ABOUT THE BOOK:
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for disturbed teens.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?
Where do I begin without sounding like a lunatic fan girl? So this is all you need to know: I ABSOFREAKINLUTELY LOVED this book! I guess by saying that, I am now a certified Kelley Armstrong fan. Right? Or do I have to sacrifice dancing kittens for that?
|I'll even throw in the DJ.|
Okay, okay. Less yapping and more reviewing...
Chloe Saunders is your typical, likable 15 year-old girl. What I liked about her character is the lack of Mary Sueness. She is a real girl, with real friends and goals. She also dreams of becoming a screenwriter/director, that's why she attended an art/drama school. Well, would you look at that! A YA character with an actual ambition.
This girl is smart and... surprise, surprise! She SHOWS it. I read LOT of books with heroines described as having above average IQs but managed to make dumb decisions anyway. So thank you, Kelley Armstrong, for creating this very REFRESHING MC. Because there's nothing more annoying than dealing with a TSTL heroine, okay?
Young Chloe was sent to Lyle House, a facility for mentally-disturbed teenagers, at the beginning of the book. And yes, being carried away in a stretcher while screaming "I see dead people!" qualifies you for admission. Except that Chloe wasn't hallucinating and really saw a dead person. Yikes! So which is worse: being diagnosed with schizophrenia or seeing schizophrenic ghosts? You decide.
That alone could make a not-yet-crazy girl crazy. But oh no, let's add in a pyromaniac, a creepy hulk-like boy and a spoiled-rich-brat-who-hates-you into the mix. See if that wouldn't drive you nuts!
Some characters in the story were effective plot devices without being too obvious. That's probably because the author actually gave them personalities and believable flaws. I mean, Victoria may be your stereotypical I'll-Make-Your-Life-A-Living-Hell-Coz-You-Stole-My-(Potential)Boyfriend character but at least she wasn't bluffing. Potential Boyfriend was not some uber handsome guy with an air of I'm-too-good-for-you coming out of his ass, which is, yep you guessed it, REFRESHING. I also loved how the main characters called out the cliches in most works of fiction.
The Lyle House seemed like a legit rehabilitation facility at first. But when Chloe found out the truth, there was only one logical thing to do: ESCAPE.
What bothered me after reading this is how the story didn't have a very strong climax and cliffhanger. But don't let that discourage you because this book is a real page turner! By the end of the story, I already cared enough for Chloe and the rest of the gang to continue reading the next book.
So why read it? Well, there were no insta-love and cardboard cut-out characters! And also the number of facepalms and headdesks I had to perform while reading this book is ZERO. Good writing, folks! Y'all enjoy it.