I was weighing this between 2 and 3 stars for a bit. I saw my friends' ratings and they ranked between 3-5 stars, so I was wondering why I was even contemplating giving this 2 stars. Was I reading the same book as they? Maybe because I was reading a pdf version, I was missing some paragraphs or chapters or something? But anyway, the 50+ or so last pages were the deal-breaker for me.
I guess my main problem was: The writing was just so-so. It's a YA Paranormal book, right? I'd expect to feel creeped out, especially when at the start of the book, you have ghosts that dangle from the ceiling, who looks at you queerly, a running boy that disappears in front of a swerving car, a crying girl in a bathroom stall, all in the first few chapters. Ghosts, ghosts, everywhere! I really thought I was in for a dark and wicked ride.
And then Chloe got to Lyle House, and it was like, filler time!
Pages and pages of filler, instead of scenes to build up the suspense. If I were to rewrite a part (assuming I can write), I would probably make the reader feel creeped out being at Lyle House. Like in horror movies, the setting is important.
Okay, enough with the griping, on to the good parts
I really loved Chloe and her friends. I gotta give the author props for creating characters that are smart. It's like Kelley Armstrong thought up every cliche stupidity in YA novels and wrote the exact opposite of those. Nice.
And Derek, oh my god, Derek. He's covered in acne, tall and brutish, and even has BO. I was like, whhhaaaat? What was Kelley Armstrong driving at? There were so many instances where she emphasized on Derek's unfortunate appearance. He's a potential love interest, right? On closer look, I guess Derek is a great character - he's a normal 16 year old, who has a legit reason to brood. Teenagers get acne and BO, I guess it's easy to forget that when so many heroes and heroines have flawless skin and perfect teeth. But Derek, he is who he is. At least he showers twice a day. He'll grow out of it. (But I still laugh at his unfortunate situation. Am I mean?)
Anyway, Derek's appearance doesn't really matter, because Chloe is not the type of girl who scopes out the boys to fall in lurrrve. There isn't even much of a love story here. I mean, she's been in the house for only a week. Who falls in love within a week? Which is one thing I liked about this book, it focused more on the residents' relationships with each other, which is more realistic.
Chloe is a very likable heroine. The way she mocks herself for her stupidity, the way she turns a situation into a movie scene to ward off her fears, and how it's not always about her. Sure she's a rich girl, but somehow still relatable. I think Katniss is just one level higher than her. Yeah, I said it.
I'm willing to put aside my dislike of serializing books when I know that the story could be told in a single one. You gotta make a living, right? If a book has likable characters, then I'm fine with it.
I'm really looking forward to reading the next installment, [b:The Awakening|5391115|The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2)|Kelley Armstrong|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347782871s/5391115.jpg|4115339]!