- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: EgmontUSA (Feb. 12 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1606842641
- ISBN-13: 978-1606842645
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,219,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Notes from Ghost Town Hardcover – Feb 12 2013
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About the Author
Kate Ellison trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Butterfly Clues was her first novel. You can visit her online at www.kateellison.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
I think the author does a wonderful job of letting the reader feel a bit suspicious of Olivia's issues, even though she's the protagonist. Most of what she goes through could indeed be written off as the beginning of schizophrenia. But, of course, we know it isn't.
As far as the mystery goes, I identified the murderer before I felt as though the clues were laid out. Maybe it's because it just seemed too neat, too tidy for how things happened - as Olivia herself points out much later. The rich, family friend just so happens to swoop in to save the day every time something goes wrong? Really? I had the wrong motive - I was convinced he was going to also set up Olivia's dad for some financial scandal. But I had the right person.
I did find it funny that the insurance scam idea came up later, though, as Ted's excuse for setting the fire. How completely perfect. Prior to that, these were my thoughts: "If the fire alarm is missing from a constructed area that presumably has passed code...how is that an accident? In what way? Especially when the use of an accelerant is detected. Perhaps Ted meant it would look as though Olivia set the fire in paranoia, and died by accident trying to get out. Yes, he was against the wall and not thinking logically whatsoever - clearly - but it just also took me out because I could think of many ways that fire would be interpreted."
And of course, the proof had to be in the piano. That's why the scale sounded off in the recording. Something had to be there. Or so I thought. But it was never touched on - just a red herring, I suppose.
I still don't understand why Olivia's vision went to gray when Stern kissed her, either. I feel as though it would make more sense if things went gray when he died. Unless the confusion and upheaval of her world was truly that traumatic, in which case I have other concerns about her
I did enjoy this story although the pacing seemed really slow. It took forever to get the story moving forward and even then it was more of a shuffle. Around 80% of the way through, the tension picks up and there are a few engaging, awesome, couldn't-put-it-down chapters. After that it seems to take the book forever to end. It reminded me a bit of the third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy where it could've ended in about five different places but just kept on going. The ending we do eventually get wasn't nearly as powerful as some of the endings of previous chapters so I found that somewhat disappointing.
I tend to be overly critical of books dealing with music, particularly piano, particularly classical music. Considering one of the characters was auditioning for Julliard and was considered a piano prodigy, I really battled to understand the choice of Elvira Madigan. One, that's a concerto, not a sonata, and he would thus have been accompanied by someone playing the orchestral part on a second piano, but there is no mention of that at all in the book. Two, that is neither a particularly showy nor technically advanced piece. If you're auditioning for Julliard and consider yourself a 'piano god' (direct quote from the character) then surely you could've whipped out something a little more show-stopping by Liszt or Rach or Scriabin or even Chopin. There were also a few other inaccurate references such as a pianist playing a symphony - grr, pet peeve. If you're going to write about art music, get it right!
Despite my issues with the book, I did mostly enjoy it and loved Olivia's friends although I wasn't the biggest fan of Olivia herself. Overall, a decent read.
Olivia, a promising artist, faces multiple problems for one so young. Someone killed Lucas, and she must discover who it is before her mother is sentenced for the crime. This requires Olivia to communicate with dead Lucas to uncover the truth. At the same time, she has inexplicably become color blind, has lost confidence in her artistic ability, and resents the impending marriage of her father.
As Olivia investigates the lives of those closest to her for clues, she must wrestle with issues of love and loyalty. How much loyalty does she owe her lost childhood love? Can she ever allow herself to love another--such as beguiling bad boy Austin Morse? Who in her life is a betrayer?
I found the plot pacing excellent--slow enough to allow for character growth and internalization, yet fast enough that it never bogged down or lost focus. Notes from Ghost Town is a book perfectly geared to its audience: teen girls (especially teens dealing with loss) and those of us who remember what it's like to be teen girls.
This is a sweet love story in which the protagonist must learn when to embrace life and chance and when to let go. As Olivia explains, "You remember it is important to be alive because there is love, even if you cannot touch it with your hands or your lips" (321).