Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











{February 20, 2011}   Past Midnight, by Mara Purnhagen (Past Midnight #1)

From the dust jacket: “I don’t believe in ghosts.  Unfortunatley, they believe in me… 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…”

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Wow!  Purnhagen is a gifted storyteller! I extremely enjoyed this novel—the story was interesting and kept me captivated, the characters were real and fleshed out, and the writing was beautiful!  I picked this up last night at 11pm, planning to read until I fell asleep… but I didn’t put the book down until 2:30am, when I finished it!  Superb!!  I love the ghost storyline (though I ended up sleeping with the light on) and find this novel refreshing!  I’ve watched many episodes of paranormal investigators debunking paranormal activity, but I’ve never read a novel about it!  This was just great!  I loved the idea that Charlotte’s parents were professional debunkers, and that the main characters didn’t believe in ghosts.  That was a refreshing take since most novels nowadays consist of the characters believing in everything paranormal… which can get old very quickly.

This is a fast read, and a great one!  I highly recommend the novel, and its sequel, One Hundred Candles!  When I was researching the novel online, I found out that there is an intermediate story that was just published as well, a novella.  If you’re planning on reading Past Midnight, take the following information to heart: I cannot find a hardcopy of the novella, Raising the Dead, but I’ve  just downloaded it from Harlequin Teens (for free).  It’s segment 1.5 in the series, and Harlequin Teens is giving it away in eBook and PDF file, for free, until the end of February, so you should probably pick it up while it’s available at no cost!!  If you have a Nook, Barnes and Nobel was also letting people download the novella for free, so you might want to check that out too.  I have no idea how long it will last, so don’t wait!!  Five stars for Past Midnight!

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