Happily Never After
By Missy Fleming
Published on Feb 8th, 2013
Published by Fire and Ice
Published by Fire and Ice
There's no such thing as happy endings. Savannah, Georgia is rumored to be the most haunted place in America. Quinn Roberts knows it is. She's felt the presence of spirits her entire life, investigating and photographing them with her best friend. Only none of those encounters ever turned violent, until now. The menacing darkness feeding off her stepmother has promised she won't live to see her eighteenth birthday. After a chance meeting Quinn reluctantly allows actor Jason Preston into her life, which has complications of its own. She's not used to letting people get close. Falling for him while fighting for her life, and her family's legacy, only complicates things more. Jason shows her exactly what she stands to lose, especially when she's being attacked by the mysterious entity. Each attack is more violent and terrifying than the last. With Jason's help, she dives into the Roberts' family history, searching for a link between a woman who went missing a hundred and fifty years ago and what's happening now. What they find is a brutal murder and that the ghost doesn't just want to hurt Quinn, it wants revenge. It wants her life.
Um!!!! This book was surprisingly good! Now there was no reason to suspect it would be bad, per say, but it is not often that I find a YA novel that is actually just plainly a good read. I mean, you read the summary above, and it sounds sort of like another one of those books. You know the type. Paranormal. Teens. Angst. The title (sorry Ms. Fleming!) is not super encouraging either. Actually, I am not sure it fits the book at all! Granted, I do not have a better suggestion, but I would have thought that one through a bit more. So anyway, you take that all in and you figure it is just going to be another bit of brain candy - an easy fun read that you zip through and forget the instant you swallow.
I really enjoyed this book. Yes, you will get through it pretty quickly, but it lingers. The ending is so Whoa! that I am pretty desperate to read the next installment. I was blindsided what happened and I am definitely interested in finding out where it goes next. The last chapter was a surprise and I was left wanting more (in a good way!).
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you know I am not usually all sunshine and rainbows about a book, and while I think this one is pretty awesome, there were a few hiccups.
The main character, Quinn, is kind-of goth. I know the author put her into Savannah, land of the Southern Belles, to give additional credence to the fact that she is different. However, it is very hard to mentally picture her in that situation. You do not imagine someone with a southern accent to be dressed like that. Perhaps it is because one of my good friends is from Georgia and regularly visits Savannah, and she is so far from goth it is hilarious to picture her that way. I also do not imagine someone like that having an innate love for her beautiful old plantation home, simply due to the style differences. I guess I feel like it was not necessary to make her and her best friend goth. They were different enough already.
The other thing that I sort-of dislike about the story is how obviously it borrows from the classic tale of Cinderella. The author does have Quinn express how much her life is laughably like Cinderella, with an evil stepmother and two evil stepsisters, so I suppose that is okay! At least we are all in on the joke, including the characters. :)
Other than those things, I really did like the book quite a bit and I would definitely recommend it. Though there is some violence (the ghost entity attacks Quinn and tries to kill her multiple times), I think this would be a fun read for 9th grade and up, and probably a mature 7th or 8th grader could handle it. There is some romance happening, but nothing to blush over. I feel like this story could easily engage a high schooler and anyone who enjoys a fun paranormal story.
Two thumbs up!
p.s. Anyone want to spring for a trip to Savannah? That place sounds fantastic!