The Ghosts Of Ashbury High

The Ghosts Of Ashbury High

4.6 8
by Jaclyn Moriarty

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Bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty returns to Ashbury High for a story of romance, mysterious new classmates, and the terrors of making it through your final year of high school. This is the story of Amelia and Riley, bad kids from bad Brookfield High who have transferred to Ashbury High for their final year. They've been in love since they were fourteen, they go out


Bestselling author Jaclyn Moriarty returns to Ashbury High for a story of romance, mysterious new classmates, and the terrors of making it through your final year of high school. This is the story of Amelia and Riley, bad kids from bad Brookfield High who have transferred to Ashbury High for their final year. They've been in love since they were fourteen, they go out dancing every night, and sleep through school all day. And Ashbury can't get enough of them. Everyone's trying to get their attention; even teachers are dressing differently, trying to make their classes more interesting. Everyone wants to be cooler, tougher, funnier, hoping to be invited into their cool, self-contained world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Returning to the setting and characters of her earlier Ashbury High books, Moriarty offers a mosaic composed largely of students' gothic fiction exams, as they write about their final year of school as a ghost story. Enigmatic Riley and Amelia, a beautiful couple on scholarship, are embroiled in many of the narratives. But like a game of telephone, the conjectural haunting changes as interpreted through each student. The students delight, to varying degrees, in playing with the tropes of gothic literature, lending the story an often wicked sense of humor, creating modern and effective ghost stories in the process. "The more I followed Riley and Amelia, the less I knew of they. Who were they? Whenceforward had they come? Why? Why not?" reads a typically breathless passage from Emily (from The Year of Secret Assignments), who returns along with other characters. Fans of the previous books will enjoy clever references to past events, but this book more than stands on its own, as the students' chorus creates a compelling collective portrait of adolescence--the limbo between childhood and the shadowed future. Ages 12-up. (June)
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
The Ghosts of Ashbury High is one of the best young adult novels I have read in a long time. At nearly 500 pages, it is overwhelming and enchanting. Written in the style of a gothic novel, the book occasionally rambles and begins to feel frivolous, but all the narratives eventually weave together and create a powerful story about friendship, love, and forgiveness. The book centers around the exploits of Riley and Amelia, two new students who attend Ashbury High on scholarship. The school, both students and teachers alike, become fascinated with them. They look on amazed as Riley and Amelia demonstrate great talent in almost all areas, including swimming, singing, dancing and acting. At first, Emily is their most avid admirer, but when spooky things begin happening at Ashbury High, she wonders whether Amelia and Riley are as great as they seem. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
Erin Bridges
The "real world" threatens Emily, Cassie, Lydia, and Toby as they begin their final year at Ashbury High. Right away they commence the Higher School Certificate exams required for entrance to a university. Unexpectedly, a mysterious couple transfers to Ashbury to begin their final year, as well. Students and faculty wonder about the reclusive yet talented Amelia and Riley and the rumors they hear of the couple's delinquent pasts. What's more, Emily is convinced that the ghost of a former student haunts the school. In this suspenseful tale, the characters realize that a wealth of intriguing connections and potentially dangerous secrets lie beneath the surface of their experiences and relationships. Moriarty weaves traditional elements of a Gothic novel with a contemporary multigenre format, and breathes life into quirky adolescents who, in the midst of grappling with heavy life issues, learn a lot about themselves. Reviewer: Erin Bridges
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This Australian author adds another volume to her sequence of novels centered around a private high school. When two mysterious new scholarship students begin their senior year at Ashbury High, suspicions arise. Amelia and Riley are clearly a couple with an unknown past, and Emily Thompson is determined to find out their secrets. Em is also convinced that there is a ghost haunting Ashbury, and with the (sometimes) help of her friends Lydia and Cassie, she makes the new couple and the ghost her projects for the year. Told in multiple voices through essays written by the students for their senior exam on gothic literature, emails, blog entries, and scholarship-committee meeting notes, the plot moves slowly with numerous side stories woven throughout. They all add up to tell several interconnected stories from a variety of perspectives in an imaginative manner. There is an air of mystery as readers wonder if there really is a ghost and exactly what Riley's and Amelia's past secrets are, but, overall, the suspense doesn't carry the story. Inclusions of humorous gothic elements throughout are pluses along with the ideas of giving second chances and leaving one's past behind. Readers expecting a spine-tingling tale of ghosts and intrigue are likely to be disappointed; this is more of an examination of high school friendships and social life. Those willing to stick with the sometimes slow-moving narrative will be satisfied in the end.—Gina Bowling, South Gibson County High School, Medina, TN
Kirkus Reviews
Moriarty has done it again. Fourth in the loose Brookfield-Ashbury saga (Feeling Sorry for Celia, 2001; The Year of Secret Assignments, 2004; The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, 2006), this Australian import uses multiple formats (journals, exam essays, letters, transcripts) to relate the events of senior year at Ashbury, when two scholarship students with dark pasts and astounding talents shake up the lives of characters who will be familiar to fans. Quirky, comic and self-referential-exam questions about Gothic novels highlight the novel's own gothic elements; weather then plays a crucial role in a climactic, possibly supernatural finale-this romp explores serious issues (especially class and privilege). No one is exactly who you think, and figuring out just what is going on is much of the fun. The author effortlessly employs multiple voices and narrative devices for maximum effect, and each member of the ensemble comes across loud and clear. Despite the heavy underpinnings, the focus is the redemptive power of friendship. Another winner, sure to please old fans and create new ones. (historical note) (Epistolary dramedy. YA)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
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Scholastic, Inc.
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554 KB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years


Meet the Author

Jaclyn Moriarty grew up in Sydney, Australia, with 4 sisters, 1 brother, 2 dogs, and 12 chickens. She studied law at the University of Sydney, Yale, and Cambridge, and worked as an entertainment lawyer before she wrote the Ashbury High novels, including THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS, THE MURDER OF BINDY MACKENZIE, and THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH. She still lives in Sydney, with her little boy, Charlie.

