Release date: March 31st 2014
Publisher: Altwit Press
Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha.
When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
The quick and dirty: this book is the story of Chira Kelly, a teenaged outcast with only one friend, a girl named Tasha. The two girls look out for each other and take on the world together. But things start to shake up when the new kid, Ben, starts to become a permanent fixture in Chira's life. Especially after the incident at the haunted old schoolhouse, where Tasha ends up in a coma after being hit by a car and ther other classmates involved are being picked off one by one. Can Ben and his cousin Matt find a way to keep Chira safe, or is she the next to be "taken care of"? And is it something supernatural like they think, or something all too human that is getting rid of the kids?
This is a pretty short novel, clocking in shy of 200 pages. It reminded me a lot of those paperback thriller books I used to read as a teen, like the Fear Street books and the Vampire Diaries series. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, with Chira being a strong heroine who refuses to just let a guy take over her life. I loved the strong friendship between her and Tasha, which included a love between her and Tasha's family (her parents and little brother) that was very much real. It's very present in the book when Tasha is hit by a car and put into a coma. Chira is practically a family member, with the way she's treated. Which is good for her, because she has a mean, verbally abusive stepfather at home and a mother who loves her, but is always working. I agree with other readers that this one takes quite some time for anything to happen, but I was enjoying myself anyways, just reading about the characters!
Probably my main complaint would be how rushed the mystery aspect seemed. I felt like the disappearances/murders in the neighboring county were thrown in at the last minute, to give some very unsubtle foreshadowing as to how it would all resolve. It was like the author couldn't quite choose between a completely supernatural mystery and a mundane one. It felt slightly confused to me. The dynamic of Chira, Ben (the guy she's crushing on) and Matt (his cousin) builds into a strong friendship by the end of the book. Their scenes during lunch period on the roof cracked me up! Overall, I enjoyed it and I'd be interested in reading more by this author. It was a quick, fun read! :D
VERDICT: 3.5/5 Stars
*I received an ARC from the author and tour host for the purpose of this blog tour. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published March 31st, 2014.*