Krista Reviews: Mara Purnhagen's - "Past Midnight"

Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I’m not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I’m usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven’t gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents’ research trip in Charleston—and now I’m being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents’ creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear.

All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

Paperback, 216 pages  Published September 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen (first published August 15th 2010) ISBN  0373210205 (ISBN13: 9780373210206)

Charlotte is definitely not your normal teen. Her parents travel the world filming documentaries trying to prove that ghosts don’t really exist. But perhaps their show does exactly the opposite. This makes it really hard for Charlotte to make and keep friends. She begs her parents to settle down for just one year of school in a brand new house and let her just experience being a teen for a while.

At her new school, Charlotte makes friends easily this time around. Becoming very close with Avery, a cheerleader and her physical complete opposite. But they become close and it really is a friendship that the reader can see lasting a very long time. Avery has problems of her own, she like Charlotte is a very introverted character. Her boyfriend died and she partially blames herself. The boy who is accused of causing his murder approaches Charlotte and asks for her help to contact him. But Charlotte is already being followed around by ghosts asking for help. With so many things happening in the paranormal world, how can Charlotte’s new life be normal?

I jumped into the story really hoping for a great paranormal ghost story. Maybe get the pants scared off me. But this one was a lot more cute and light-hearted than scary. Charlotte’s connection with her sister and her new found friends is really nice. Charlotte’s life may be complicated in the ghostly matters, but her real life is shaping up with long time friendships. There is great family dynamics in this book, and I always love to see that. The mystery of the ghosts following Charlotte begins unravelling from the first chapter, interspersed with new mysteries that open up along the way.

It’s a really fast read, cute and fun that younger tweens and teens will be able to enjoy as well as the rest of us.

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