Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen
Release date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen/ 216 pages/ Young Adult/ Book One
Source: Author (Paperback)
Other books in the series: One Hundred Candles, Beyond the Grave (September 2011)
Other books by this author: Tagged
Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my pastand present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive…
Past Midnight was another fantastic novel by Mara Purnhagen. I read and really enjoyed her debut, Tagged, earlier this year and was thrilled when Past Midnight landed on my doorstep. Past Midnight was completely different from Tagged but I loved it! It combined great characters with a creepy, unique premise that had me clenching the ends of the book, anxious to find out what was going to happen next.
Charlotte was a strong and likable main character and I enjoyed getting to know her over the course of the story. She is definitely someone I would like to meet in real life. I loved that she wasn't just a regular high school girl, her parents are paranormal investigators. Dedicated to proving that the mysterious noise in your attic really isn't a ghost. They have a popular TV show and have published a variety of books. Reading about her parents and their work was one of my favorite aspects of the novel. It was such a creative idea and a unique twist on Ghostbusters. Charlotte's family all played a large role in the novel and it was nice to read about her relationship with her two parents as well as her older sister.
There were a lot of things going on in this novel and I'm glad it's the start of a series because I am dying to know what happens next. There are still a lot of loose ends waiting to be tied. Over the course of the book many different things happen and Charlotte's life is far from easy. My heart went out to her because she was dealing with so much. Friend troubles as well as her very own haunting.
I like to think I don't get scared too easily (not counting Jaws!) but Past Midnight really creeped me out. It wasn't scary per se but it spooked me enough to look over my shoulder and jump when I heard an odd noise while reading. This was definitely an original ghost story and the mystery surrounding them had me anxious to find out what was going to happen next.
Mara Purnhagen defintiely did a lot of research for this novel and it showed. Historical details and the paranomal combined to make this a truly entertaining and original read. There are a lot of sub plots, many of which tie together in the end, and I can't wait to see what's next for Charlotte in the sequel, One Hundred Candles.
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars