Title: Haunted (The Arnaud Legacy #1)
Author: Lynn Carthage
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher
"Remarkable. . .a twist you'll never see coming." - Michelle Gagnon, author of Don't Look Now
Moving to my stepfather's English country mansion sounded so promising. But the Arnaud Manor is neglected and unwelcoming, and I get the feeling it isn't exactly uninhabited. Something wants to hurt us--especially my little sister, Tabby.
Okay, so I might be a little sensitive lately. My parents act oblivious to me, my old life is far away in San Francisco, and the gorgeous guy I just met tells me terrible stories about the infamous Madame Arnaud who lived here long ago, and about missing children and vengeful spirits. The kind of stories that are impossible to believe--until you're living in one of them, fighting to protect everyone you love...
Haunted by Lynn Carthage is just the kind of young adult novel that I like to read. My only experience with YA as a young person was reading R.L. Stine, Lois Duncan, and Christopher Pike, and Haunted is definitely in their league. It was a very nostalgic read.
Because I read so many paranormal, slightly horror YA novels back in the 90s, Haunted was very predictable. I called Phoebe's secret almost immediately, but that took nothing away from the novel. The point and fun of it is the creepy/chilly ghosts and other characters and trying to figure out what is really going on in that old house. (Phoebe's secret is given away at 55% in your Kindle copy if you're like me and want to peak, though I didn't this time. I mean, I didn't have to.)
Another awesome thing going for the book is that I never wanted to skip ahead. I'm really back about doing that with any sort of mystery. I don't like a lot of tension, and Haunted was at my happy medium. There were twists and turns (some that I even missed), but the tension was never palpable enough that I had to find out what was going on. I couldn't put the book down, and I was happy to read it in order. That is quite rare.
Even though I had Phoebe figured out, I liked her a lot as a character. I'm obviously not a teen since I was reading these books in the 90s, but she really brought out my motherly instincts. I think that's part of why I was able to figure her out so quickly, but my heart absolutely broke for her. She loves her family so much and felt so ostracized for what she did back home in California prior to the events of the novel, that I just wanted to hug her. I think a lot of teen readers will be able to relate to her because who doesn't feel like their parents are blowing them off if they have younger siblings? I also really dug her relationship with Tabby. I guess there was enough of an age difference between the sisters that she felt so protective of her. I think it may have been the best part of the book
If you like stories about hauntings and a good, mild mystery, Haunted is well worth reading. Though it lacked some surprises for me, I'll definitely still continue the series. It's a fantastic debut.
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About the Author
Lynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt.
Haunted is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through Book Junkie Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.