it. Little bit of romance, little bit of sadness, little more mystery. And closure.

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  5. Hey Heather, Thanks so much for your sweet comment yesterday, you made my day! I so want to read this one, the cover is just gorgeous and haunting and the premise sounds creepy and fascinating. I love that idea of losing your color vision. I am hoping to get a chance to read this sometime soon. Thanks so much for the chance to win. Hope you are having a fantastic day!

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    1. Oh Heidi, you are so busy, thanks for stopping by! This one is really good and I know you like books with emotion in them. This one would be a lot sadder but Kate Ellison gives just enough of a mystery to keep us from breaking down over all Olivia has lost. Especially the escape she could have from painting but doesn't because she can't see color. I think you'd love this book!

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  6. This does sound interesting and complicated. I can see why the beginning would be so confusing. However, as long as it gets good and doesn't let you go, it sounds like something I would enjoy! Oh I'm so adding it to my wishlist!

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    1. I think if I re-read the beginning now, knowing all the characters, I'd get it. I just didn't know everyone and it didn't make sense to me at the time. I couldn't tell if Olivia was slutty or prudish or what was going on. I think you'd like it, especially with the mystery part of it.

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  7. Glad you enjoyed this one! I love a good thriller, and I've heard amazing things about this one. It's very good to hear that you had a hard time putting this book down, that's a really good sign. :-) Amazing review!

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    1. Thanks! I wasn't expecting a thriller, just heartbreak and mental illness so I was pleasantly surprised that the mental illness didn't play much of a part. I liked the mix.

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  8. I have this but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm glad I read your review cause it renewed my interest. It sounds great!

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