Release Day 5/5 Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

February 12, 2013 Review 4


Notes From Ghost Town

by Kate Ellison

Genre: Paranormal YA|
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail| Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (February 12, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1606842641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606842645


Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.

Sexual Content

Kissing. Sensuality.  References to sex.  Extremely vague references to sexual misconduct


They say first love never dies…

From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.


NOTES FROM A GHOST TOWN by Kate Ellison is the second book I’ve reviewed this year about a girl who was haunted by the ghost of her best friend and urged to solve a murder.  Both took place in a sweltering hot small town, had a precocious little sister, a well meaning step parent, and a disreputable bad boy who may or may not be redeemable.  But those similarities aren’t the most striking ones. What’s shocking to me is that I’m giving both books a 5/5 rating.

The other book I was talking about is PAPER VALENTINE by Brenna Yovanoff, one of my favorite YA books written by one of my favorite authors today.  After reading NOTES FROM A GHOST TOWN, I’m going to have to add Kate Ellison to that very short list.  Her writing is atmospheric, moody, and completely seductive.  Of the two, this is the darker story.  Olivia is a desperately broken character.  She’s made a lot of damaging choices for a girl so young.  Her mother’s schizophrenia has slowly chipped away at all the happiness in her life leaving it totally devoid of color–literally.

There is a real beauty the the language in NOTES FROM A GHOST TOWN.  Olivia’s emotions are so vivid and raw and expressed so completely that, as a reader, I slipped completely into her skin and story.  And it is a sad story, bereft of all but the briefest glimpses of levity.  Even Olivia’s humorous sarcasm hides pain.  In a lot of ways, she reminded me of a much darker Veronica Mars.  Heavy though it was, I could not put this book down.  Full of such lovely despair and tinged with the slightest bit of hope.  This is a must read.



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4 Responses to “Release Day 5/5 Review: Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison”

  1. Keri

    Thanks for reviewing so much YA Abigail! I love it and appreciate your recommendations.

    • Abigail

      Thank you for saying that Keri! I can’t seem to stop reading YA. I hope you get to pick this one up, and grab PAPER VALENTINE too, if you get a chance. Lovely bittersweet books.