Monday, February 14, 2011

One Hundred Candles Review

Author: Mara Purnhagen
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub Date: February 22, 2011
Paperback: 240 pages  
Source: ARC (Thanks NetGalley!)
For Challenge: A-Z Reading Challenge
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)

It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

I thought this story was interesting and creative, and I really enjoyed it. Charlotte certainly has a different life, and I liked seeing just how much her life revolved around the supernatural due to her parents’ job. The pacing of the book was perfect – it didn’t drag at all, and I was pulled in at all the right moments. I also enjoyed how Purnhagen pulls together the supernatural and the realistic. Adding the extra elements of protective crystals, candles, and ceremonies really made it stand out for me. Although this seems like stuff that would seem to be in all supernatural stories, I have found it in very few. 

It’s also a great stand-alone book, even though it was the second in the series. I was able to catch on quickly as to what was going on and wasn’t confused as to who the characters were. However, I think that if I had read the first book, I’d have had a stronger connection with the characters, which would have been nice.

As I said, I really enjoyed the story, but the writing was a little too simplistic for me. The characters are very black-and-white and predictable. The main character says everything that’s going on in her mind in a very simple, direct manner. I think it’s a classic example of the writer “telling” rather than “showing.” Instead of showing that the main character was worried or sad by having her do something or act a certain way, she directly stated, “I am worried.” It makes the story less interesting to read, and definitely made me feel distanced from the characters, because I wasn’t interacting with them as much.

I thought the climax and ending was wonderfully done. By the time I got to the high point of the novel, I couldn’t put it down – I had to finish.

I would rate this at 3.5 stars, but it has a cool cover, so I’m bumping it up.

My rating:

Happy gaming!

PS Sorry I haven't been updating as much as I used to. School just got REALLY busy for me. Thanks for being such great followers! :)

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