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Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Review: Ghost House
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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...
I read the authors Halo trilogy a while back, and I remember not really enjoying it all that much. However, I am quite partial to ghost stories, so I was willing to ignore that and give this a try. I knew from the first chapter that I was going to be bugged by this, and bug me it did. Settle down folks, this is going to be long. I really tried to reign myself in...
Right, so, I don't know if I was just in an irritable mood or what, but right from the start I was annoyed with the authors portrayal of British people. Yes. We're British. Can't possibly show any emotion or feeling. We're like tea drinking robots. Colour me offended and irritated straight away and that was before the characters started throwing out cliche and stereotypical British phrases every five seconds, most of which where not appropriate to the time in Alexanders case, and in the other instances...well...my grandmother uses some of those phrases quite frequently. Myself and my friends? Not so much. I don't know where the author got these phrases from but I've never heard anyone my age let alone a teenager casually throw them out. But there you go. It was like the author had to make sure the setting couldn't be mistaken for anything other than England. Possibly because she had a Jacob-ish character who inexplicably dressed like a cowboy. So over done. Just so over done. There was zero chance you could forget for a second this was England.
The plot was predictable. I had Alex's 'Dark Past' (it really wasn't that dark. Like it sounds like he did really bad things but he didn't. There was just drama.) figured from a few chapters in. By the the time the big reveal happened...I already knew what had happened between Alex, Carter and Isobel. It was obvious and so very guessable. Not to mention that it was just plain over dramatic. Rather than feeing for Isobel, or feeling the sadness of the situation I felt nothing for Isobel. It was all her own fault and the author made you dislike her so much that there was no bringing her back from that so trying to make you feel sympathy for her really didn't work. As for everything else it was so over dramatic I was rolling my eyes. Plus I'd already guessed it all.
Chloe. I didn't like Chloe. She's whiny and she bugged me for pretty much all of the book. She's also a total Mary Sue. Not to mention a Special Snowflake. There was even the standard "Omg I don't want the powers, I never asked for this, why me" bit. She's supposed to be 18 but in no way talks or acts her age, she's like a twelve year old and I was cringing constantly reading her narrative. She even has a little temper tantrum once or twice, just to illustrate her point about how grown up and intelligent she is. Also...she has her two best friends...but she basically hates them and doesn't care about them and partakes in a bit of slut shaming with Alex about them. She's just so much better than them apparently, and she's apparently totally perfect and can do no wrong. It's like she's the only female character that matters, she's malicious and spiteful about her own best friends, as well as porr old Mrs. Grimes. Her grandmother? Portrayed as an icy British bitch. Of course.
Speaking of Alex...insta love. Insta love everywhere. I can only assume her power is what makes her so attractive. We have Alex the ghostie guy after her, as well as Joe your friendly English cowboy...and then at the end, and correct me if I'm wrong, but there's totally a third guy back home and I guarantee you all he makes yet another love triangle. Like there's this love triangle between Chloe and Joe and Alex, but then at the end Joe makes his little confession but oh...Chloe's back off to the US so that comes to nothing and was basically shoved in there to create some drama...and then we get to California and there's Love Triangle Guy ready and waiting to create more pointless drama because guess what? Alex is back! How? I don't know but I'm sure it's bollocks. Joe took a chandelier to the neck because he loves Chloe sooooooo much. The power of insta love my friends. But yeah....the love triangle is completely unnecessary and it's made even more aggravating by the insta love.
Within days of her and Alex knowing each other, they're so in love and Alex's, who's been attached to the house of his dead love for 150 years, just feels soooo much for her. They can't bear to be apart and dear lord I can't go on. Literally. Alex and Chloe are all insta love...and then Joe's all insta love with her after barely knowing her. Both of them. I hate insta love. I really, really hate insta love, but this is the worst case I have ever seen and it severely took the piss. She barely knows either guy and she's completely in love with Alex, and he's soooo in love with her, and then Joe's so madly in love with her after their brief acquaintance that he shoves her out the way of a falling chandelier (Phantom did it better, just saying) and gets stabbed through the neck. And from the way his parents are talking they're practically engaged. I can't even.
I'm not really sure what else to say about this? Sure the ending intrigued me a bit, I'm mildly curious to see how it all ends. But in order to get there I'm going to have to battle through cringey writing and cringey Chloe, insta love and yet another pointless love triangle. I'm also 99% sure the reasoning behind Alex's sudden appearance is going to be ridiculous, and I'll probably have it all figured out within 100 pages. Again. Plus we all know Special Snowflake Chloe will end up with Ghosty Boy Alex.
I'd originally planned on deeming this an average read but the more I thought over it the more I thought it's less than that....the writing was just as cringey and I can't think of a single redeeming feature to the whole book. I was wholly disappointed in this book, the ghost scenes with Isobel weren't even creepy. I really should have known better after the Halo trilogy.