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Haunted Moving to my stepfather’s English country mansion sounded so promising But the Arnaud Manor is neglected and unwelcoming and I get the feeling it isn’t exactly uninhabited Something wants to hurt us—especially my litter sister TabbyOkay so I might be a little sensitive lately My parents act oblivious to me my old life is far away in San Francisco and the gorgeous guy I just met tells me terrible stories about the infamous Madame Arnaud who lived here long ago and about missing children and vengeful spirits The kind of stories that are impossible to believe—until you’re living in one of them fighting to protect everyone you love Haunted is a well paced tense emotionally satisfying read with a finely detailed gothic atmosphere In addition to perfectly wrought supernatural flourishes and a surprising twist Lynn Carthage gives us a warm and relatable heroine Phoebe a formidable villain a charming romantic interest and an adorably complex baby sister The evolving relationships between Phoebe and the members of her family are genuinely moving particularly the interplay between Phoebe and little Tabby I look forward to the rest of the series Haunted made me laugh gave me the chills and importantly made me uestion my own sanity haha I managed to fall into the story so easily that I forgot I was even reading Haunted is a uick read if you’re looking for something fun to read Maybe you can read it on the train? Or between books? Within the first 30 pages of reading I had laughed uite a few times After that though Haunted had taken a serious tone And then a while after that it seemed like Phoebe’s thoughts were so scattered The plot was thickening so uickly yet there were so many uestions to be asked The type of uestions you have but you don’t ask you know? The type of uestions where you want to ask them but you already know the answer toHaunted managed to surprise me; which doesn’t happen often Even if I did know the big ‘surprise’ it was still shocking to read it And slightly heartbreaking as well I didn’t think I would be as affected as I was by hearing the news Nonetheless though Phoebe seems to take this news in stride and becomes a stronger person right then and there Which is honestly genuinely weird I’d expect Phoebe to freak the hell out but she didn’t And maybe she knew all along We the readers though are given little hints at what had happened to PhoebeThis book This freaking book Mystery novels always do this to me Haunted made me uestion my sanity people With almost every revelation that either Phoebe or myself had I uestioned whether or not it had actually happened Mystery novels I’m surprised that I didn’t just rage uit this one as I usually do with other mystery books that I’ve readOverall the story is pretty well written I like the detail that Carthage wrote in Haunted Sometimes the detail was even spooky and creeped me out Everything fits really nicely I also liked those little passages at the beginning of every chapter They just made the story seem real and in that sense I guess that was Carthage’s way of giving the reader a little of the stories history I had hoped that Haunted would be a standalone Even though it isn’t you can treat Haunted very easily as a standaloneview spoilerThere’s one thing that I didn’t expect happening and that’s the beginnings of a love triangle You can tell that one character doesn’t expect or want to like this character but you can just tell that it’s going to happenI found that Phoebe was a really needy character Yeah she’s in her teens and she’s at the age where she both needs her mom and needs to separate herself from her parents I just didn’t like how that was all played out When you read the book though you’d totally understand why this happened and why she acts like a typical teenager Other than that Phoebe has some strong values She loves and will protect her sister at any cost That’s for sure Phoebe loves her little sister Tabby Phoebe doesn’t have that whole hero complex where she ‘has to save the whole planet’ Phoebe just wants to protect her family And Phoebe matures really uickly as well It’s pretty steady but I also felt that she pretty much matured at the flip of a pageMiles is actually described in parts and not all at once Which I guess was all right? Phoebe didn’t fawn over him the whole time and that alone is great Anyway we see a lot of Miles but not enough to actually get to know him as a character We know what happened to him and we’re made to feel sorry for him I didn’t though and I’m just really glad about that He’s a good kid and has some great intentions I can just tell though that he has some ulterior motives Those will probably show up in the next book If I do read the next book I’m seriously hoping that Miles doesn’t turn out to be a huge assholeEleanor is another character We meet her about halfway though reading Haunted And Eleanor is seriously Haunted When we first meet her she’s all woe is me for good reason though I want to like Eleanor I do I really do I just can’t like her as much as I want to If I were in the story though I would just want to hold her an arms length away She’s a pretty good character too She wants to do what is best and wants to succeed at what she tried to do a long time agoI just want to give a huge Thank You to both Netgalley and Kensington Books for allowing me to read an ARC of Haunted hide spoiler writing 'you'll never guess the twist' and 'if you like american horror story you'll love haunted' right there on the cover made me immediately guess the twist at least in ahs they made violet's death subtle so the reveal would be unexpectedalso the romance between miles and phoebe was so cringe his only uality was that he was pretty tbh like i found his character to be really bland actually overall the description of people and places was so meh we barely found out what the ghosts actually looked like and all i really remember about madame arnaud was that she was rotting??? but still alive honestly idk what this book was going for there don't ask me what the castle looked like though because all i read was that there was a forest and it was big which y'know is pretty standard fare for castlesall