Authors: Kelly Moore, Larkin Reed, and Tucker Reed
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, 368 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Sarah Parsons has never seen Amber House, the grand Maryland estate that's been in her family for three centuries. She's never walked its hedge maze nor found its secret chambers; she's never glimpsed the shades that haunt it, nor hunted for lost diamonds in its walls.
But all of that is about to change. After her grandmother passes away, Sarah and her friend Jackson decide to search for the diamonds--and the house comes alive. She discovers that she can see visions of the house's past, like the eighteenth-century sea captain who hid the jewels, or the glamorous great-grandmother driven mad by grief. She grows closer to both Jackson and a young man named Richard Hathaway, whose family histories are each deeply entwined with her own. But when the visions start to threaten the person she holds most dear, Sarah must do everything she can to get to the bottom of the house's secrets, and stop the course of history before it is cemented forever.
I loved this captivating and unique paranormal book with a gothic feel. After her grandmother's funeral, Sarah and her mother and brother stay at the family estate and Sarah begins to see "echoes," visions of the past. Through these visions, she discovers secrets about the house, her family, and even her ancestors.
I loved how Sarah's family played such an important part in the book. She has a difficult relationship with her mother, who is rather cold and uptight. She loves her autistic five year old brother and they have a fantastic and special relationship, which was great to read about. She meets Jackson, a guy who lives with his grandmother on the property and who seems to know a lot about her, even though they've never met. Jackson, who doesn't lie but who keeps secrets. Jackson, who has such a sad story and who kept me guessing about what his secrets were.
There's just so much mystery in this book that I kept turning the pages in order to find out what was going on. The mystery of the house is slowly revealed, with clues sprinkled throughout, and I have to say, at the end of the epilogue, I updated my status on Goodreads by stating: "I. Am. Freaking. Out." And I bought the sequel immediately (yay Kindle, there's nothing like instant gratification).
I loved how the history of the house and Sarah's ancestors were woven into this modern day story and how the past and individual choices affected the future. I was immersed in this story about ghosts (sort of ghosts), creepy children, and mirrors. It's filled with rich descriptions of the house and the people (although not overdone so you get bored). Thanks to Nicole at The Quiet Concert for recommending this book to me!
Posted by: Pam