March 8, 2015

Haunted Tour: Review

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 Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1)
Author: Lynn Carthage
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: February 24, 2015 
Publisher: Kensington Books 
Formats: eBook, Paperback 
Pages: 288

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself...

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Praise for Haunted:

"If you like American Horror Story, you will love Lynn Carthage's Haunted. Carthage delivers a spooky, fun trip across the pond. Loved!" -Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

"Lynn Carthage has crafted a remarkable neo-Gothic thriller with a twist you'll never see coming." -Michelle Gagnon, author of Don't Look Now

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Haunted is the first book in a new young adult paranormal series. It follows our heroine, Phoebe, as she and her family move from her home in California to her stepfather's dilapidated family manor in England. Phoebe knows that they had to move because of her - due to something awful that she did - she just can't remember what it is. Phoebe immediately gets a creepy vibe from the house when they arrive, almost as if someone or something is watching her. She hears the local stories about the mansion being haunted by the original owner, Madame Arnaud, who abducts and kills children. Phoebe isn't sure what to believe, especially when she begins to experience really strange things in the manor that she can't logically explain. Nobody in her family will listen to her concerns, so she turns to Miles - the hot guy who has been giving her mixed signals - for information and help. What she finds goes deeper than she ever thought possible, and might just include her too.

This was an intriguing and atmospheric novel that sets the tone and scene for the rest of the series. The setting was my favorite part of the book - the 18th-century mansion that has been left to deteriorate over the decades. The manor is the epitome of Gothic architecture, with detailed descriptions of the various rooms - the ballroom, the library, the main entryway - as well as intricate details - the stained glass windows and the pictures they show, the hundreds of small sculptures on the outside walls of the house, along with all the smells and sounds. The manor is a huge part of the story and is definitely the centerpiece of the book - all of the events and occurrences come back to it. The characters are well written, with each having their own distinct personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and problems. Phoebe - our main character - is also the narrator of the story, so we get to know her on a deeply personal level. We learn everything about her - her quirks, fears, the things she loves and hates, her emotions, and all the inner dialogue throughout the story. Seeing things from her point of view allows the reader to feel more connected to the characters as well as the mystery and paranormal events that occur throughout the book. The plot wasn't anything wholly original, but the author gave it a few twists and turns that made it fresh and unique in it's own way. No spoilers here, so I'll just say that the twists are big and alter the reader's perceptions in several ways. The writing was well done with a natural flow and conversational tone. There was just something about it that didn't grab my attention fully enough to pull me into the author's world. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing at all wrong with the story, the writing, or anything concerning the book. The issue is all on my end. I can't pinpoint the reason that I couldn't immerse myself inside of the story - even with the first person narrator. Because of this, I found my mind wandering at times and I wasn't very focused on the story or what was going on. I have to admit that I did grow a bit bored with the story - again, I don't have any specific reasons why this happened, it just did. I felt like it was going too slow and dragging things out, along with some stereotypical elements and boring aspects. All of these things diminished my interest and my overall experience with the book. Overall though, I would recommend this to fans of young adult fiction, especially those who enjoy fantasy, paranormal, ghost stories, and Gothic fiction.

02_Lynn Carthage_Author
Lynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt. HAUNTED is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.
For more information please visit Lynn Carthage's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Haunted Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, February 24: Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, February 25: Spotlight at Paranormal Book Club
Wednesday, February 26: Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Thursday, February 27: Review at 100 Pages a Day / Review at I Heart Reading
Monday, March 3: Review at Quirky Book Reviews / Guest Post at The Reader's Hollow
Tuesday, March 4: Spotlight & Giveaway at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, March 5: Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Thursday, March 6: Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Saturday, March 8: Review at A Dream within a Dream
Sunday, March 9: Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, March 10: Spotlight at What Is That Book About / Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

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