in all i wanted so much creep factor out of this and it wasn't scary at all dead teenagers and cannibalism just isn't shocking enough people SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERSHow can I even begin to describe just how bizarre and poorly thought out this book is? Now I love me a good ghost story when it's well done but this book is so full of random bizarreness I just can't even as the young kids sayWe start out with Phoebe a teenager whose mom baby sister and stepdad have moved to England At first Phoebe speaks in dire and oddly guilt stricken tones about the horrible thing she did but cannot remember the thing that was so awful that it caused her parents to move to another country uprooting their two daughters It seems odd that anyone could forget doing something that awful but Conveniently the stepfather just so happens to be the heir to a huge manor house with 30000 acres of land thirty THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND that he has neglected to mention before Apparently he has managed to hide this inheritance from his family as well as the Inland Revenue because the taxes on 30000 acres of land must be a real dragThe first plot twist was one I saw coming around page 40 SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER It turns out that Phoebe is actually dead The horrible thing she did that made her parents move to her stepfather's stealth mansion? She diedNow this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the nonsensical plot of this book In short order we meet another ghost who happens to be a sexy teenager with the hots for Phoebe; a terrifying dowager who may be immortal or who may be a vampire or who may be a ghost but in any case she drinks blood from the veins of children with a silver straw; the ghost of a housemaid who tried to kill the dowager vampire but failed and then committed suicide; the ghosts of dead babies; and the ghosts of dead servants who feel really bad that they didn't try to stop the dowager vampire Phoebe and her bae can travel through time just by thinking about it and they flit back and forth spending an awful lot of time in a swimming pool For no apparent reason each chapter begins with a uote about the mansion from a fake source while we watch as Phoebe is simultaneously trying to kill the dowager vampire; release the other ghosts from being tethered to the mansion by their guilt; help her parents figure out a way to pay the upkeep on the manor which has never been an issue before although it has been emphasized that the mansion has been for sale for years but no one will buy it Um hello subdivision?; resolve her own ambivalence and guilt about being dead; assuage her mother's heartbreak and guilt at having lost her daughter; save her baby sister from being a midnight snack for the dowager vampire until she figures out how to kill the latter; get her ghost boyfriend to break up with his still alive girlfriend; help the ghostly housemaid to move on to the next life; and suck face with the ghost boyfriend Did I mention that Phoebe died of an obscure medical condition that caused her to faint uncontrollably but her mother refused to take her to the doctor until Phoebe passed out during a swim meet and drowned?I hate to be cynical but this book feels like someone wanted to cash in on the craze for YA books wrote down a bunch of ideas girl who doesn't know she's dead boyfriend who also died tragically vampires huge manor houses in the British countryside and then instead of taking a couple of weeks to think about what fit and what didn't what made sense and created a cohesive plot just threw them all into the blender and spewed out this bookSo yeah I hated it It's hard to write about this story without spoilers since there's an imaginative surprise in the middle but I can tell you this baby eating bad guys are scary bad guys and Lynn Carthage is one dark gruesome writer I love it when you get to a big –twist revelation that changes everything so thoroughly it makes you want to start the full book over This is a stunning thrilling and emotional novel I blubbered my way through the final heartfelt pages of this teen dream ghost story As usual Carthage uplifts undervalued people Central themes showcase her regard for the older step daughters and lowly maids of the world and her devotion to the value of writing and curiosity Haunted is the first book in a new young adult paranormal mystery series by the author Lynn Carthage I reuested it at Netgalley as I liked the premise – a gothic mystery with some haunting going on A huge dark mansion in England and a young girl’s search for the truthAn American family is moving from San Francisco to the husband’s family mansion in England all because of something Phoebe the older girl did not long agoEven now that they’re settling in their new home the parents mother and step dad are not uite their usual normal selves with the girl Sometimes it seems they even completely ignore her She must have done something really terrible back at home but for the life of her she can’t remember whatOne thing Phoebe can’t get over is the fact that she seems to black out at random times and always end up someplace else with no recollection of how she got thereSoon after arriving to her new home Phoebe meets a young British guy Miles and they both feel uite attracted to each other They both realize something is wrong so together they try to figure out what is going onBoy I didn’t see the major twist coming – although now that I think of it the signs were all there and I’m sure there will be readers who will have figured it all out way before I didOnce I understood the gist of the story it all became enjoyable again and I was looking forward to see how Phoebe and Miles would deal with the evil that lurks in the house and how to protect her little sister from that evil taking herFull book review at This was an incredible book with a wonderful flowing story line that will keep you hooked from page one to the very end The book is left open for a possible book two which I can't wait to see If you like American Horror Story and remember the very first season you will be able to relate this book to that somewhat They both have a similar