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February 15, 2013

Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison with G1veaway

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Be sure to enter the giveaway found 
at the end of the post!

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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.

add to goodreadsNotes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison
Publication Date:  February 12, 2013
Publisher:  EgmontUSA

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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MaryAnn NewNotes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison was a book that takes a reader deep into the mind of a Schizophrenic.    With the knowledge that Schizophrenia is genetic, we witness the effect this knowledge has on main character Olivia Tithe and how every change that she experiences has her comparing it to the early signs/stages of Schizophrenia.

Notes from Ghost Town was both compelling and heart moving.  The fact that the story touches base on the loss of her long time best friend and potential boyfriend, as well as the loss of her mother.  But not in the sense that you think…Olivia’s mother suffers from Schizophrenia.  And her mother has been accused of murdering said best fried/potential boyfriend.

Not only does Olivia now become an art school dropout, but she must now come home to face a town that knows the darkness of her past and her mother.  Having to leave the comfort of the only home she has ever known (Oh, Suzanna) due to constant harassment by fellow residents (i.e. spray painting of super harsh words and slogans all over the door/house).  And on top of that, Olivia’s father is apparently moving on as well.  Planning a wedding of his own with a woman he met at a support group.

So with all of these stressful things happening in Olivia’s life, it’s only reasonable that she thinks she is actually following the same footsteps as her mother.  Especially when her eyesight starts to act funky, and she becomes colour blind.  AND let’s not forget the part where said deceased best friend/potential boyfriend, Lucas Stern (aka Stern), pays Olivia a visit from beyond the grave.

Whether her mind is playing tricks on her, or she truly is doing down the path towards Schizophrenia, Olivia starts to converse with Stern and begins to believe that her mother had nothing to do with Stern’s death.  That she was set up, and the powers that be have allowed Stern the chance for Olivia to find the truth.

But is it really that?  Was her mother truly set up to take the fall for Stern’s death?  Or is Olivia’s mind so fragile, that the pleas and concerned questions from her friends and family have her so paranoid that she is trying to make this allegation real.

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison was a fantastic read that had me on the edge of my seat and un able to put the book down.  The characters created by author, Kate Ellison, were so real and had so much of their own personality that readers will not find it difficult at all to relate to one of them, or to at least find a special place for them in their heart.

It was truly heart breaking witnessing the pain and suffering that Olivia has to go through with the events that happened in her life.  And to even have her one joy, her love for painting, to be ripped away from her due to her “all of a sudden” inability to see colours.  It was also very emotional for me to witness Olivia’s interaction with her mother in prison.  For Olivia to witness her mother breakdown and crack under the pressure had me teary eyed.  I can’t even imagine what an impressionable teenager would feel after witnessing that.  How torn up Olivia would feel inside to see a woman that she held so high up on a pedestal…a woman who was so strong in her eyes…to crumble as she did.

I also really enjoyed the mysterious element in Notes from Ghost Town.  Kate Ellison does a fantastic job of weaving a mysterious twist into this book.  And although I did have my guesses on the who or what, the perfectly placed twist and turn would thwart me time and time again.  I loved how I wasn’t quite sure I could trust!  I kept doubting the sincerity of the characters in this book towards Olivia.  And that made this read even more entertaining for me.

What bothered me about Notes from Ghost Town was that there was a little bit too much of the movie “Ghost” starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved that movie, but the whole part with the piano had me shaking my head.  And how yummy is Austin?  His cocky attitude, but ye underneath all that he is such a sweetheart!    He reminded me a little bit of a richer Jordan Catalano from a little show called “My So-Called Life”.  Especially since he kept calling Olivia “Red”, because as you should know, Jared Leto’s character, Jordan Catalano, called Claire Dane’s character, Angela Chase, “Red.

Fans of thrillers and of tales with a paranormal twists will really enjoy Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison.

About the Author:

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.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads