Friday, March 8, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison


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.


Published February 12th 2013 by EgmontUSA

The Elliott Review:

The phrase that just popped into my head randomly while reading this book is "beautiful sadness." The prose in this book is so beautiful that it basically feels like a lengthy poem full of striking images and metaphorical phrases. The emotion in places was just overwhelming while not even once being overstated.

I love that the reader is left guessing about the true nature of what is going on. Is Olivia succumbing to schizophrenia like her mom, her world turning gray and Stern reappearing and guiding her ever more paranoid steps? Is she just grieving and her imaginations and wishful thinking are taking on a more visual quality than those of an average person? Or is Stern, in ghost form, really guiding her toward finding out the truth about his death? Olivia herself doesn't know the answer to this as she searches for the truth.

This book also has not one but two lovely boys. Although living Stern plays a very short role in the book, the connection that he and Olivia have is so poignant and real that her heartbreak over losing him feels extremely real (and devastating). On one hand I really wanted her to never forget about him and never think about anyone else ever again, but the living Austin seems alluring as well, though his motives and character are unclear.

The way Stern's murder affects the relationship that Olivia has with her family is also extremely well done. She by turns tries to understand and ignores her mother, wondering why (and if) she did what she did. She's further puzzled by her father's newfound happiness in his fiance, Heather. Her relationships with her friends suffer as well, as she is afraid to open up about the secret world she is dealing with.

This is an intriguing, beautiful read. I found myself reading so quickly, hoping to uncover the truth of everything, and then I would have to go back and re-read what I just read because it was so beautifully written I didn't want to miss anything.

Source: Thanks to Paper Lantern Lit for providing a copy of this title in exchange for a fair review and to Media Masters Publicity for making copies available for a giveaway!

About Kate:

Kate Ellison spent a lot of time as a child, in Baltimore, pretending to be things she wasn't: a twin, a telekinetic, a benevolent witch with a box full of magical stones, a spy, a soccer player. She trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker, and has at least one artist friend who really does keep his true name a secret from the world. He told her, but don't ask her to tell you—she's not gonna do it. Kate lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Butterfly Clues is her first novel. 

Follow Kate:

Notes From Ghost Town

The Butterfly Clues!

Open to US and Canada.
Ends March 14th.

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  1. I just really want to read this one. I was first captured by the cover, but then when I read the summary I really wanted to read the book. So glad you liked it!

  2. Thanks for the great review, it really made me want to read both books. I just love mysteries. Thanks for this chance to win them.

  3. I haven't heard the best things about The Butterfly Clues, but that is not the case with Notes From a Ghost Town. And I am ready to read it. Thanks for the great giveaway!