“I can’t let you love me, Anna.” he said. “Love should be given to the living. You should be living not hiding away with a spirit of a man.”
In honour of Halloween season, I shall be reviewing a ghost story for today’s review. Every now and then I find a hidden gem on NetGalley, and this was one of them. The idea behind the story intrigued me; a girl works to restore a house rumoured to be haunted and meets the ghost, a WW I soldier, falling for him in the process. It’s one of those stories where the ending is inevitable; the entire time you know they can’t be together. Either you choose to accept this, or you spend the entire story wondering how the author is going to twist the plot in order for them to live happily ever after. I was the former, but that didn’t spare me from the heartbreak I felt when Wyatt left. It captured my attention immediately, and I read the entire thing in one sitting. It had its flaws, but doesn’t every book?
I’m giving it three and a half stars, because I want to love this book. I really do, but it was missing so much. It started strong, but then near the middle it started feeling quite rushed, and the author threw in several unnecessary plot twists, without fulling fleshing out the the previous plot twist. There was no full explanation of anything. The world building, the characters, the storyline, even the love triangle had so much potential, but the author didn’t fully explore it. Given about another 100 pages of detail, this book could have been truly amazing. Instead, it felt very rushed.
I didn’t necessarily love Anna as a character, but I really loved Wyatt and Eric. I felt bad for both of them, because Anna is one of the most indecisive and nonsensical love interests I have ever read. She knows there is no future, no real one at least, for her and Wyatt, but she refuses to accept that. Eric is right there, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, who loves her and can offer her a full life, but she refuses to consider him. Her only excuse is that she “doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. He’s too nice of a friend.” You’re supposed to be best friends with your significant other. That’s what makes true love, a combination of passion and friendship. Their relationship had both, but Anna refused to pursue it. Yet, she spends a significant amount of time talking about how she can’t believe a guy as perfect as Eric would fall for a girl like her. And she constantly used him physically, since she couldn’t have a physical relationship with Wyatt. Poor Eric. Even after Wyatt left for good, she still didn’t admit to her feelings for Eric. I was mentally screaming at her the whole time. Despite all this though, I did not dislike Wyatt. He was sweet and sensitive; I don’t blame Anna for falling for him, I would have too. However I would have been able to acknowledge it would never work out. Wyatt was funny and caring, and did what was best for Anna, even when she hurt him by running to Eric for her physical needs. What really would have helped this story work would have been if her relationship with Wyatt had taught her some valuable lesson about herself and love, but in the end have her end up with Eric, who really was a great guy who really loved her. That would have been ideal.
When I began writing this review, I had no intention of bashing Anna and the book quite so horribly. But when I start writing, whatever is in my mind is what transfers onto the page. I guess I had some unresolved feelings I had buried due to intense determination to love the book. So please, don’t read this review and think “Anna is a bitch and this book would be a waste of my time” because that is so wrong. It is a great, quick read that really does deserve a chance. Do it for Wyatt. Do it for Eric. It is a painful yet sweet love story with a twist of chilling haunts, because it is a ghost story after all. It is definitely worth a read!
Until Next Time,