Friday, March 25, 2011

The Past Midnight Series #1-2 by Mara Purnhagen

When I checked out the Nook again last week, I was unsure what book I wanted to read first. So I went to my Goodreads page to my young adult books to read area and searched through. I wasn't really getting excited about any of them until I came to one called Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen. As someone who has gone on a few "ghost hunts" and is very interested in this, I decided this would be the book to start with. Especially in honor of going to see the premier of the American Ghost Hunter movie this summer and getting to meet the cast of Paranormal State tv show.

The main character is Charlotte Silver. Her parents are famous for a ghost hunting show they film. The difference is that her parents go out to debunk ghost stories. In fact they have their van for the show that is black with the word "Doubt" written on it. After a research trip to Charleston, something paranormal attaches itself to Charlotte and her parents have to face the fact that maybe there is some truth in it. Charlotte's mother is more open than her father. It turns out there are some parents who want to know what happened to their daughter, also named Charlotte. Up until now, the Silver family has moved constantly. Charlotte and her sister convince their parents to settle down near Charleston for Charlotte's senior year. And so for the first time Charlotte is able to make real friends, even a best friend named Avery. Avery has some secrets, and these secrets will be another mysterious thing to pull Charlotte into the paranormal world. That is the story behind the first book, Past Midnight.

The 2nd, or as it is called 1.5 book in the series, was a very short book, only like 83 pages on the Nook, and actually only available as an ebook. And in this, there is a huge rainstorm and flooding down in this area, and tons of coffins are washed out of cemetaries. Charlotte's parents of course volunteer to help with this, and now there is a mystery in the coffins that are found. There is a creepy man who is hanging around the cemetary that the Silver's are trying to help clean up, and he has a strange connection to the old man who cares for the cemetary. It was a really good book for as short as it was. I'm so glad the author went ahead and made it into an ebook. One thing that really connected with me in this, was the boy, Noah, that Charlotte likes. She finds out from Avery, that after homecoming, he said he was only interested in Charlotte as a friend. I felt the hurt she felt, knowing I've felt that way about several guys, only most of the time I never had anyone tell me that was all it was.

And the actual 2nd book is called One Hundred Candles. In this book, if you've heard of the 100 candles game, it does take place. A fellow student named Gwyn has other students come to her house to play this. Everyone tells a ghost story then lights a candle, until 100 stories have been told and all 100 candles have been lit. At that point the room is supposed to be filled with ghosts. Charlotte knows her parents would have a fit at her doing this, they disapprove of things like this and the Ouija board. But she is hanging out with a football player from school that supposedly is interested in her. And he holds her hand, and kisses her, and treats her really well. We also start out the story with the Silvers going to participate in an investigation in an old insane assylum with another really famous author. Now, while this person has a different name for the book of course, I wonder if it is supposed to be modeled after an actual author with a very similar name. I think is is Hans Holder? Something like that. When they are in the asylum, the assistant grabs Charlotte and is twisting and hurting her arm while he is possessed by something. And it is this something that Charlotte and her family must figure out to do. At the same time her parents are growing apart as her mother becomes more accepting and her father refuses to change his point of view on ghosts. The ending was very dramatic, and it left me hanging for book 3, which is supposedly out this fall? I hope!