Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Past Midnight By Mara Purnhagen

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
Genre: Paranormal/YA

Summary: Charlotte Silver is the happy youngest member of an unconventional family. She has one older sister, Annelise and her parents are accomplished psychologists who study and dispute the "paranormal" in the paranormal phenomena that get reported and have actually written a successful series of books and make equally successful documentary films/shows.
Because of this, they travel from city to city in search of the newest "haunted" place they have been invited to, in order to film a documentary investigating it.

No one in the family actually believes in the "supernatural".
They believe that all of these phenomena are either something that can be explained scientifically with facts and laws of physics, or just "energy" left behind due to repetition or lingering.

When they are called to investigate yet another "ghost" sighting, they get to work and call for both their daughters, Charlotte and Annalise to act as "bait" for the "ghost".
The readings are off the charts and both girls feel something.
Annalise feels incredible sadness and Charlotte feels cold.
It is obvious that something is happening in that place, but they never expected for that "something" to follow Charlotte in their new home.

I loved the idea of this book. It is so original.
We are so swamped with Paranormal books taking the existence of ghosts, vampires, werewolves for granted, that we forget the simple joy that is to discover it anew.

I think my favorite part of this book, is that they don't take the "supernatural" element for granted. They think it doesn't exist and everything can be explained through science, much like most of people believe nowadays.

I loved the idea of having parents investigating incidents like these and for most part of this book I wanted to be Charlotte, even though life has been hard for her.
She has had to move all the time, since her parents' job made them a bit of "nomads".
They always had to move to where the paranormal incident has happened and often this meant they had to spend two months in one place, 4 months in another, never setting down roots anywhere.
Poor Charlotte has changed so many homes and schools, she has never had any real friends.
Hence, it was with joy that she found out they would remain there for a year.
She even made a few friends like Avery and eventually, Jared.

I really enjoyed how all the characters had personality and were not strictly good or evil.
Our lives sometimes are based on circumstance and we can act nice in one situation and not so nice in another. But, at least, there was no cliche with the "bad cheerleaders".

Overall, all the characters were likable, although, Charlotte was, by far, my favorite.
It was hard not to sympathize with her, since the book was written through her eyes.

We get focused on the mystery, which, let me tell you, is pretty believable and has a satisfying ending, and there's no abundance of romance. There's friendship, though, and all relationships are pretty rewarding!

I enjoyed this book very very much and I read it in one day.
I literally could not put it down. I just had to know what was going on.
I cannot wait for the next book.

Verdict: I was torn between 4.5 and 5 stars rating, but I have to go with 5 stars, because this book was really great and it's been a while since I last was so pleasantly surprised by a book. Try it and you won't regret it!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! A book you must have in your bookcase, if you enjoy this genre!

Find Mara Purnhagen: Site, Blog, Goodreads

Buy Past Midnight: Amazon , BookDepository

~ Kelly ~


Ladybug said...

Nice review :) I have this book on my wish-list, no need to remove from there I guess :D

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

I really liked this book.
It was original and easy to read and I actually felt for the characters too.
Its plot and mystery was plausible and not over the top, so I just adored it!

Jan von Harz said...

This sounds like a very interesting story with a bit of a twist. Lovely review.

Thanks also for stopping by my blog. Hope to see you again.

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

I really liked the book, Jan.
I think you will like it, even though it is YA! :P

You are welcome and thank You for following! :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh, I haven't read this book! DEfinitely looks like one I'd enjoy. Great review! Love the nomadic nature of it, too. Nice, fresh approach to paranormal.

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

Thanks Carolina!
I'm glad you liked it! :)
Thanks for commenting!

Cherry said...

The premise that this book started out like a discovery of the paranormal... it makes me think that the book takes the reader through the wonder of rediscovery all over again... I like that!

Darlene said...

This is one book I haven't spotted in my constant browsing of Amazon. lol. It sounds great though so onto the wishlist it goes.

Thanks so much for popping by my blog. You have a great blog here!

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

@Cherry: Yes it was a really good book and I loved how it made us make the discovery that there was something paranormal about this whole thing and it didn't just say so! :P

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

@Darlene: Yes, it was indeed a nice, different story that although started as YA, it became a little more "serious" as it processed.

Thanks for the comment! :)

Corrine said...

Great review! I really enjoyed this one as well and loved how she approached the "supernatural" elements too. So happy you enjoyed it!! :D

T.V and Book Addict said...

Oooh now I'm curious about this one. I'm adding it to my tbr list :D Glad you liked it so much!

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

Yes, it was very refreshing and the author did a great job!!
Thanks Corrine!

Kelly aka yllektra(I Work For Books) said...

Oh, I'm glad I inspired you to read it, Lisette! :)

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