Fifteen year old Chloe Saunders has always just felt normal. Yes her mom died when she was younger and her dad isn’t home very often, but she strives to fit in, get good grades, one day become a great movie director, o and she can see ghosts. Normal, right? After seeing her first ghost Chloe feels like she’s living in a horror movie, not directing it which she would prefer much more. When she runs into a ghost at school she completely freaks out and ends up getting put into Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens. What Chloe doesn’t understand is why she can’t just be at home and instantly despises life at Lyle house, but she knows that if she’s on her best behavior she will get to go back to her “normal” life. Then Chloe realizes that the guests at Lyle House are not your average teens. Yes, they all are supposed to have issues or else they wouldn’t be there, but these kids have more strengths than issues. For example, there’s Derek who is super strong and Simon seems to have some magic within his fingers. Could these kids just have really weird medical conditions or is there some other, darker, reason that they are all at Lyle House? Chloe is determined to find out and hope that the ghosts she is seeing at Lyle House won’t get her first.
Good or bad first?? Well since there isn’t much bad to this book let’s tackle that first!
The only real issue I had with the book is that the characters weren’t as developed as they could have been. I felt like all the kids at Lyle House had similar personalities and just weren’t as interesting as I would have expected. Chloe was well developed though. I was able to relate to her teenage insecurities and I loved that she didn’t whine about them. She knew that whining wasn’t going to help things and she embraced her imperfections and lived with them. I think this is a great message to send through a book since it is a real issue today in many teenagers.
Other than that though the book was great. It was a light, fast read even though it was thicker book. Kelley Armstrong didn’t waste anytime getting to the root of the store, which I loved. Even the first few chapters were riveting even though they were just going over Chloe’s life before she was shipped off to Lyle House. And then once she was at Lyle House the book picked up even more and threw you into Chloe’s life whether you ready or not! Then talk about suspense! Kelley Armstrong definitely has a handle on what a “cliffhanger” is!! I couldn’t put the book down it had such a strong grasp on me. Of course the ending was the biggest cliffhanger of all, leaving me super anxious for the next book in the trilogy which hits shelves Spring of next year. I also loved the premise of the book. Being able to talk to ghosts. I mean talk about freaky and cool all wrapped up in one!! Overall I was seriously impressed with Kelley Armstrong’s first YA book and I seriously hope she will continue her adventure in the YA world with many, many more books!!