Past Midnight

Past Midnight

by Mara Purnhagen

Paperback(Original)

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Overview

Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373210206
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 08/31/2010
Series: Past Midnight , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I was never normal, but I liked to pretend that I was. It usually took a few months before everyone else caught on. School would start out just fine, then Halloween would roll around, my parents would be all over the local news, and suddenly I would find myself exposed as Charlotte Silver, Princess of the Paranormal. I don't know why I thought this year would be any different, but I did. And maybe it was different, but not in the way I had hoped. If anything, it was much, much worse.

We had spent the summer in Charleston, South Carolina. My parents were producing another one of their documentaries, this one called Haunted Hospitality. They spent their days researching old hotels and restaurants that claimed to have ghosts, while I relaxed at the beach and took walking tours of the city with my sister Annalise, who was a sophomore at the College of Charleston. She worked part-time at one of the supposedly haunted local restaurants during her summer break.

"The only spooky thing about the place is my boss," she told me as we spread towels out on the sand. "He can get a little handsy, if you know what I mean."

I didn't, but I could guess. Annalise was strikingly beautiful with large hazel eyes and glossy black hair, just like our mom. Growing up, everyone talked about how she would become a model, but she was just over five feet tall, which is definitely a drawback in the modeling industry. Still, my parents had used her a few times for reenactments in their documentaries. Annalise would pull her hair into a bun, slip on a white Victorian dress and walk slowly in front of a green screen. When special effects were added later, she would appear as a transparent figure f loating above the f loor. She made a great ghost, which was ironic because in real life she was the one everyone seemed to notice while I was the one who slipped by, barely detected.

While Annalise resembled Mom, I took after Dad—tall and wiry, with dark hair that hung so straight it was infuriating. There wasn't even the hint of a curl. I kept it just long enough to tuck behind my ears and secretly resented it when Annalise complained that her glossy locks were simply "too bouncy."

During our third week in Charleston we decided to spend the morning at Waterfront Park. It was a warm Friday in June, the breezy air tinged with the sharp scent of seawater and the shrieks of gliding gulls. We walked along the pier searching for a place to sit and watch the boats. Tourists occupied all of the wide wooden bench swings that lined the dock, so we waited until a couple laden with cameras lumbered to their feet, then claimed the swing as our own. We sat back and rocked slowly, enjoying a clear view of the docked cruise ships and darting birds.

"This is nice," I said, pushing down on my feet to sway the swing.

"Summers are the best," Annalise murmured. She sounded drowsy. I felt tired, too, and worried that we might both fall asleep on the swing and wake up hours later, our arms bubbling red with sunburn.

"Maybe we should walk down to the beach."

"Can't. We have to meet Mom and Dad in less than an hour, and it'll take that long to walk to the beach and back."

I stopped swinging. "They didn't say anything to me about filming a scene today."

Annalise smiled. "They called me this morning. They need more chum."

"Chum" was what we called anyone who was brought in specifically to draw out paranormal energy. Some people claimed that a ghost would appear only if a certain kind of person was present, such as a curious child or a pretty girl. I didn't have to guess what kind of person my parents needed, and I felt a familiar twinge of jealousy. I was never asked to serve as ghost bait. Maybe I should have been grateful, but part of me wondered if it was because our parents didn't think I was good-looking enough to attract the interest of some dead, disembodied guy. It was insulting, really. Of course, no one in my family truly believed in ghosts, but still. Before I could get myself too wound up, Annalise spoke.

"They said they needed you, too."

"Really?" Maybe I had been wrong. Maybe my parents did see me as chum.

"Mom said the sound guy is sick. She needs your help."

Of course. Need a beautiful girl to lure reluctant spirits from hiding? Call Annalise. Need a plain and reliable worker to pick up the slack? Call Charlotte. Or don't even call—just tell Annalise to drag her along. After all, I couldn't possibly have anything else to do on a summer afternoon. I shook my head.

"I've got to stop thinking like that," I muttered.

"Huh?"

I sighed and rocked the swing harder. "Nothing."

We sat a little while longer before strolling through the old section of town, our flip-flops slapping against the sidewalks. The air smelled like jasmine and felt cooler than it had been at the pier. Guys stopped to gawk at Annalise while I pretended not to notice. It was actually easy because there was so much to look at: the historic mansions, the moss-draped trees, the horse-drawn carriages pulling noisy tourists through the streets. I looked for black bolts on the outside of houses, the telltale sign that the structure had been damaged in the earthquake of 1886 but had survived. There was something amazing about those homes, I thought, that they had been strong enough to survive devastation and were still standing today. "It's so beautiful here," I sighed.

Annalise adjusted her bikini top. "Yeah? I forget. I guess I'm used to it, though."

