WARNING: KINDLY REFRAIN FROM READING THIS POST IF YOU ARE A FAN OF CLICHÉ LOVE STORIES. AND IF YOU MIND SOME SPOILERY INFO.
Note that this review follows after my post on clichéd love stories. I have my exams coming up this week and I allotted time to read this book because, trust me, the Goodreads synopsis was pretty attractive. With a quarter of the book done (actually even before that), I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to regret that I hadn’t read another book instead. Or even studied (see? That bad.)
Let’s see why shall we?
Elsie died on her way to right some wrongs. But she couldn’t (because she died). Flash forward to 2012. Halle (an eighth grader) finds a diary belonging to Elsie (who belongs to line of the founding fathers of the Lakeview academy). Elsie begins to haunt her (“Find the crest. Return it.”). Halle tells it to Leigh (a senior and the protagonist – I think – or is it Halle? – both maybe), and she tells it to her friends. Let’s find the crest and put Elsie’s soul to rest.
The writing is bland. As in I Felt No Emotion (just kept checking how many pages were left). And sometimes the sentences had no relation to the one preceding it. Examples:
- Leigh is trying to relax. *Her parents were Northern California hippies who hit the big time when their small winery won a prestigious award* Then she heard her mom’s voice guiding her through meditation breaths.
- Leigh is asking her best friend why he couldn’t be straight. He says if he were he wouldn’t have let FB posts stand in their way. (long story) *Leigh smiled. At least she had never done anything more than kiss Calum* (Bloggerverse, our hero)
- *Leigh smiled. “I might have a better grade but I have zero life because of it. Speaking of my non-existent social life, Halle wants to start searching for Elsie’s crest as soon as possible.”*
Elsie’s diary was written in 1914. The vernacular used sounds… not 1914. I also felt that the diary pages were arranged badly.
*Calum looked up from his mug. His blue eyes locked on Leigh’s as he pursed his lips and blew on his tea. God, those lips. She couldn’t help but conjure up the feeling of them pressing into hers last night.* Hang on, when did you start talking, Leigh?
I can forgive all of the above. But then.
Enter Leigh and Calum.
The Bad Boy hero: Calum has a reputation as a manwhore. He kissed Leigh once in grade eight, and broke up the next day (due to some misunderstandings). But now he is afraid to fall in love. Look what happened to his heart (aw.) He has to get Leigh out of his head. So begins his Screw-Every-Girl phase. Every girl goes ahhh at the sight of him. Except for…
The Heroine who HATES Mr. Everyone-Swoons-Around-Him: Who is disgusted with him. Who never fails to miss an opportunity to disparage him. But his SMILE. His EYES. “Damn it, the dirtier he got the cuter he looked”.
Calum is no better. “Not a trace of the heavy makeup most girls wore marred her porcelain skin.” *mimes puking*
Side effects of being in tortured love: The breathing difficulties that come with locking eyes. Body temperature inciting gastric responses.
Most fortunate coincidences: She falls, he comes and picks her up (after teasing her, of course, for being so clumsy). She forgets to switch off the lights, comes back, when he bumps into her in the dark (ooh, someone get the defibrillator, heart beats are becoming irregular)
PLEASE NOTE: The above mentioned snippets are SOME examples. After a certain point, I stopped making notes and concentrated on finishing the book.
This is an another cliché love story with a ghost scaring people in the background. Who can perform anything of the paranormal variety except tell them where the crest is. Which she does at the end of the book. Elsie could have done it earlier and saved a soul.
VERDICT: 1 star