Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables #1) 
Published by: Beckett Publishing Group 
Publication Date: 1 August 2015 
Page Count: 256 
Source: e-book provided by author 
Audience: Young Adult – Paranormal, Time-Travel Mystery 

I wanted to do this review because I love stories about ghosts and the paranormal in general. I don't like, however, stories that are cliched and have been done before. K.C. Tansley combines ghosts with time travel in a way I have never seen. 

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is about 17-year-old Kat, a girl who has spent her life trying to avoid believing in ghosts. At a young age she was attacked by one and ever since her only defense is non-belief. All that changes when her school professor sends her along with two other students and her TA, Evan, to research a mysterious double murder that happened 129 years before at a haunted castle. She can no longer rely on her non-belief, she must face the truth to solve the mystery and survive. One night, Evan and Kat are pulled through an enchanted mirror and thrown into the bodies of two guests at the castle, days before the murder they were researching. They rush to find the answers to their questions, and find a way back to their own time before they are lost forever. 

I really enjoyed this story. I loved the characters and the story line, the mystery and intrigue behind the murders, and I loved the author's ideas and creativity behind the story. She calls the ghosts unbelievables; those who believe see them and those who don't believe don't see them, it's as simple as that, yet in the story it means so much more to each character. Tansley thought out each character pretty thoroughly, each playing a major role in unraveling the mystery. 

I admit that the concept of not believing in ghosts as a defense when that person knows they exist is a bit silly, and seems like it really wouldn't work, but for some reason it does for this story. The author wrote it in a way that made sense, and I applaud her for that. I like the idea of taking something so simple as not believing and turning into an important, tangible thing, one of the key factors in finding out the truth and solving their dilemma. 

There is mention, several times, of an entity far scarier than the ghosts, the unbelievables, themselves – something even the ghosts are afraid of – but there is no real resolution to it. I know that this book is the first in a series and I assume that it is brought to the forefront of the story later on, but I would have liked to have seen more of it. 

The mystery surrounding the murders is very well thought out. Viewing the murders from two different points in time is a fun and intriguing read. First, you see them from 129 years after; you get the impressions from witnesses, speculation and assumptions because it's never been solved. Then, you are swept back to the beginning to see it first hand through the eyes of the people actually involved. There were many twists, turns, and deceit from all. 

I got lost in the dialogue quite a bit while reading, not exactly sure who was speaking, and often had to go back and reread parts.  Two different people talking were both in the same paragraph and it was hard to decipher one from the other.  I was given an uncorrected advance readers copy of the e-book, so it very well could have been the formatting of my e-reader.  I'm not sure, but it was distracting enough to mention, in case it wasn't my device and could have been deliberate.  

The book was a quick read and once you are immersed in the story you want to keep reading and solve the mystery, you don't want to stop. I look forward to reading the continuing story and finding out what happens now that Kat is once again a believer. 

One Last Thought: For me, the book seemed to be written in a very simple style, meant for a younger teen audience. Most of the sentences are fairly short, with very few long, descriptive sentences to break them up. Mixing short and long sentences together seems to make a story flow much smoother, not as many stops. But it works for a younger audience and is really only my opinion. 

Favorite Thing About the Book: I love that every character has a tie or link to some element of the mystery surrounding the murders and ultimately, in finding out the truth. 

First Sentence: The two weeks leading up to finals were the perfect time to do research at Gilman Library – if you needed to be surrounded by people. 

Favorite Character: Toria 

Least Favorite Character: Patrick Fitzgerald 

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.  

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.  

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

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