I didn't think I would ever get used to living in a town like this, and I'd lived in a lot of places. Any time my parents received funding for one of their documentaries we picked up and moved, sometimes for just a few weeks. The place we had lived the longest was England, when I was four and Annalise was eight. Our parents spent a year researching ancient castles. I don't remember much about the trip, but my parents liked to tell stories about how Annalise and I climbed up dark towers and napped in basement torture chambers. Not exactly a typical childhood. Of course, we didn't have typical parents.

Mom and Dad met just after college. They'd both studied psychology at Ivy League schools and were attending a national conference when they bumped into each other— literally, Mom claims—outside a lecture about parapsychology. Neither one believed in ghosts or hauntings or telepathy or anything else about the field, but they were interested in one aspect: disproving it. Within a year, they'd married and had set about debunking some of the world's most famous ghost stories, from wailing women in hotel hallways to confused Civil War soldiers roaming empty fields. They cowrote a book, Ghost of a Chance, explaining the scientific causes of most "hauntings." Their careers took off, and soon they were being recognized as the world's foremost ghost debunkers. Then, when my mother was three months pregnant with me, something happened.

They were filming one of their documentaries inside an abandoned insane asylum. Dad was repositioning a camera when he felt something brush past his leg. When he looked down, he didn't see anything, but later, when he checked the tape on his thermal camera, it showed a small figure, about three feet tall, sliding past him. When Dad checked the sound readings and matched them to the exact time he felt something against his leg, a clear voice could be heard saying, "Pardon me."

I guess everything changed after that. It was the one thing my parents couldn't explain. Dad became obsessed with EVPs, or Electronic Voice Phenomena. They're sounds that are too low for a person to hear but can be picked up by recording devices. He found natural causes for some of them, like local radio interference, and proved many to be hoaxes, but he could never fully explain what had happened to him at the asylum that day.

Dad once told me that the trick is not to prove something is real, but to prove that it is not real. My parents spent their lives trying to prove things were not real, and for the most part, they were successful. Very successful, judging by their book sales and TV deals. But I wondered sometimes if what they really wanted was to believe beyond a doubt, to have a clear and absolute answer to the question of what happens after a person dies. Personally, I didn't think I wanted to know because there was nothing you could do to change it, but I could understand how the question consumed people.

By the time Annalise and I found the restaurant our parents were investigating, I was starving and my forehead felt slick with sweat. All I wanted was some lunch and a blast of air-conditioning. When I opened the door to the Courtyard Café, I instantly knew I'd get neither.

Inside the restaurant it was dark and stuffy. A few ceiling fans churned the thick air slowly, creating only a hot breeze. All the tables had been pushed against one wall, with the chairs stacked at the other end. I knew most of the crew and guessed the rest of the crowd consisted of employees waiting for something to happen.

"Girls! Thank goodness you're here." Mom rushed toward us. She was wearing her work clothes: a pair of khaki pants and a black T-shirt. "We're way behind schedule," Mom said to Annalise. "The owner is getting frustrated and we've had absolutely no readings today." Mom lowered her voice and nodded in the direction of a dark-haired woman standing in the corner. She was wearing a long apron with "Mrs. Paul" stitched across the front. "She claims this place has a green lady." Mom smirked. "Right."

Mom didn't believe in apparitions of any kind. She said people thought they saw something, and their brains tried to connect it to the familiar, and that in twenty years of research she'd never once confirmed an actual, stereotypical ghost.

Annalise smiled. "I'm here for whatever you need."

"Me, too," I chimed in. "Could I just grab some lunch first?"

Mom glanced at me. "No time. We'll go out to dinner later, though, okay? Great. You know where the sound equipment is, hon."

I trudged away to locate the boom mic while Annalise pulled a black T-shirt over her bikini top and got ready to serve as the day's chum. Everyone on the team wore a black shirt because it made it easier for the cameras to pick up light around a person. I was wearing a white cover-up over my bathing suit, but it didn't matter too much—the sound person always stood behind everyone else.

Dad came into the room and clapped his hands together. "Attention, please!" he said. "We're going to be moving into the next room. We'll set up and start rolling."

He saw me across the room and waved. I tried to wave back, but I was holding the boom mic and accidentally knocked Shane, our main camera guy, on the head.

"Watch it," he snapped, but when he saw it was me, he smiled. "Oh, hey, kid. Filling in?"

"Unfortunately." I sighed.

Shane had been with us for so long we considered him to be family. He was thirty, stocky and a devoted fan of low-budget horror movies. He was trying to film his own slasher flick when he met my parents, who promised him a steady paycheck and strange adventures, so he stayed with us instead of running off to Hollywood. Shane was the only crew member who had been with us since the beginning. Most people stayed with us for a project or two, then settled down somewhere like normal people. Shane was like us—definitely not normal.

We all moved as one slow, sweaty herd into the adjoining room. As in the front room, all the tables and chairs had been stacked against the walls and the drapes had been pulled shut to make it darker. It took a second for me to register, but the room was much cooler than the first one. In fact, it was downright cold. Within minutes I had goosebumps.

