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Posted February 15, 2013
I don't know whether to classify Notes From Ghost Town as a para
I don't know whether to classify Notes From Ghost Town as a paranormal romance or a psychological thriller. Maybe it is a little of both. I could never figure out if Stern's ghost was really there or if he was just a figment of Olivia's fragile mind. The mind is an amazing muscle with the power to produce the unbelievable. If you don't believe in ghosts you would probably see Notes From Ghost Town as a murder mystery told from the point of view of a girl on the verge of losing her mind. Either from grief and despair or from the hereditary traits passed on by schizophrenic mother.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
However, if you are open to the paranormal then maybe Olivia isn't losing her sanity at all. Maybe Lucas really is trapped in the in between with unfinished business. Perhaps souls really can not pass on until they are truly settled with the way their lives have gone.
"They all want to leave the Grey Space, Liv, she'd tell me. They don't realize they're dead until they remember what it sounds like to be alive."
What you take from Notes From Ghost Town is up to you. Ellison doesn't give you a clear definition as to what Olivia is experiencing. I small touch of brilliance on Ellison's part I think. I love that she left this aspect of the story open for readers to come to their own conclusion. It's not as if there is a huge question left unanswered, just something slightly ajar as to open thought and contemplation.
Olivia herself was not a huge favorite of mine. I had a hard time liking her, I think because I had a hard time understanding who she is. She was unpredictable but not enough to make me think that it was on purpose. I would have understood her as a rash girl if it was being played up as part of her losing her mind. Unfortunately, that isn't the impression I got. Instead I felt like Ellison herself was unsure of who Olivia really is.
The mystery behind Lucas' death was only partly predictable. I fingered the culprit pretty early on but the details behind it all where more elusive and trying to come up with all the possible explanations was absorbing.
There is more to Notes From Ghost Town than just a murder mystery. It is the telling of a girl grieving over the loss of a best friend, loss of a love, loss of a mother, home, family, life, color and art. Also, of how you heal from such loss.
Notes From Ghost Town is a read that I can see many YA lovers really enjoying. It's a nice mix of sweet and thrilling and I hope it finds its target audience, even though it fell a little thin for me with the conviction of Olivia.