Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Author: Mara Purnhagen
Pages: 216
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal
Reading Level: 13 years old+
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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….
Past Midnight is a compelling start to the Midnight series. I got it from Harlequin Teen, not really knowing what it was about other than it was a ghost story. When I started reading it, I was instantly intrigued. Charlotte's parents have their own TV show! And about ghosts, no less! But they don't call them ghosts, it's more like residual energy that builds up due to high emotional connection, or constant repetition. During  a taping for her parent's show, Charlotte's sister has an encounter with something, and so does Charlotte. Now that something doesn't want to go away.

I like Charlotte, although I felt she worried way too much about what other people thought. For a good portion of the book, she stresses over trying to keep the information about her parent's job a secret from her friends, and I was like "Okay, get over it already, it's not that big of a deal." But other than that, she was great. She definitely handled the ghosts much better than I would have!

You know how in most YA novels, the parents of the main character are barely involved in their kid's life, or are dead, or extremely messed up? Well, not in Past Midnight! Charlotte's parents are very central, important characters in the story, which isn't something that I see in YA very often.

As I mentioned earlier, the mythology of ghosts is looked at a bit differently than what we're used to. They're not evil or malevolent entities that want to haunt someone, just energy that has been left behind by both the living and the dead. This outlook is definitely new and interesting.

A huge breath of fresh air was also that the romance was very subdued. In fact, there wasn't really any true romance, just hints of a budding crush that may become something more in the next books. This kept the story rolling and the suspense thick, and kept me turning pages to find out what happens to everyone. Overall, I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun story! =) I like it when the parents are more involved in the story. Much more realistic when they are in YA. I know my parents are heavily involved in my life. =) I like the sound of Charlotte, though I hate when characters always worry about what others think. I think I may need to crack open my copy of Past Midnight soon. =)

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