Sunday, 3 February 2013

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Notes from Ghost Town
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

My rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars

Notes from Ghost Town(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Olivia used to have a bright future, but 10 months ago everything changed. Her best friend (and the boy she was in love with) was murdered, her mother was sent to prison for killing him, and Olivia lost her ability to see colours, and consequently her place at art school. Now Olivia’s life is shades of gray, and she must get her little sister to help her choose matching clothes.

Nobody knows about Olivia’s total colour blindness, she doesn’t want to tell people because she doesn’t want them to think that she’s going crazy like her mother, as her mother has schizophrenia, and everyone tells her that it’s hereditary.

But now it’s Olivia that’s wondering if she’s going crazy, because Stern (the boy that died) keeps appearing to her, and telling her that her mother didn’t kill him, and that his killer is still out there.

Now Olivia’s on a crazy journey, trying to find who really killed Stern before her mother’s hearing in 9 days. Can Olivia find out who really killed Stern? Is she going crazy? And can she save her mother?

This book was really good. There was plenty of mystery, and I really liked Olivia and Stern.

Olivia was a strong character, and continued to try and find out the truth, even when she wondered if she really was crazy. She tried to hold on to the belief that her mother was innocent, and did her best to hold things together.
I felt really sorry for Olivia, not only had she lost her best friend, her mother, and her place at art school, she’d also lost her father to his new fiancĂ©, lost her colour vision, and lost her friends who believed that her mother was a murderer. Things really weren’t easy for Olivia, and seeing Stern was both a blessing and a curse. While she longed to have him back, and to tell him how she felt about him, she couldn’t help but worry that Stern was really proof that she was developing schizophrenia the same as her mother.

Olivia’s colour blindness came on after kissing Stern, but she never got to tell him that she loved him because he died. Other than this one moment, there wasn’t really all that much romance to this story. Stern was a ghost for most of the book, and they couldn’t touch each other because of this, so the romance between Olivia and Stern was pretty limited.

I liked the storyline in this book; I didn’t guess who the real killer was, though like Olivia I didn’t think that it was her mother. I made a few guesses as the story progressed, but I didn’t guess who the killer was, although when the killer was revealed it made sense. I thought that the mystery aspect was done well, although I wasn’t quite so sure about the whole colour-blindness thing.
While Olivia was supposed to be unable to see colours, I kept forgetting that; I’m not sure why. When she kept speaking of ‘The Gray Space’, I wasn’t sure if that was literal or figurative, especially as she said that her mother had talked about a similar thing. As far as I’m aware, her mother didn’t have this same loss of colour vision, so this was a little confusing.
I did like the other storyline plots though – the fact that Olivia can’t paint because of her colour loss, and that Stern was a pianist applying to Julliard.

Overall; I enjoyed this book, and I thought that the mystery element was done well.
7.5 out of 10.

Notes From Ghost Town will be released on Fabruary 12th 2013.
Have to say I love that cover ♡


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I love ghost stories and Olivia sounds like a beautiful character.

  2. This book sounds really interesting! I'm glad that the mystery was done well--it kind of drives me nuts when you figure out the killer right away! Great review!

    1. I totally couldn't guess the killer in this one!

  3. I love the concept. Though more romance would have been nice, but he is a ghost, so it makes sense. Great review

    1. Yeah, it was a bit of a shame that he was the sort of ghost that can't touch anyone!