"Do you have a sweatshirt I could borrow?" I whispered to Annalise.

She gave me a funny look. "There's one in my beach bag." She went to the corner of the room and came back holding a pink sweater. "Try this. It's long on me, so it just might fit you."

I carefully set the heavy equipment down and pulled on the sweater. It was a little short but it fit, and I began to feel slightly warmer.

Dad asked everyone to quiet down and get ready. Then he had Annalise stand in the middle of the room. After checking all the cameras twice, he gave her the signal to start talking.

"Hello," she said. Her voice was confident and friendly, as if she was simply introducing herself at a crowded party. "My name is Annalise and I'm wondering if anyone is here with us today."

One camera focused on Annalise while one stayed on my parents and the rest of the team. They held up their heat-sensing monitors and EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readers while I positioned the microphone above their heads.

"Okay, we're getting something," Mom said. "It's faint, but it definitely wasn't here last night."

I felt my nose begin to tickle and knew a sneeze was coming on. I tried to hold my breath.

"Keep talking," Dad instructed. "I think it's working."

Annalise kept up her conversational tone, asking simple questions and then waiting a moment as if she expected an answer. My sneeze was building, I could feel it. I tried not to, but just as Annalise asked again if anyone was present, it happened. I sneezed so loudly that half the team jumped, startled, and the sound echoed off the walls. Dad shot me a disapproving look while a few people tried not to giggle.

"Sorry," I said, loud enough for the entire room to hear. "My bad."

"Charlotte, please, if you could just—" Mom was cut off by sudden activity on all the readers. "Wait a minute. We're getting something."

I could see the lights of the equipment dancing wildly. It was rare to get so much activity so quickly. My parents were smiling and everyone seemed excited.

Everyone but Annalise.

"Um, guys? Something feels weird." She looked around the room and grimaced.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" Mom asked.

"I don't know, but something's not right."

