Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison | Book Review #113

They say first love never dies…
From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death.

There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there?

With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself. ”

Somehow, Notes from Ghost Town was everything I thought it was and more. This book definitely has its sad moments, though. But with what follows these sad moments, comes the happy moments. And it really does seem like this book was sad in the beginning. The story was a happier story nearing and during the end.

The beginning of the book is strange to me. I don’t think I’ve read a book that has started out like Notes from Ghost Town has. The start is unique, and is actually why I read the rest of the book honestly. The start is both heart-breaking, and horrific in a way that you don’t think would happen. Like, to get the ball rolling Ellison wrote the introductory to this novel in a dramatic way that isn’t dramatic at all. The beginning of Notes from Ghost Town is just matter of fact, and in that, leads to the rest of the story.

As much as this story is about loss, this story is even more so about love.

You remember it is important to be alive because there is love, even if you cannot touch it with your hands or lips. There is love. 

There is so much love in this novel, and with me grabbing the book to the last few pages and randomly reading that quote I realize how much this book is just filled with love. It’s everywhere.

I’m bummed out that I had predicted the big reveal in this book. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to discern who did what. In the beginning of the book, it really seemed like that I wouldn’t be able to tell who did the big-bad-thing, but ultimately… I did figure it out, and I’m just bummed by that.

“They don’t realize they’re dead until they remember what it sounds like to be alive.”

The story of this book seems to be focused on the what-ifs of Olivia’s life, but I really think that the purpose of this book is to learn how to move on after any amount of grief.

I really liked how the story wrapped up. There was definitely a sob moment for me, but I managed to hold back! The last few pages to this book; the ending, really seem bittersweet. On one hand it’s a great ending. On the other hand, I just wanted to dive into this world and hold onto everything so it would stay the same. — The way that this story has ended, and the way that everything is wrapped up…everything is completely boggling my mind.

“For a second–a second that lasts infinite seconds–he turns his face away from the wind to meet my eye. He smiles, he smiles without worrying about the gap in his teeth, he smiles in a way that I know: he is free.”


That’s all for my review of Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison!

Thank you for reading!

2 thoughts on “Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison | Book Review #113

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