Title: Notes from Ghost Town
Publication: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA
They say first love never dies…
From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.
There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely–just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?
With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.
Heartfelt and suspenseful. Notes from Ghost Town is ride worth taking.
Livie is devastated after the murder of her best friend Stern and her mother's supposed involvement. She hurts more because she never got to express how she felt to him after that awkward kiss they shared. No longer able to see the vibrancy of color but only the various shades of gray Livie eventually flunks out of art school and returns home, broken and withdrawn. Then one night in a drunken haze, she decides to take a swim that nearly takes her life until she saved by the ghost of none other than Stern. Thinking this is the beginning of her own psychiatric meltdown, she thinks he isn't real and that she going crazy like her mother.
Stern gives news that sparks hope in Livie about the case against her mother but her efforts to gather clues made lead to her own demise. Someone wants her to stop digging and will go to great lengths to halt her progress. However, Livie knows that if there is even a possibility that her mother is innocent she is the key to finding it. In addition to dealing with this murder mystery, she has to cope with her father remarrying a woman she dislikes and she doesn't understand how he could betray her mother that way. She feels alone and that there is no one she can rely on because everyone keeps telling her to let go trying to save her mother but as things spiral out of control, it may be too late for Livie to move on.
This is the first book I've read by this author and it had me emotionally on edge. It's seemed as if I was connected to everything Livie felt and experienced from her anger to love. True this is a ghost story but it's also about acceptance and family. It's about finding the truth that you know is there even when people tell you it's crazy or unattainable. The characters are realistic, though I would have liked more of Stern but he isn’t the only love interest. Austin, the privileged preppie vies for Livie’s affections although he may have other motives to his sudden interest in her. The plot has an easy flow to it and liked the momentum of the writing. Overall, a good read for readers that like romance with mystery and paranormal aspects.