Despite all the negative reviews that liter the first page of each of the Halo trilogy books, I enjoyed the series very much. To some degree I even loved it. I saw all the valid points people made about Bethany’s character, but it was her vulnerability as an angel that won me over. I have wanted to read “Ghost House” for a while, ever since I heard it was coming out. The premise was much shakier this time, and honestly sounded like a book that was written for the sake of making money and buying into the YA ghost-loving romance fad. But still, I wanted to give it a go. While I could easily tune out all the negative reviews for Halo and say yes, they’re valid, but I know why I liked it and I’m content with feeling that, “Ghost House” made me echo a lot of the points people brought up, as well as have some thoughts and concerns of my own.
For starters, after a certain point I mentally rated this book as one star while reading, but it was the fast and relatively easy pace with which I got through it that bumped it up to a 1.5. With that ending, which I foresaw but still left me wondering how the hell it can possibly explained, I settled for a rather merciful 2. Mostly because I wasn’t ridiculously mad and frustrated with the book. It did, admittedly, provide a rather easy, leisurely read that didn’t require me to think. At all. About anything. Because it was a soap opera that I encountered dozens of times but still sometimes enjoyed immersing myself in, for some diversity in reading.
There really isn’t much to say about “Ghost House”, mostly because it doesn’t offer much. Not much originality, that is. There were numerous things that I disliked or was annoyed by, beginning with Chloe. It wasn’t her whinny and contradictory character, however, although I agree with the numerous reviewers on that point. Mainly it was that we have yet another rich, privileged female protagonist who, I paraphrase, at one point in the book states that she ‘dreamed of going to an Ivy League college and becoming a New York Times journalist afterwards’. Given America’s complex economic situation, I’m getting a little tired of books who portray only this small, niche dream which is actually very difficult to realize. It’s a very unhealthy mindset to push onto teenagers, and it’s even more terrifying how easily so many swallow this up and adopt a desire to live through a ‘Devil Wears Prada’ kind of life experience. Chloe’s friends are in the same boat, guilty of the same boat, but they add another layer of accusation onto Chloe: so do you like them or hate them? Make up your mind. It’s difficult when a character complains about how boring her friends are, with their ‘pencil skirt-minded world’, but please, if that’s how you feel about them, then leave. These two intertwining points are frustrations I have been having with authors and the publishing industry for a couple years, and I’m wondering why this niche lifestyle is so popular.
Other things, in no particular order:
Isobel’s character making it difficult to understand whether we’re supposed to sympathize for her because she’s afraid and lonely, or to hate her;
Alex’s character, which honestly I don’t feel sorry for, because as much as I get that you may love a person who’s already married, you still should respect the fact that they’re taken, both as a sign of respect to them and to yourself; the plot was predictable from start to finish, with aspects such as Joe’s character making me mentally put checkmarks in the stereotypical ghost-loving romance plot (I also ended up very mad at Chloe in the end, who seemed to have decided to work something out with Joe and then just goes back to California and is acting like none of that happened?);
the question of ‘where exactly is the plot going with this?’, where I felt like I was cheated out of any kind of suspense or intrigue or exciting explanation of why the heck Isobel is like that, but oh well, I guess I just have to swallow the fact that she’s there, and angry, and still loves Alex, and try to make up a fancy backstory on my own.
So it’s a very generous 2-star rating, given that I mostly had complaints for the book, with only the (predictable) but still surprising ending. If the last couple of chapters weren’t included, I actually would’ve wondered what the next couple of books could possibly be about. To be honest I still wonder what the next book could possibly be about…I might read the next one though, just to see how Adornetto will explain the (very predictable) bombshell she decided to finish the book off on. But for the most part, I’m closing my eyes on the Ghost House saga. I had a very light and joyous reading experience with the Halo series, which is one of my guilty pleasure series that I love despite all the things wrong with it. “Ghost House” doesn’t even come close. It was a quick read that didn’t make me form any emotional bonds with the story or the characters. Mainly I read it to satisfy my own curiosity and get it off my reading list, with a silent ‘thank goodness I took this from the library before buying it’.