storyline but this is G Rated or a tame version to American Horror Stories Season OnePhoebe and her family have relocated to England to her step dad's family seat because of something that happened back in California that Phoebe can't uite remember The property they move to is a very old English Manor Home set to resemble some of the homes from the 1700's of France The original owners had the house built to remind them of their beloved France and each and every aspect of the house from furniture to paintings to atmosphere are reminders of what was left in FranceThe one thing that Phoebe and her family did not expect was that the house is haunted and there is a horror there that will surly cost them their sanity if things go the way they start outThe book does lag just for a bit in the middle until our characters figure out what is truly going on but then it picks up nicely and go at a good clip to the very end I honestly didn't expect a few of the things that jumped out at me It's not a gory story but one of just horror and ghosts and things that go bump in the night You might want to watch out for what lies behind the next door you open 35Phoebe is moving with her stepfathermother and little sister from california to england to live at her stepfathers ancestral home Its all because Phoebe did something horribleBut what? She cant remember exactlyThen there is her little sister who she loves deeply but she cant help but be resentful of how all her stepfather and mothers attention has shifted to revolve completely aroundTabby Phoebe is being ignored and feel hurt even if she tries to be mature about itAnd now they are in this rundown house to make a fresh start but Phoebe feels something is waiting for themA presenceShe gets some clarity from Miles a boy she meet while swimming that the locals believe the mansion was inhabited by Madame Arnaud a 18th century noblewoman who feeds on the blood of infants And she still lives in the house centuries laterAfter an unsettling encounter in the unused part of the house she cant help but start to believe in the stories But that doesnt explain other things that are happening to herWhat is happening? Is she going crazy?Even if she isshe wont allow her little sister to be harmed by the dark force in the houseIs it one thing I love its a good gothic Sinister old houses and the heroines who step over their tresholds thats what I am into So I was very happy when I was approved to view the ARC of Haunted by Lynn CarthageI liked Phoebes character she had her strong and weak sides with enough sass to make her interesting without being annoying Not being a sporty person myself I did wonder if I would be able to relate to the fact that she was on the swim team But it was mellowed out with the fact that she was also aspiring writer I fully approved of her dream of becoming a literary mermaid lolI started to suspect what was going on with Phoebe about p 88But I was not sure Maybe it WAS all in her mind? This book had some beautiful phrasing and writing but stopping just before it became too floweryIt makes sense that Phoebe would describe things in that way because she was a writer One thing that I did have a problem with was that I felt Phoebe trusted Miles too easily after only meeting him once she tells him everything that has happenedMind you it was only the second time they metTruth be told and I say this like someone who appreciates a bit of romance in my read I think the book wouldnt have suffered much if his character were to have been cut out of the story completelyHe was not a bad guy but he didnt have a very exciting personalityI just couldnt get over thinking about him as the token hot love interest and and a way for the author to enable that Phobe have someone to confide in and give her a nudge in the right direction when she hesitatedSome of the chapters just ended abruptly I dont know if this was editing gone wrong or a way for the author to transfer the feeling of disorientation Phoebe was feeling to the authorIf that was the case it worked I felt as confused as our heroineI also noticed a slight spelling mistake leathern instead of leatheryThe small snippets of newspaper notices at the start of every chapter helped build the atmosphere of the book and added some backstory to the Arnauds and their houseI have to admit there were some anacronishms like a servant from the Victorian era knowing who Elizabeth Bathory was but I decided I could overlook thatThe ending was very emotional I felt my eyes get moistmust have gotten something in themThe villain was the epitome evil and while I would have liked to have known something about her origins at the same I think it made her mysterious and unpredictable not to know I knew enough about her to Think that She did deserve what she got in the endBut this book actually has two antagonistsThe second is less obvious and maybe even malevolent but I hope and expect it will be explored in the seuelTo conclude this is a solid addition to the gothic genre and a good starting point for the reader be who is curious about itIf you like this you might also like The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall Note I was kindly sent a digital review copy of this book by the publisherFor fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Haunted is an epic YA paranormal thriller set in contemporary times but with a twist that might just leave you up at night This book introduces a new genre of YA all by itself bringing mystery romance action and lots of paranormal elements to the table Meanwhile earning itself a four star review It plays with your head It messes with your emotionsBut be warned You're left with false hope when you go into Haunted thinking that you'll come out the same

About the Author: Lynn Carthage

I'm the author of the ARNAUD LEGACY TRILOGY from Kensington Books which follows three teens through three books each narrating their own volume Phoebe an American struggling to understand her family's legacy; Miles a British teen grappling with the past; and Eleanor also English trying to forgive herself all against the backdrop of the rich history of England and France with a strong sin

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