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Past Midnight 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 88 reviews.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Ghosts. I love ghost stories and anything paranormal. But this book, not only held me at every page, but captured my every being. Charlotte is the Princess of Paranormal. Her parents are famous for the ghost documentaries. After moving to a new town, she meets a new friend with a big secret. After being there for a while, she begins to investigate and learned what really happen that night. She also learns that she is being haunted by ghosts who want her to find there long lost daughter. Sometimes when I read a book I don't like the fact that there are two story lines going on. Sometimes it fits well with the plot and other times no. Ms. Purnhagen did a wonderful job writing both story lines. Not only did they fit well with each other, but they also had great endings. Both lines were closed with all questions answered. You weren't left hanging and confused. I loved Charlotte. She was fearless and strong when it came to ghost. One thing that did get me was she was quick to judge. Whatever her friends told her she believe, yet she doubted in her mind. I was glad to see that she gave him a chance to explain and set things right. There are always two sides to a story. I am happy that both were heard. The ghost part I loved. All the researching and finding out clues is one adventure I liked being on. Charlotte willingness to help I adored. She wanted to help everyone. She was selfless when it came to setting things straight. She put herself on the line no matter what. If you are looking for a great ghost story, with researching, creepy raise the hair on your arm moment but also great life drama read this book. It will not only make you look over your shoulder but it will entice you till the very end.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
This was a very quick and fun read. Charlotte's character is very likable - she is a young girl just trying to fit in. Because she has been a little ostracized all her life, she is very accepting of other people. Her older sister Annalise has roped her parents into settling down for Charlotte's senior year of high school. This is both good and bad for Charlotte. It is good because she is finally able to live in a "new" house and not a gothic or victorian haunted house. She is also able to start to fit in and make friends at school. However, when her parents appear on the cover of the local tv schedule publication, she will have to face what she feels is their "weird" celebrity status. Charlotte has some good friends in Avery - her next door neighbor and Noah, a boy from her AV class. I liked the way that secrets were revealed throughout the book among them. You also get to learn about how paranormal activity is recorded with heat sensing monitors and EMF (electro magnetic field) readers and microphones to catch electronic voice phenomena or EVP's. I have already read the next book - or novella in the series - Raising the Dead.
nlsobon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I came upon ¿Past Midnight¿, I wasn¿t sure if it was something I would like. But I¿m glad I gave it a shot. ¿Past Midnight¿ is an incredibly easy and fun read.Charlotte Silver has never had a `real home¿. Her parents, who work on `Doubt¿, are always traveling, trying to dispute paranormal claims. Charlotte wants to be normal, but there isn¿t anything normal about Charlotte.Charlotte¿s parents decide to settle down for her upcoming senior year of high school after speaking with her older sister, Annaliese. She quickly becomes friends with Avery, her neighbor, and she tries to hide who she is, and what her parents do. But eventually the truth will find its way out.But Charlotte isn¿t the only one hiding a secret, Avery and Jared both have their own secrets that need to be told.What ¿Past Midnight¿ has going for it is that it isn¿t your typical young adult novel in that the main character isn¿t driven by a teenage romance. Sure, Charlotte has a crush on one of her male friends, but that isn¿t the story. The story focuses on Charlotte, her family, her friends, and the paranormal world she¿s just beginning to truly experience.I easily plowed through this book. I needed to know what was going on. I needed to know who *they* were and what they wanted from Charlotte. It¿s a very interesting story and I¿m ready to start the next book.If you haven¿t yet read ¿Past Midnight¿, get to it! You¿re going to want to read this series, especially with ¿Beyond the Grave¿ coming out in August (the third book in the series)!
kherbrand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very quick and fun read. Charlotte's character is very likable - she is a young girl just trying to fit in. Because she has been a little ostracized all her life, she is very accepting of other people.Her older sister Annalise has roped her parents into settling down for Charlotte's senior year of high school. This is both good and bad for Charlotte. It is good because she is finally able to live in a "new" house and not a gothic or victorian haunted house. She is also able to start to fit in and make friends at school. However, when her parents appear on the cover of the local tv schedule publication, she will have to face what she feels is their "weird" celebrity status.Charlotte has some good friends in Avery - her next door neighbor and Noah, a boy from her AV class. I liked the way that secrets were revealed throughout the book among them.You also get to learn about how paranormal activity is recorded with heat sensing monitors and EMF (electro magnetic field) readers and microphones to catch electronic voice phenomena or EVP's.I have already read the next book - or novella in the series - Raising the Dead.
renkellym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte¿s parents have devoted their lives to debunking famous hauntings¿they even have their own TV show dedicated to scientifically explaining ¿ghosts¿. Charlotte has grown used to moving from place to place for her parents¿ jobs, but deep down, she just wants to be normal. But Charlotte soon discover that she¿s anything but normal¿and her parents might not be entirely right about ghosts not being real. Don¿t let the synopsis fool you--Past Midnight may sound unimpressive, but it¿s actually got quite a bit going for it. Mara Purnhagen creates an entirely new science for her novel¿the science of ghosts. The way in which Charlotte¿s parents explain ¿ghosts¿ is so well developed that it sounds legitimate. Purhagen expertly blends science (via Charlotte¿s parents) and the supernatural to make the reader question whether or not ghosts really exist in Charlotte¿s world. The story, too, is anything but tired: Purnhagen crafts a complex, suspenseful mystery that keeps you on your toes throughout the whole novel. Charlotte, the protagonist, is a bit unmemorable, but she does have wit and intellect working in her favor. Thanks to her quick thinking, the reader doesn¿t have to wait for pages and pages while she tries to puzzle together clues to the mystery. Charlotte figures things out fairly easily. One nitpicky thing about Charlotte, though, is that she didn¿t quite seem to act her age. Her mentality and dialogue felt more suited to a 15-year-old than a senior in high school. Still, her immaturity doesn¿t take away from the reading experience at all. Past Midnight will definitely be enjoyed by fans of paranormal YA. It doesn¿t have much of a romance (something extremely common in this genre), but it instead focuses on the relationships between family and friends. Those who tire of romance-centric paranormals will find Past Midnight refreshing, and mystery-loving readers will love piecing together the puzzle with Charlotte.
