Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Genre(s): Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis: 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…
My Review: Charlotte Silver and her older sister Annalise have spent practically their entire lives traveling the world with their ghost hunter parents. However, their parents are not your typical ghost hunters, instead of trying to prove hauntings, they try to prove that the hauntings people experience are nothing more than predictable forms of electrical energy.
There are two plots in this book. The first, being Charlotte and her family scrambling to find answers as to why a ghost has followed her home, and plagued her with weird dreams. The family tries their best to find out who they are, and what exactly these ghosts want with their daughter. The second plot point it Charlotte trying to fit into school. Annalise had convinced their parents to stay in one place, while Charlotte finishes out her senior year. In theory, it’s not a bad idea. But now Charlotte wants to fit in more than ever, and trying to hide her parents occupation is tougher now than it ever was.
When I read the synopsis, I thought it was going to be like the cartoon Danny Phantom, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, the parents did drag their unwilling children along with them to ghost hunt, but that’s about it. I absolutely loved this book! It is a perfect read for Halloween or to get you into the Halloween spirit! The characters were will written, relatable, and down to earth. I enjoyed how much of a part Charlotte’s parents played in this book. Normally in young adult books, we don’t see or hear too much from parents. But Charlotte’s parents were almost as front and center as Charlotte herself.There were a few points in the book that bothered me. First, it was the secret that Avery was keeping. The secrecy was fun and mysterious for awhile, but after that it just got annoying. The second, was how quickly the book ended. The group did what they had to, then bam it was over. Kind of like this review is now :)
All in all though it was a pretty amazing book, I do look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.
Positive Elements: There were no swear words, drugs or sex. Charlotte makes friends with a so called dangerous student, when he needed a friend the most. Despite everything, Avery and Charlotte remain friends.
Negative Elements: While it is not discussed in detail, we do learn that Avery and her boyfriend were at a party, that possibly had underage drinking.
Spiritual Elements: Ghosts.
Other Thoughts: N/A