Date Published: July 1, 2008
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Number of Pages: 390
Publisher: Harper Collins
It’s a surprise that it’s taken me this many years to finally read this book, I mean I’ve seen it countless times in the bookstores and on Goodreads but finally I succumbed and read it. This book gave me different expectations; I went into reading this book thinking one thing and coming out of it thinking another. It was a semi-fast read that took me on a journey filled with grotesque images and self-discovery.
So I was expecting this “Lyle House” to be some huge mansion filled with insane patients but really you just had a simple Victorian house filled with troubled teens. It was really cool to see how the house itself almost controlled the events in the story; the unveiling of the supernatural, the emerging of self-discovery, etcetera… it all really tied well into each other. I wouldn’t say the pace was fast but more of a gradual pace; semi-fast. There were parts where you just got some history of either a person or an event while others you had action packed instances…each scene had its own purpose and helped move the story along. As for the actual story itself though it had some same basis as a lot of YA books it also had its own “flavor” it brought in new ideas and created different rules for this new world. And though there were a few predictable secrets and scenes in the book I found it still to be enjoyable. As for the ending though I would kind of consider it to be a cliffhanger I wouldn’t say it’s a bad one, though I want to continue reading this series I don’t “have” to have the next book like now. The ending was good enough to allow a waiting period till the next book. So my overall thoughts of the plot were good, the pace was okay though I wish there was a little more action involved but overall the content and ideas of the world made for an enjoyable read and I still want to continue reading the series.
There’s not much to tell in this aspect of the story, there’s a little romance but the author didn’t make a big deal about it, if anything the romance is only a little sizzle compared to the roaring fires in many YA books. I loved this about the book though, I loved that the romance was on the DL and allowed for a much more interesting and fun idea to take center stage. It allowed the major conflict to be separate from romance, giving readers with a new experience and a reprieve from the normal romances you see in most YA books today. So overall the romance in this book or should I say lack of major romance led this to be a great aspect to the story.
The characters were very well created in this book, in fact I really enjoyed reading all of their personalities, each of them were different and I loved seeing some of them clash (definitely a few comical scenes in the book b/c of them) But overall it was the characters themselves that did all of the discovering and hard work. There were a lot of challenges that some of them had to overcome and they each responded to them and it was interesting to read their reactions. As far as minor characters, some of them fit perfectly and had almost as great realism to them as the main characters but there were some characters that fell a little flat to me, like I could understand their role but the way they were presented was a little off. But overall I enjoyed the characters very much.
Transformation of the Character:
There wasn’t much transforming happening in this book, I think this first book in the series is more of the set-up, the author introduced the characters and allowed the reader to see characters flaws but she didn’t necessarily change any of them….well maybe one small minor transformation but that character still has a ways to go. So overall this wasn’t an important aspect of the book, just more of a set-up for the books to follow.
The description was good, especially the closet scene *shudders* but there wasn’t anything out of the norm in this aspect of the book. There are some books that I feel the description is just so beautiful and amazing but this book though I felt it to fit the theme of the book well it really just didn’t stand out to me. There were scenes described in really good detail; the descriptions really pulling the reader in but those scenes were far in-between and therefore left me feeling the description to be more on the average side than the others. Though perhaps maybe this book didn’t need that and it’s perfect just the way it is or maybe I’m starting to expect more from description but either way the description wasn’t a strong aspect to this book. The dialogue was good, I didn’t feel that it was really awkward at any times and each one seemed true to the characters. So overall the description was good just nothing spectacular.
I liked the author’s style in the book; she used only one POV allowing the reader to get a better sense of the main protagonist. It was cool to see her discovering not only herself but the things around her. It was really cool to see the feelings of the character and get a good view inside her mind. As far as the writing itself it was good and seemed to be consistent throughout the entire book. So overall the author’s style was good and added a good element to the story.
Quote of the Book:
“That's what we all want, isn't it? Power without price.”
Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behavior earns her a trip to Lyle House, a center for disturbed teens.
At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her roommate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behavior. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems…? Chloe realizes that if she doesn’t uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse…? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?
I would recommend this to YA readers and readers of the supernatural. This was a fun and interesting read to me and I can’t wait to continue the series. I really enjoyed the author’s style and creativeness and would be willing to read other books by her other than this series alone. Though I found a few minor issues overall with the story I enjoyed it none the same and look forward to discovering more about these characters and their world.