I recently joined NetGalley, which if you don’t know, is a service that allows authors and publishers to offer their books to reviewers. Anyone can join, but you have a better chance if you’re a blogger. So, I joined. Then felt guilty because I started my full time job and didn’t think I’d have time to read any of the books I was approved for. Then I discovered I could use text to speech on these books and listen to them while working! I don’t feel so guilty now, because while text to speech narration is pretty terrible, at least I’m getting the reading done! (And my local library’s audiobook selection is severely lacking the type of books I want to read.)
Below is my review for the first book I received from NetGalley. Unfortunately, my first experience was not a very enjoyable one, but I have hopes that I’ll be approved for some books I will enjoy.
Ghost for Sale by Sandra Cox
Read: August – September 2015
Format: Ebook ARC (Kindle)
My Book Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Confession. I got about 30% through this book and didn’t think I could finish. Then, I realized I could use the text to speech feature on my Kindle and listen to the book at work. Multi-tasking at its finest. If not for text to speech, I probably would have quit this book.
When I saw Ghost for Sale on NetGalley I had to read it. I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, about a girl who can see, hear, and touch ghosts. In Mediator, the heroine moves into an old house with her family and discovers a ghost from the 1800’s living in her bedroom. The romance is a slow build throughout the series and the characters have more to their lives than just thinking about how hot the other is. Like, mediating ghosts and helping them cross to the afterlife.
While Ghost for Sale starts out great, with our heroine Caitlin’s cousin/roommate, Marcy, receiving two test tubes in the mail, supposedly containing ghosts, and upon opening said test tubes only Caitlin can see said ghost. From there, it goes downhill.
For starters, despite being told multiple times that Caitlin’s cousin Marcy is so beautiful and rich and all the guy want her, every single male in the book asks Caitlin out. In the beginning, in the club, she dances with and is asked out by two guys, minutes apart, if that. She gets hit on by a cop who pulls her over. Don’t even get me started on the “not really her boyfriend” guy who dates her, while seeing other girls because he “has needs” and Caitlin won’t sleep with him. It was downright unbelievable that the author couldn’t add in a single male character who didn’t fall all over himself for Caitlin.
Caitlin herself was completely impossible to relate to. See previous paragraph, then add in how shallow she acts. One guy actually tells her something along the lines of “you act ditzy, but I know you’re actually very smart” – how??? How does he know this because she acts like an idiot for 98% of the book. As stated before, we’re told multiple times how beautiful and rich Marcy is, and how Caitlin’s family doesn’t have money like them, yet her parents can afford to buy her a custom pink VW Bug for her birthday? Maybe she’s not as well off as Marcy, but it was irritating to be led to believe she’s not rich when she is.
Then, let’s talk about clothes and coffee. On second thought, let’s not. It felt as though every other page Caitlin was drinking coffee or thinking about coffee or her ghost, Liam, was bringing her coffee. Every time she changed clothes we had to hear what she was wearing, down to her jewelry and nail polish choice. As well as every other character. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE WEARING! If it’s not relevant to the story, and doesn’t drive the plot forwards, why waste my time?
Speaking of the story, after the promising opening, it slowed. It didn’t pick up again until almost halfway through. The beginning was us being told how much Caitlin loves Liam despite him making sexist comments and basically kind of being a jerk in my opinion. All while she’s dating this AMAZING guy she met in the club, Patrick, who was sweet, kind, caring, fun and most importantly, ALIVE.
I don’t want to give the whole story away, so I’ll be vague here. Basically, everything is tied up all pretty with a bow with our heroine basically having to do nothing at all, things just fell into place. The “villain” backed down in about two seconds. And Caitlin reacted like Bella in Twilight when Edward left her. At least Bella had the excuse of having had an intense relationship with Edward, whereas Caitlin knew Liam about a week. She was a complete drama queen and I never bought the romance for one second.
The ending…. Let’s just say there’s suspense of belief in fiction, and then there’s scoffing at the absurdity of what the author wants us to believe.
In all, I feel Cox has potential as an author, but this story didn’t work. There wasn’t enough of a plot to work with – it actually felt like most of the beginning was added as filler to make the book longer—and though she tried to build a romance between Caitlin and Liam, it just didn’t work. I didn’t believe it. When the characters act one way and the other characters don’t react reasonably, it just doesn’t work for me.
Ultimately, I’d say skip this one. If another book by this author appears on NetGalley I’d give it a shot, but I won’t expect much.