‘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, Tabby.
Okay, 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…‘
I honestly thought that Haunted would be a standalone when I got an ARC off of Netgalley from Kensington Books.
Haunted made me laugh, gave me the chills, and more importantly, made me question my own sanity, haha. I managed to fall into the story so easily that I forgot I was even reading! Haunted is a quick read, if you’re looking for something fun to read. Maybe you can read it on the train? Or between books?
Within the first 3o pages of reading, I had laughed quite 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 quickly, yet there were so many questions to be asked. The type of questions you have but you don’t ask, you know? The type of questions where you want to ask them, but you already know the answer to.
Haunted 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 Phoebe.
This book. This freaking book. Mystery novels always do this to me. Haunted made me question my sanity, people. With almost every revelation that either Phoebe or myself had, I questioned whether or not it had actually happened. Mystery novels!! I’m surprised that I didn’t just rage quit this one as I usually do with other mystery books that I’ve read.
There’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 happen.
I 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 quickly as well. It’s pretty steady, but I also felt that she pretty much matured at the flip of a page.
Miles 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 asshole.
Eleanor 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 ago.
Overall 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 more 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 standalone!
I just want to give a huge Thank You to both Netgalley, and Kensington Books for allowing me to read an ARC of Haunted!
Click the cover to be taken to Haunted on GoodReads!
Thank you for reading! Until next time,