This book is the first in a trilogy called 'The Darkest Powers Trilogy' and the whole series is based around Chloe Saunders, a fifteen year old girl who has been able to see ghosts since she was young. However, with her father away on business trips and her mother having passed away, Aunt Lauren looks after her most of the time. One day at school, Chloe is chased by a ghost man who can manipulate his face to look as scary as he wants to, leaving poor Chloe (who hasn't seen a ghost in years) to run around the school looking like a maniac. She is restrained, taken to hospital and diagnosed Schizophrenic, which is the point in which Aunt Lauren take her to Lyle House with a bunch of teens with supposed mental illnesses too.
I'm not going to tell you the rest or give out any spoilers, but let's just say that none of the other teens, as well as Chloe, have mental illnesses. They have also been grouped together for a special reason...
On to the review! I have been as two-sided as I can but obviously I need to express my own opinion.
Our protagonist, Chloe Saunders, was a very relatable character for a teenage girl. She especially related to me because I am a late developer as she is, and this allowed me to bond with the character throughout the book. She wasn't a particularly strong main character as she seemed to change personas every once in a while, but for a teen who loves an easy-read, this would be your kind of book.
I found the beginning of the book fast paced and the story caught my attention throughout, but I feel as though there was a lot of plot dragging after the fist hundred or so pages. Perhaps the whole trilogy could have been spread out better into one or two books, but then again good things always come in threes and this is an approach popular modern authors like to take.
I am not disappointed with this book because it was the sort of story that I usually really enjoy, so if you're a teen you will probably get the same enjoyment that I did out of it. If you don't mind the story dragging on a bit, you'll love it. However, I wouldn't recommend it to adults as this just isn't the sort of young adult literature that adults typically go for.
The other characters had a bit more life in them. I particularly enjoyed the care that Simon had for his brother and Chloe. Derek has to be one of my favourite characters so far - he can't feel emotion like other people but you can tell he really does love Simon and he feels very protective over Chloe. Tori really annoyed me throughout the book, but then again I'm one for the good guys. Tori isn't supposed to be an enjoyable character, so maybe Armstrong got her spot on.
SPOILERS COMING UP:
The ending was shocking and yet I feel somewhat embarrassed that I gasped while reading it. Aunt Lauren seemed like a shady character from the beginning and I suppose I should have seen her true objectives coming. I felt like she was not a sturdy character and maybe that's why I was so confused as to why she would compromise her own niece's happiness. I was disappointed that Chloe and Rae actually got caught and taken to yet another mental institution (well, it was the asylum in the hospital but you catch my drift) as I thought if they were successful then they could find Simon's dad by the end of the book. Unfortunately, I can see myself trying to be bothered to keep up with another 200 pages of running and hiding in the next book.
In conclusion: if you like paranormal novels that you can relax with, this is your kind of read. I do not recommend this to adults at all, as I think you will find yourself very disappointed with the quality of plot.
I gave this 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads because I personally enjoyed it to the point where I picked up the next book. I only wish I could give this a better review, but I had to tell the truth.
Happy reading :)
The Book Critic x