First Lines: Chances of a girl like me ending up at Wickham Hall were next to nothing. I was a farmer’s daughter and neither of my parents even finished grade school. But I loved to read.
I’ve had this book sitting on my priority reading shelf (because that’s a thing…right?) since Halloween when I thought a ghost story sounded awesome. Well…Halloween was about six months ago and I finally just got sick of seeing it. And I gave it a try.
Liv Bloom has only ever wanted two things: to get out of the foster system and to become an artist. After being adopted by an ok family, she gets accepted to the prestigious Wickham Hall on a scholarship, where she gets her own art studio. It’s a dream come true…even if the traditions there are a bit strange. But it’s here that she meets Malcolm Astor: legacy student, artist, and the only boy who has been able to melt her defenses. And her only friend is Gabe, a fellow scholarship student who warns her to stay away from Malcolm. But she’s finally enjoying her life…until it ends. Weeks after arriving, she’s murdered and, in death, discovers that she is not the first. With the ability to see ghosts, Gabe is the only person who can help Liv find her murderer, uncover the conspiracy, and stay connected to Malcolm. It won’t be easy…
I found this to be an interesting, slightly unsettling read. There are times when it takes a big leap into the cliche, but I still enjoyed reading it. I liked that it was mysterious and vaguely creepy the entire time, even if I kinda knew how the mystery was going to end.
I’m not going to say that any of the characters are real stand-outs. Liv is artistic, but she’s pretty much a stock character beyond that, even though she’s the narrator. Gabe and Malcolm, the two supporting characters, are really the only ones who go through any measurable character development. But even they are kind of forgettable.
I did like the quirks that these ghosts had, their powers and their limitations I mean. That’s what made it all interesting. And, as I mentioned, I liked the way the mystery unfolded. I think this probably comes back to enjoying the writing style and the way the plot unfolded, but honestly, I can’t tell you what exactly it was about this book that kept me hooked. This is an odd feeling for me.
There are moments that this book is trite. But there are also moments where it really does draw you in. I like a good ghost story and while this one didn’t scare the pants off of me, it was pretty unsettling at times and had me looking over my shoulder from time to time.