dukesangel002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fast and fun read. Charlotte's parents are in the ghost-hunting business, but they aren't trying to prove ghosts are real, they're trying to prove that they're not. They believe that a person can imprint their energy on a place and that all sightings can be explained away by either a human glitch, or energy. When strange things start happening to Charlotte, things that can't be explained away, her parents have to come up with all new explanations.I really enjoyed this book. It didn't revolve completely around the paranormal element. It was just as much about Charlotte, and her normal teenage life. She is tired of being dragged around from place to place, never getting to really make friends. Her struggle as she starts a new school, makes a new friend, and tries to understand what is going on at this school. There's obviously a secret that everyone else knows, but no one will talk about, and it's affecting her friend Avery. It was great to see her struggle with the same thing a lot of teens deal with when starting new schools and trying to fit in.I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Charlotte was smart and fun, but also afraid to be who she really is. Avery, Charlotte's new best friend, is strong and loyal and the type of friend we all need. I loved Charlotte's parents, they were both unusual (obviously considering their profession) but they were also loving and caring parents who really wanted to do what they could to help their daughters.Overall, I liked this book, but didn't love it. There were times when it was a little slow for me. The paranormal element wasn't really anything original. I have hopes that the next book will be better, and I enjoyed this one enough that I will be picking up the next one for sure.
Malbebe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First off how many of you are tired of constantly reading books that are 300-600 pages long and bulky? Really its hard to find a book that is under 300 pages anymore. I¿m pleased to say that Mara Purnhagen¿s Past Midnight is a wonderful paranormal novel that is under 250 pages! Past Midnight took me a few days to read and I enjoyed every second of it. Charlotte¿s family moves around a lot because of her parent¿s career as ghost hunters with their own T.V. show. One day something goes wrong at a place in Charleston, SC where Charlotte¿s parents are filming. Afterwards Charlotte starts seeing strange things in her sleep and bedroom. Charlotte makes new friends in her new hometown. The first friend we meet is a girl how lives across the street from Charlotte. That girl would be Avery who has a secret that everyone in town seems to know about but will not tell Charlotte when she asks about what happened. Then there are two guys introduced to us. Theres Jared who is somehow connected to Avery¿s secret. Then there is Noah who, if I remember correctly, is a good guy that cares about Charlotte and they seem to be on the path towards a relationship. Really though the only boy that stuck with me months later after reading Past Midnight is Jared. I really don¿t remember anything about Noah. Sorry Noah! Jared just seemed more flirtatious and a better match for Charlotte. They had natural chemistry or something! Whenever Charlotte needed someone to talk to who would understand she¿d call her sister Annalise. They are so nice to each other. Annalise was like a fairy godmother to Charlotte in certain ways. Along with Charlotte¿s friends keeping secrets, Charlotte keeps that fact that her parents are ghost hunters a secret from her friends in hope that she can actually live a normal teenage life. Don¿t worry though every mystery gets revealed at the end; which includes what happened with Avery and Jared and why are ghosts following Charlotte? Will Charlotte¿s family secret stay hidden forever or will the town find out? My only suggestion would be to rush out to your local bookstore and see if they have a copy of Past Midnight available and buy it! I can hardly wait for Feb. 15, 2011 to get here so I can go out and buy the second book in the series One Hundred Candles.
katiedoll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Past Midnight is, without a doubt, one of the creepiest books that I¿ve ever read. With Charlotte`s ghost-hunting family and the weird spirits that suddenly haunt her, it`s like an awesome mix of Casper (without the friendly ghost, of course) and Paranormal Activity.It¿s obvious that this is an introductory book into the rest of the series; it¿s kind of anticlimactic and slow until the end. But the ghostly scenes that pop up along the way were so completely terrifying and enthralling that I was never bored. I actually kept myself awake an hour later than usual just to get the book out of my head, I was that freaked out, and I always appreciate a book that can scare me because it¿s very rare.I like how the high school/teenage aspect of the novel was switched up. Charlotte¿s rival wasn¿t a cheerleader, she actually befriended a group of them. I was a little put off with the relationships between Charlotte/Jared and Charlotte/Noah. There¿s no romance in this novel, and although I loved that Charlotte wasn¿t obsessing over boys, there was that a of romantic feelings from her. The interaction with Jared and Noah wasn¿t developed enough; I think I would¿ve preferred if there were absolutely no romantic feelings from Charlotte at all.Overall, Past Midnight is a scary paranormal that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It¿s an awesome introduction to a series that will hopefully be just as spooky and awesome as the first book is! I definitely recommend!
