The Scoop: (Goodreads)
My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House… before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
So, as you read, Chloe can see dead people. This power of hers comes on pretty suddenly, thus earning her a one-way ticket to Lyle House and a quick diagnosis of schizophrenia. She meets several teens who seem fairly normal if maybe mentally troubled. But as you already know, dear reader, all is not as it seems at Lyle House and Chloe needs to get to the bottom of things pretty fast or else...
|Oh-oh... if you find youself talking to this kid or Chloe, you have had better days.|
Ok, I have to keep remembering that Chloe is fourteen-going-on-fifteen so that I don't get frustrated with her poor decisions and inability to listen to reason or logic or her instincts. You guys know I'm a fan of a Kick-Ass Heroine and Chloe is not one of those, by far (but maybe soon...).
|Chloe needs to hang out with Katniss for about a year...|
Overall, I do like her, however, she has a rabid love of movies (as do I, and I love the references). She's funny, fairly smart, concerned for others and an overall good-girl. The cast of characters surrounding her are intriguing. Tori is the token mean girl with secrets yet to be revealed. Simon is the token love interest who is smart, nice and funny. Liz is the sweet roommate who shows Chloe the ropes and would do anything for her. Rae is the street-smart wise-cracker and Derek (Simon's brother) is a grouchy, dark and brooding mystery.
|I'm a big fan of tall, dark and brooding mysteries...|
A note on Derek: I know Simon is the evident love interest for Chloe, but I really hope Armstrong takes Chloe is an unexpected direction and hooks her up with Derek. (Although, sometimes, I don't think Chloe deserves him.) Derek is crazy-smart, super-tall and strong, harboring a dark secret and constantly bailing Chloe out of jams. On the downside, he has been hit with a "puberty smackdown" and has horrible acne and smells gross despite taking two showers a day. He has all of the makings of a hottie-in-training and I really hope he grows to be one.
|With a little bit of this and some perscription strength deodorant, Derek is on his way to YA Hero Stardom.|
As usual in YA, the adults are peripheral characters (for now, I think) and simply represent mistrust, neglect, non-understanding or downright danger.
I feel like Armstrong does a pretty good job of not underestimating her target audience and while some mysteries have obvious answers, many were well-concealed. Overall, a great start to what I am sure is going to be an excellent series.
|Every flavor starts with the same five ingredients and it may not be good for you, but it sure is yummy!|