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The Ghosts Of Ashbury High 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over the course of five weeks, I read the book, "The Ghosts of Ashbury High." This book was incredibly boring in the beginning, with no action really taking place! As I read on, it became more exciting and turned out to be a really thrilling read. This book is about many different teenagers. Two of the characters are named Amelia and Riley. They suprise everyone with their behavior; they don't speak at all in class and act in other odd ways. Another featured character in the book, EmilyThompson, is also a student at Ashbury. She feels an uncomfortable presence in the art rooms. As she searches for the presence, which she believes is a ghost, she dosen't know what danger truly awaits her. I think Emily was a believable character, and I could sympathize with her, even if she was different from me. It is easy for me to imagine being the only one to believe in something, and feeling like the odd man out. I think the point or message of this book was to believe in yourself and never give up. Emily got teased and made fun of because she believed in a ghost. She never gave up, and believed in what she thought was true. In my opinion, this book would appeal to a majority of my friends because it takes place in a school, which everyone could relate to. I liked this book quite a lot because in the beginning it was really boring, but suddenly it jumped out at me and got so exciting! Face your fears of bad books, and take a chance on this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anotyer one of jaclyn moriarty's awesome books!
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When two new exchange students come to Ashbury High who seem to be stuck in their own world, everyone, including the teachers, starts dressing and acting differently to try and get them to take notice. Amelia and Riley have been in love since they were fourteen. By night they dance and dance; by day they sleep through all of their classes. Mysterious things, however, start happening when they arrive at Ashbury High. Emily seems to be drawn towards her past before she ran away from home, and possibly even before that time. Torn on what to do, Riley asks for the help of his classmates to pull Amelia out of this dangerous obsession. Amelia's past isn't the only thing the school has to worry about, though. A girl named Emily keeps sensing a cold, threatening presence in the Art Room. When she tells the principal, he threatens to not sign off on her major unless she can prove there really is something there. Could there really be a ghost haunting Ashbury High? Could it and the mysterious couple have some connection to each other? Can Riley pull Amelia out of the past before it's too late? THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH is a gripping, intriguing read. The characters are well-developed, mysterious, and likable. The plot is well-developed and moves at a good pace. Although it might be helpful to have read Ms. Moriarty's first three books in order to understand the preexisting community in the Ashbury-Brookfield saga, it is not necessary. Those who like mystery, fantasy, paranormal, and realistic fiction will enjoy reading this book.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Riley and Amelia have been a couple since they were fourteen years old. They are mysterious and beautiful and immediately cause a stir upon their arrival as Year 12 scholarship students at the exclusive private school in Castle Hill, Australia, Ashbury High. No one seems to know anything about these two, but everyone is noticing them and wants to be noticed by them. Even best friends Emily, Lydia, and Cassie. Emily, resident Drama Queen, quickly becomes obsessed with all things Riley and Amelia - her blog entries, even her answers to test questions focus on her observations of the pair (even if she sometimes confuses the definitions of words): "When I say they were "always together" I don't mean in the way of other couples. Those couples who walk around making gurgling noises into the sides of each other's necks? No. Those couples are as disgusting as a gothic sewerage system. Riley and Amelia had rhythm that matched and yet they were separate. Like bicycle wheels. Sometimes they spoke and it's true that their voices were murmurs. But not the too-much-cheap-chocolate-weird-feeling-in-my-chin murmur of those other couples. It was more like the way my parents talked this one time when we went camping. It was late, and my brother and I were in our sleeping bags in the tent, and we could hear Mum and Dad by the campfire. Their low voices talked about strange, important things, and I couldn't really catch what they were saying. But it seemed to me to be all about how their kids were kind of stupid, but funny. That's the kind of murmuring Riley and Amelia shared." Enigmatic and Unknown to Emily and her friends, Riley and Amelia seem to float above all their regular high school drama. Although, like in the finest gothic novels, there occurs within the hallowed halls of Ashbury High more excitement and drama than just the arrival of two unexpected (albeit spectacular) teens. With their final, end of high school, career-deciding, HSC exams just around the corner; Emily is sure a ghost is haunting Ashbury High, Lydia is holding onto an alienating, destructive secret, and the lovable Toby cannot seem to talk about anything but Irish convicts and black holes. And that's not even mentioning the ghost that is haunting Riley and Amelia. "The Ghosts of Ashbury High" is unlike any other novel I have ever read. It's a ghost story. It's about growing up. It's a Gothic novel. It's about judgment and prejudices. It's a historical novel. It's about friends. It's about finishing high school. Furthermore, it's HILARIOUS, yet also dark and filled with heavy secrets. Jaclyn Moriarty effortlessly floats back and forth from the perspective of multiple characters through the medium of homework assignments, meeting minutes, blog entries, letters, and even exam answers on gothic literature. You would think this arrangement would be confusing or irritating to read, but really, just the opposite occurs. The quirky format allows the multi-faceted and multi-layered secrets of the students of Ashbury High to reveal themselves bit by bit; forming an interconnected web so stunning and complex, I was utterly entranced with every one of its hefty 480 pages. Every single character leaps off the page, fully-formed and independent. I cannot tell you how Ms. Moriarty has managed it, but I am in awe. If this is what I can expect from her other novels, I'll be picking those up without
Anonymous More than 1 year ago