Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Genre: Teen Fiction, Paranormal Fiction
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
ISBN-13 Book: 9780373210206
Audiobook Publisher: Audible Audio Edition / ICM
Length: 6 hours and 27 minutes
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of the audiobook from Audible and checked out a copy of the book from my public library. This is my honest review!
Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Charlotte Silver just wants to be an ordinary teen, something that is impossible when her parents are paranormal investigators. They don’t believe in ghosts, they believe it is their job to investigate rogue energy patterns that many people “mistake” for ghosts. When their latest investigation in Charlotte, NC causes some “rogue energy patterns” to follow Charlotte home, Charlotte discovers even at her new school, being normal is going to be impossible when you’re being haunted. Charlotte wants to get rid of her ghostly stalkers before things become too hot to handle, but when her friends at school are hiding a secret to rival her own, she may have to decide which is more important, helping her friends or helping herself. The clock is ticking, and Charlotte doesn’t have much time left.
I love a good old fashioned ghost story, and this is just that. It had the right amount of creepiness that kept me wanting more.
The characters in this novel are well developed. Charlotte is a likable teen who just wants to live an ordinary life for a while. She has spent her entire childhood moving from place to place while her parents recorded and produced ghost documentaries. When her older sister Annalise demands that their parents give Charlotte an ordinary school year, Charlotte is more than happy to leave her ghost hunting days behind and be an ordinary high school student. When she meets Avery, a popular cheerleader, she believes she has the chance. Avery, however, has an even bigger secret than Charlotte. I love Avery and her little dog. She is sincere, but she is complicated. It was fun to watch Charlotte try to adapt to this new concept of friendship with Avery.
I loved Charlotte’s family, especially her sister Annalise. Her parents are present in the novel and you can tell they care, although sometimes her father gets a bit carried away with his career as a ghost hunter. They hadn’t realized what their professions were doing to their girls, but when it is brought to their attention, they try to make changes and we can forgive them if they don’t change overnight. You see in the end that they have Charlotte’s best interests in heart, and they will do anything to protect their daughter.
The plotting and pacing was perfect. This novel moves quickly so you don’t get bored or bogged down with details. This is an ideal summer read—one you can pick up and enjoy anytime.
The audiobook version of this novel is exceptional. It is narrated by Tara Sands, who does a wonderful job with Charlotte’s voice as well as the other characters. I have listened to Sands narrate other novels, and found that she does a remarkable job with narration—you can’t go wrong here. The production is free of flaws and is short, so you could listen in one afternoon like I did, or spread it out if you like. The length of this novel is 6 hours and 27 minutes, but that time seemed to fly by as I listened to this great production. I actually purchased this one from audible, and I am relatively new to books from audible, but I wouldn’t hesitate to get the next one in the series from audible if it is as good as this one. I have to admit I was disappointed to see that Sands doesn’t narrate the next novel.
This was an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading the next in the series. Audio is a good way to go if you don’t have time to sit down and read it, or if that is your preferred method of reading. The narration is great, and the story is a fun one to listen to.
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