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte has never stayed at a town long enough to complete more than a semester at school yet her sister, Annalise, is determined for Charlotte to graduate and finish her senior. That¿s why after their last hunt at disproving ghost their parents and Charlotte are finally staying a full year in a town, in a school! But this brand new house Charlotte has always dreamed of has a few hidden ghosts that came with her and they are angry. I am easily scared. Like I get scared watching Scary Movie, which is meant more as a comedy than a scary movie, which is really pathetic in my eyes, but what can I do. So when I read Past Midnight pretty darn close at midnight with my brother popping in at random moments in my room I jumped. I freaked, okay. Quite honestly, readers won¿t be too terrified but Past Midnight is still suspenseful and tension-filled even for those not scared of their own shadows. Mara Purnhagen does her research and writes about thermal machinery and EMF readers like she¿s been at the scene directly hunting ghosts. Purnhagen debunks her own theories and creates new opposition to give multiple and various viewpoints of ghosts/lingering energies. The characters are dainty yet filled with a strong presence. The parents, thankfully, act like parents; friends act dotingly; sisters act like sister, and Charlotte acts like a heroine instead of a weak side-character. There is plenty of space left for development in the sequels to come, but there is enough depth that readers will not be too frustrated. The hint of romance is tasteful and the ending of Past Midnight was that happily ever after I was looking for without that eye-twitching, gagging sweetness. There are still questions needed to be answered and characters that need to be clarified, but overall a good beginning to an interesting series (a sequel that I am definitely waiting for).
BookSwarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
picked up this book because it was set (at least in the beginning) in one of my favorite cities in the U.S.--Charleston. This area is the perfect setting for this novel with just the right amount of creepiness and charm. Plus, when you walk down the streets of Charleston, you come away with the feeling of being steeped in history and culture.But Charlotte doesn't appreciate all that. She's had more than enough history and creepiness to satisfy her for the rest of her life. In fact, she wants to stay in one place for more than a couple of months and to live in a brand-new house that no one has ever lived in before. Luckily for her, she has a sister who completely understands and who convinces their parents that's exactly what they need to do.Except, during their trip to Charleston, Charlotte picks up a ghostly visitor who follows them to their new house and grows increasingly aggressive. The ghost needs for Charlotte to do something and it's up to Charlotte to find out what or she might have a poltergeist on her hands. Charlotte was a great character--I totally felt for her, being dragged around from historical place to historical place, never her parents' primary focus, afraid the people she meets will think she's a freak because of her parents' job.The main story, the one involving Charlotte and the ghost, was the story that captured and kept my attention. However, there were multiple story lines running through this novel that, to me, were just distractions. I had a hard time with Charlotte's new high school life, her making friends with the popular kids, her attraction to the loner/bad boy because I wanted to know more about the ghosts. The main plot was unique and interesting, and I really wish that had been explored more, instead of the more cliched high school plot lines that popped up after Charlotte and her parents settled down.Despite that quibble, I really enjoyed this paranormal, so different from the vampires, werewolves and zombies that have been roaming the YA shelves these past couple years.
readingdate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Silver is a high school girl who just wants to live a normal life. Her parents happen to be celebrity paranormal debunkers who travel the world chasing ghosts for their reality series. Charlotte and her older sister Annalise have been bounced around from school to school following their parents¿ work. Charlotte tries to hide her parents¿ paranormal work from her peers, and is always mortified when the secret gets out. Annalise decides she has had enough and asks her parents to stay in one place long enough for Charlotte to finish high school or else she won¿t be a part of their paranormal show anymore. Charlotte¿s parents reluctantly agree, and purchase a new un-haunted house and settle down to a normal routine. However, to their surprise there is a pair of tag-along ghosts from their summer paranormal gig along for the ride.In her new home, Charlotte finds she must face the ghosts that seek her help, and help her new friends heal from their own tragedy that haunts them. There are some interesting characters introduced including her neighbor cheerleader friend, and a couple of students in her AV class including a girl who wants all the spotlight for herself, and a younger man who may have romantic intentions.There are many spooky instances and encounters throughout the book to interest fans of the paranormal. There is an overall air of mystery and an eerie vibe to the book. There is not a romantic storyline in the book, but there seems to be at least one potential love interest for Charlotte being set up for the sequel.In addition to the ghost story, Past Midnight includes other compelling stories including parental and sister relationships, friendships, and managing school challenges. Past Midnight is a satisfying ghost story that is well written and fast paced, with interesting stories and characters. Past Midnight is the first book in a three part series and sets the stage intriguingly for the sequels. Recommended for fans of paranormal books and younger teens. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series: One Hundred Candles is due out in March 2011.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Past Midnight" is yet another entry in the young adult paranormal genre. This one is about Charlotte Silver who travels the world and never stays in one place for long because her parents do a reality tv show where the investigate ghosts. Charlotte is kinda embarrassed by this and doesn't like when the kids at school know about it. Recently her sister moved to college and the Silver family is visiting her when the book begins. After pleading to stay for one year in one place(mostly with help from her sister), Charlotte's family agrees to stay for one year in a town a couple hours away from her sister's college. Charlotte does her best to keep her parents job a secret and quickly befriends several popular kids. She is especially excited to have a brand new house that no one has ever lived in before. Ghost free, or so she thinks. Soon she learns her new best friend is keeping secrets about another boy in school, the only other girl in her A/V class doesn't like her, and it seems like her house may in fact be haunted...by the most energetic spirits her family has ever come across. Ok, so the book was short and sweet. It didn't do much to stand out from the crowd and I didn't care for it as much as I have other books in YA literature. There were several pluses though. Charlotte is a nice character who wants to help others. The ghost angle was far too easy to figure out, but Charlotte's parents actually work from the angle of DIS-proving there are ghosts, which I thought was pretty neat. The book also portrayed some friction between the two parents as the strain of the paranormal activities became harder to disprove. The book also didn't have a romance aspect which is also unique. There were two boys who played a fairly large role. Neither stood out as boyfriend material, at least in this book. One sentence summary: There are a lot of books with more to offer than "Past Midnight" but its clean and has a good moral.
