February 15, 2013

Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison with G1veaway


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



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


Thanks to the EgmontUSA, just complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win:


Hardcover copy of Notes from Ghost Town
Paperback  of The Butterfly Clues

US and Canada

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Joy F

    Tough to choose, I want to read them both.

  2. They sound sensational! I’d love to win a copy of Notes from Ghost Town. Love comes in many forms! Thanks for always hosting such great giveaways. :D


  3. Carl

    Both look good, I’m most excited about notes From Ghost Town myself.

  4. Paula P.

    How neat that the author takes on an issue like schizophrenia! Can’t wait to read Notes from Ghost Town.

  5. Bookish Brunette

    I’ve seen this book around a lot lately!!! It sounds o awesome!!! I’m going to have to find time to sneak it in my reading schedule!

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    I want to read them both, but ghost town is the one i would read that it was suspenseful

  7. Raina

    Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d love either one—they both sound fantastic. Thanks for the chance to win, and wonderful review, MaryAnn!

  8. Sherry

    Both look great, but every time I see a butterfly, I think of my mother. I love ghost, but I would choose The Butterfly clues. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  9. Erika

    I think they both look great but more excited about Notes from Ghost Town. Thanks!

  10. Angie F.

    Both sound good, but I’d say The Butterfly Clues! :D

  11. Crystal Young

    They both sound good.but i would say Notes from Ghost Town

  12. sarah p

    That is a really hard choice, but I think I would say Notes from Ghost Town…the cover is so intriguing.

  13. leannessf

    Notes From Ghost Town sounds really interesting!


  14. Great review. I read this one and I adored it. I need to read The Butterfly Clues…

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  15. Vivien

    Notes from Ghost Town

  16. January

    Notes from a ghost town. I’ve already read The Butterfly Clues and loved it! :D

  17. Meghan Stith

    “Notes from Ghost Town” would be what I am looking forward to most reading. It looks eery and really, REALLY good!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  18. Tina M

    Butterfly Clues for me..Thanks

  19. Danielle

    It definitely is a tough choice, but I would say I would love to read Notes from Ghost Town, first. I have every intention of reading both, of course :)

  20. Tia

    I would love to read them both, but I am especially interested in Notes from Ghost Town

  21. Kelly K

    Hard to choose. I’d like to read both! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  22. Randi M

    Notes from Ghost Town. :)

  23. Brooke D

    If I HAD to pick I’d pick Ghost Town but I would love to read both :)

  24. Yesenia

    I want to read them both!

  25. Barbara Brown

    I would very much love to read both Notes from Ghost Town & The Butterfly Clues.

    “Notes from Ghost Town” sounds like a touching & beautiful written story! Something I would very much love to read :)


  26. Michelle

    I want to read them both!!! I’m leaning towards Notes From Ghost Town.

  27. Denise Z

    I am looking forward to both, but have to admit Notes From Ghost Town has me really intrigued :)

  28. Holly Letson

    The Butterfly Clues

  29. Lisa Vazquezanzua

    I don’t think I can pick one that I’m most looking forward to. Because both books sound REALLY GOOD!! If I had to choose which one I’m most looking forward to would be The Butterfly Clues. Thank you for a chance to win your giveaway!

  30. SweetMarie83

    I’m eager to read both of them, but I think I’m most excited for Notes From Ghost Town. Thanks for a chance to win! :-)

  31. Grace Lo

    I’m excited to read both of them! I can’t choose!

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