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Notes from Ghost Town
Cover of Notes from Ghost Town
Notes from Ghost Town
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Olivia Jane was excited for the summer and spending it with her best friend, Stern. But that was ruined when he was mur­dered...by Olivia's mother. Flashing forward, Olivia's life has been transformed since that awful night.

After her mother's incarceration, Olivia must move on, but she hates her father's new fiancée, Heather, and with her dad's new real estate development (she calls it Ghost Town) in the works, she barely sees him. But a new boy, Austin, has kindled feelings inside her that she hasn't felt since Stern's death.

Arriving at the same time as this new guy is a mysterious note that brings Stern's murder back to the forefront; Olivia knows that she must discover the truth behind her friend's death once and for all.

Olivia Jane was excited for the summer and spending it with her best friend, Stern. But that was ruined when he was mur­dered...by Olivia's mother. Flashing forward, Olivia's life has been transformed since that awful night.

After her mother's incarceration, Olivia must move on, but she hates her father's new fiancée, Heather, and with her dad's new real estate development (she calls it Ghost Town) in the works, she barely sees him. But a new boy, Austin, has kindled feelings inside her that she hasn't felt since Stern's death.

Arriving at the same time as this new guy is a mysterious note that brings Stern's murder back to the forefront; Olivia knows that she must discover the truth behind her friend's death once and for all.

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  • Available:
    1
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Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.0
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Kate Ellison trained as an actor in Chicago and has walked across the entire country of Spain. She is a painter and jewelry-maker. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. The Butterfly Clues was her first novel. You can visit her online at www.kateellison.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 17, 2012
    It’s been almost a year since 16-year-old Olivia’s first love, Stern, was murdered and Olivia’s schizophrenic mother confessed to the crime. Almost simultaneously, Olivia, an aspiring artist, turned color blind, which she has taken as a sign that she, too, is becoming schizophrenic. As Olivia’s father prepares to remarry and helps develop a Floridian luxury condo complex (the Ghost Town of the title), Olivia is visited by the ghost of Stern, who believes that Olivia’s mother was not his killer. Olivia begins to look into the murder, fully aware that the visions of Stern could be part of her assumed mental illness. Ellison (The Butterfly Clues) effectively turns up the tension as Olivia herself becomes a target. While the fraught romance between art-school dropout Olivia and antagonistic rich boy Austin, the stepson of one of her father’s business partners, is a bit too familiar, Olivia’s fears of following in her mother’s footsteps are sympathetic, and it’s easy to get drawn into the novel’s paranormally tinged mystery. A Paper Lantern Lit property. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2013
    A teenage girl gets clues from her dead best friend that help solve his murder in this soapy paranormal romance. When Olivia Tithe, 16, kissed her childhood friend, Lucas Stern, the whole world went gray. Her sudden colorblindness foreshadowed a horrific event: A week after the kiss, piano prodigy Stern was murdered, and Olivia's schizophrenic mother was accused of the crime. Now, as her mother's sentencing date approaches, Stern appears to Olivia as a ghost to declare her mother's innocence. Unfortunately, he can't quite remember who did him in, so Olivia begins investigating. Even though friend Raina and new crush Austin offer to help, Olivia is terrified to tell them about Stern's ghost lest they believe she has inherited her mother's illness. Olivia uncovers shady connections to her real estate mogul father's vacant new condo development (which she dubs Ghost Town) and finds out that her mother's original lawyer committed suicide. When the supernatural trail leads to the real killer, Olivia has to decide if she is willing to risk her own life to save her mother's. Though the clues come about a bit too conveniently, Ellison's lush, occasionally overwrought writing will leave romance fans swooning, especially after one scene that reads like a homage to the movie Ghost--except instead of a pottery wheel, it's Stern's piano. Sudsy but satisfying. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2013

    Gr 9-11-Sixteen-year-old Olivia's best friend, Stern, is murdered, and her mother confesses to the crime. Her mother had never been well balanced, and her refusal to stay on her meds led to increasing mental instability. Unable to cope, Olivia's father filed for divorce. And just a week before Stern's death, Olivia's sight started faltering, all color bleaching out of her world. She is afraid that her graying vision is just the first sign of impending, inherited schizophrenia. With the boy she secretly loved dead, her father remarrying, and her mother in prison awaiting sentencing, Olivia struggles to make it through each day. When Stern's ghost shows up to save her from drowning, she wonders if it is another sign of her oncoming madness or if the visitation is real. If it is truly appearing, what could be causing his spirit's unrest? This tightly plotted novel is both heartfelt and suspenseful. Olivia mourns not only the loss of her best friend/romantic interest, but also the life she once knew. She feels as if her parents, home, friends, and even her artistic talent have all deserted her in one way or another. Ellison portrays Olivia sympathetically yet realistically, creating a believable character in an extreme situation. This book will find many readers, among them fans of Sarah Dessen's works and Jennifer R. Hubbard's The Secret Year (Viking, 2010).-Heather E. Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    February 1, 2013
    Grades 9-12 Since they were kids, Olivia and Stern have been best friends. A talented pianist, Stern was going to set the world on fire with his playing, but then he is found dead on the beach, and Olivia's mother, a diagnosed schizophrenic, is charged with his murder. Olivia worries that she could be suffering from the same disease, especially when she begins to regularly see and talk with the ghost of Stern, who prompts her to look more closely at the circumstances surrounding his murder. With her mother's sentencing just days away, Olivia is in a race against time to unravel the mystery behind Stern's death. Ellison has crafted an intriguing, well-paced mystery with just enough clues to give savvy readers a chance to puzzle out the truth and a thread of romance that will help hook teens until the very last page.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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Notes from Ghost Town
Notes from Ghost Town
Kate Ellison
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