Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (September 1, 2010)
Author's Website: http://www.marapurnhagen.com/
Charlotte wants nothing more than to just live a normal life. She wants to have friends that don't look at her like she's a freak, she wants a house that isn't so old it's falling apart, and she would even like to maybe find a boyfriend one day. This, however, is not the life Charlotte has. Charlotte's parents are "reality show" ghost-hunters, or as they would say, energy-hunters, because they don't really believe in ghosts. They travel the country, visiting "haunted" places, and try to find a scientific explanation for the seemingly paranormal activity. But after visiting a cafe in Charleston, SC, strange things start happening to Charlotte. She and her family move a couple of hours away, into a brand new house, trying to settle down, but it's obvious that she didn't leave Charleston alone. Two very persistent "energies" have followed her, and they're not leaving her alone until she helps them.
I really enjoyed reading this book! Charlotte was a fantastic main character! She is smart and funny, and just seems like the girl-next-door; like someone that you would want to be friends with. The storyline was interesting and fun to read. Once I picked up the book, I only set it down once (because it was midnight) and looked forward to picking it back up the next day. There were so many different little mystery nuggets in this book. I love books that make you wonder what's going on, where you're trying to figure out the puzzle right along with the main character.
All the characters in Past Midnight were enjoyable to read about. I loved that the popular cheerleaders in this book were nice and supportive and welcomed Charlotte into their group even though she wasn't a cheerleader herself. It was really refreshing not to read the same "popular-girls-are-mean-and-nasty" storyline. Mostly I just really liked watching Charlotte evolve as a person. I thought her sister, Annalise, did a fantastic job of encouraging Charlotte to face her problems head-on, and not be ashamed of who she was. And in the end, Charlotte realizes that there's nothing wrong with being different!
Past Midnight is part of a series, but I didn't feel like it had "Series Syndrome" at all! It was a quick read, it didn't drag on and on, and it had a totally satisfying, wrapped up ending. One of the things I love most about this book is that it is TOTALLY clean! YAY! If you like creepy ghost stories, or just really cute YA reads, I would definitely recommend Past Midnight!
5 out of 6
You may like to know: This book has absolutely no sexual content or language! There are a few tense moments involving ghosts, but nothing too scary, and nothing violent.
To see our other Halloween Picks, click here!