Thursday, January 06, 2011

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

This was an interesting story. I liked the idea of the reality show and of the ghost debunkers (as opposed to the ghost hunters of today's reality shows). I thought the way Charlotte felt about moving around and her lack of ability to deal with her problems head on was believable. I liked how Charlotte ended up getting what she wanted, but it wasn't what she thought it was going to be. Very typical of life, and something teens (or anyone, really) can definitely relate to.

That said, I wasn't fond of the Avery-Jared subplot, or the reasons behind their friction. The stakes weren't high enough for there to be so much animosity. This made the rest feel like a contrived way to get Avery and Jared where they're supposed to be in the end.

I also got frustrated at all the info Charlotte got in her dreams, but then didn't use it. Because of this, I figured out much of the plot before she did and was waiting for her to catch up. I wish the dreams had been utilized better.

Still, I thought this was a fun story with a unique take on ghosts, and I think it would be appropriate for teens of all ages.


Catherine Stine said...

The voice of the protag is a fun one, and the premise is funny, but not setting the stakes high enough can be a problem.

Tabitha said...

Yeah. The tension with the Avery-Jared thing was built up well, but when we find out what's actually between them, well, it isn't enough. It was kind of a let down, and it affected the rest of the story. I was really bummed out.

Michelle Flick said...

Wow, I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds really interesting, creative... I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the post!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

This is a new story for me too, but ghost stories are some of my favorites. Thanks for the review.