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ghosts. I love ghost stories and anything paranormal. But this book, not only held me at every page, but captured my every being. Charlotte is the Princess of Paranormal. Her parents are famous for the ghost documentaries. After moving to a new town, she meets a new friend with a big secret. After being there for a while, she begins to investigate and learned what really happen that night. She also learns that she is being haunted by ghosts who want her to find there long lost daughter.Sometimes when I read a book I don't like the fact that there are two story lines going on. Sometimes it fits well with the plot and other times no. Ms. Purnhagen did a wonderful job writing both story lines. Not only did they fit well with each other, but they also had great endings. Both lines were closed with all questions answered. You weren't left hanging and confused.I loved Charlotte. She was fearless and strong when it came to ghost. One thing that did get me was she was quick to judge. Whatever her friends told her she believe, yet she doubted in her mind. I was glad to see that she gave him a chance to explain and set things right. There are always two sides to a story. I am happy that both were heard. The ghost part I loved. All the researching and finding out clues is one adventure I liked being on. Charlotte willingness to help I adored. She wanted to help everyone. She was selfless when it came to setting things straight. She put herself on the line no matter what.If you are looking for a great ghost story, with researching, creepy raise the hair on your arm moment but also great life drama read this book. It will not only make you look over your shoulder but it will entice you till the very end.
roses7184 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're looking at the post before this and thinking, "What? There is no way she could have possibly finished this book so fast!", I understand. However I assure you, I really did. Read below to find out why! Charlotte and her sister Annalise help their parents debunk "ghost stories" by proving their scientific origins. The question is: What happens if there is one that you just can't seem to disprove? As a reader, and I know I say this often, it is extremely important that I feel invested in the characters if I am going to truly love a story. That being said, Charlotte and Annalise are superb protagonists! Their personalities meld beautifully and you can feel the sisterly chemistry between them. I personally loved Charlotte! She was spunky, sweet and driven. What I was most impressed by was that even the secondary characters, like Avery and Noah, had an amazing story line and were well developed. It's hard not to find yourself drawn into their story. Past Midnight is a very fast paced and slightly spooky read. I warn you, if you are the type who has nightmares based on horror or suspense movies, you may not want to read this before bed. Although I don't think Mara set out with the intention to scare her readers, some parts of the book will definitely raise the hair on the back of your neck! I had to read another book for a few chapters before bed and even then I had ghosts haunt my dreams for the night. As I'm sure you can tell, I absolutely adored Past Midnight! The story is the perfect blend of ghost story, coming of age story, and sweet romance. If you're shaking your head in amazement, don't despair. That is precisely what I felt the moment I reached the ending of the book. Mara Purnhagen manages to mesh all of these topics into a well paced book that will have you reading as fast as you possibly can.
Iheartbooks1213 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ever since reading Mara Purhagen's fantastic first novel Tagged, I've been eager to read more by her, so when Past Midnight (her newest novel and a paranormal mystery at that!) showed up in my mailbox I was beyond ecstatic. And as it turned out that was just the right emotion to be feeling, because Past Midnight is an unputdownable ghostly paranormal read that I can't suggest highly enough for all you paranormal lovers out there! From the first page the reader is thrown into the world of Charlotte Silver, a girl who has never been exactly normal thanks to her famous paranormal investigator parents. But this year, Charlotte's senior year, is going to be different; she's going to be normal. Because not only have her parents agreed to stay in one place for the year but she's already making friends at her new school. But as it turns out everything is soon to unravel. Because not only is she being stalked by scary paranormal beings, but her friends are getting closer and closer to finding out about Charlotte's parents occupation and she just can't have that now, can she? So now she's on the path to find out who (or perhaps what) is stalking her and how she can get rid of them once for all, but when her friends find out about everything, will they stick by her side? More importantly: will she make it out of high school alive? And most important of all: Will she EVER be normal? Only time can tell in this rich paranormal mystery by Ms. Purhagen. Charlotte was a character I loved reading about, because, quite frankly, she was a pretty interesting girl. I especially loved the way she would go out of her to help her new friends, and the way she grew to understand that no one is normal or perfect for the matter, that you should just roll with the punches and live your life. My favorite secondary character out of the mix would have to be a tie between Avery and Noah, because both were characters that were not only fun to read about but ones I respected as well. The plot of this was nothing short of fun, though why wouldn't it be? I loved the way Mara intertwined facts about paranormal investigating right along with the ghostly sub-plot, because paranormal investigating is a topic I always love to read more about. Making Past Midnight even better in my eyes was Mara's writing, which moved in a fun, fast paced sort of way, just like in Tagged. In all, Past Midnight is a ghostly paranormal mystery and a fantastic start to a new series that I highly suggest you pick up the next time you see it in stores or online. Grade: A-
marielovesbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To kick off my Halloween challenge, I thought I would start with Past Midnight. It sounded interesting and slightly creepy and since I can't handle horror thought this would be perfect. And, it was! Charlotte is a simple girl who wants simple things but doesn't really have the courage to put her foot down and tell her parents no. That's where her older sister Annalise steps in. I liked Annalise, she was spunky and she obviously cared a lot about her sister. Their parents however, annoyed me. I think they pushed Annalise too far to get ahead of their career's and to me, that was just wrong. As a parent, they should have noted Annalise's freak out and left it at that.As creepy as it was, I enjoyed the scenes where Charlotte was having dreams about the ghosts. I didn't understand really why she was seeing the girl and not her parents but I did enjoy those scenes and their to piece them together as I read. I wish there was more to the dreams than what we were given. It kind of made the ending sudden, even though everything started to make sense.I liked Charlotte's friend Avery but the secret she was keeping got on my nerves. It's like the whole school knew and constantly mentioned it but no one bothered to tell Charlotte and it explained nothing as to why she should avoid Jared. Overall, I enjoyed this book and it reminded me how much I miss reading ghost stories (but I scare extremely easily now that I'm older, weird huh?)! I look forward to reading the second book in the series!
veens on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charlotte Silver wants to live like a normal person, spend her senior year in one school and go around with normal people - well is this too much to ask for? Not for a normal person like you and me but for Charlotte, whose parents make their living by going to haunted places just to prove that they are not haunted this was a bit difficult. Once people found out about her celebrity status, she and her family were considered more of "ghost-busters" than ghost-debunkers. But when her family moves to Charleston and decides to be there for sometime, Charlotte starts to believe that there nomadic life would come to a temporary end after all. But all changes when she is to her brand new house, by 2 very angry, impatient ghosts, uhh no, not ghosts but "balls of energies" - as her parents like to call them. What follows is a quest to help them find what they are seeking through her.I totally enjoyed Past Midnight. At 200 pages, it was fast, thrilling and I was anxious to know what was about to happen. It was slightly predictable but I am one of those who believes that the ride is what matters and not the destination. This novel is not just about real ghosts but also about facing our ghosts as well. It is about facing about facing your problem head on, I loved that. I loved the fact in the end Charlotte came to accept that she was never going to be normal, and she was happy about it. I loved how Charlotte evolved in this novel and I am looking forward to reading the whole series :)
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was so unexpectedly good! Having read a lot of Harlequin novels as a teen (and not a few as an adult), I expected a quick, light romance, but while this was a quick read, that was simply because I didn't want to put it down!
Lyndseylou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The truth is that the paranormal is normal. It's just a normal that we don't understand yet.So the main character of this book, Charlotte, composed a song and wanted me to sing it to you.*cue Fresh Prince music*Now this is the story of about howMy life got spooky turned inside out.I'd like to take a minute - so sit right there.And I'll tell you how I became the princess of Ghost-busters extraordinaire.In deeply haunted houses where I was born and raised,A ghost's playground was where I was filmed most of my days.They chill you out, max you out, relax you - NOT. Cool.So I tried shootin' some B-rolls and making friends at school.When a couple of critics, who were up to no good, starting castin' doubts about my parenthood.They said my parents shouldn't chase ghosts and I should be scared.Then all the sudden I'm moving again to be a Ghost-buster extraordinaire.I called to a ghost and something came near.It felt like seeing the world through a fun house mirror.If anything, I thought that this could be rare,But I thought "Man, forget it. It must have been a glare."I. Pulled. Up to new house and it must have been fated.I yelled to my parents "New home smell! Who could hate it?!"I looked at my kingdom and I was finally thereTo sit on my throne as Ghost princess extraordinaire.Da-da-da-DAA-DAA. Da-da-da-DAA-DAA._______________________________________Okay, now that the cheesy song part is over.Charlotte's parents are Ghost-chasing skeptics who film documentaries about strange phenomena that sometimes even they can't dispute. Charlotte tries to be normal but always ends up getting picked on, until they move and she becomes accepted in her new school. But they didn't move alone - some "energy" has followed Charlotte. She finally accepts her role as a ghost chaser and starts to unravel the mysteries that surround her.This book really captivated me from the beginning and on through 'til the end. It was the first time in a long time that I have held my breath while reading. The first time in forever that both the imaginative and logical parts of brain have been forced to work in tandem.A lot of talk about "energy" and such. But I thought it was incredibly interesting. The author did a great job of including a mix of the science and the fantasy.It does kind of go along with the whole ghosts-only-care-about-love-and-relationships thing there for a while. That always makes me curious about the uh, limitations, of ghosts:But if you really need the answer to that - watch the movie Ghost. Because there is no hokey "pokey" going on in this book. No romance as of yet.Short and fun. Mysterious and easy to feel for characters. I just wish that the entire book held the same suspense that the beginning did.Rating: A steady 3.5 stars!I am very much looking forward to reading more from this author! And maybe some ghostly lovin'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Yeah RD)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I believe I know who is behind this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still, INsAnITy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
O.O ME! IN! PUT ME IN!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"C'mon... you can do this... you've done harder things..." <p> A cobalt body slammed against an iron door, producing a sharp, harsh clang that deafened the occupant the cell for a moment. <p> An enraged cry rang out and the blue figure hit the closed door again, sending a wave of rainbow hair flying over angry magenta eyes. <p> The bruised figure picked itself off the floor, favoring a hindhoof. <p> Dust clouded and resettled as the occupant sped across the small space and charged the bolted door, powerful wings held back to prevent further injury to them. <p> Again, only bruises in unfortunate places were accomplished. <p> The figure breathed heavily, legs planted firmly on the floor, shackles broken long ago. <p> "C'mon, Rainbow Dash... You. Can. Do. This...." <p> ~~~ <p> [ >:3 MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!! ~ Moone ]