[Reading] ➺ The Ghost Road By Charis Cotter – Uroturk.info
received ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review ACTUAL 4.75 5Set in 1970 s Newfoundland, Ghost Road is a spooky middle grade tale by Canadian author Charis Cotter Ruth s first adventure to the east coast is full of dark secrets, ghost stories, and a curse threatening her family.Despite being a middle grade novel, it had a well developed complex plot and was full of suspense I loved the detailed family history, and the villainous curse that followed the members for generations was a great mystery Readers will be engaged throughout the story as Ruth works to handle the mysterious occurrences around the town, and piece together what truly causes the set of twins every generation to die young The author also writes at a quality middle grade level, that will appeal to older readers The dialogue was simplified a bit due to the target audience and historical time period, but it flowed well and the plot twists were excellent.Ruth s character is well written, and it s heartwarming to see her grow throughout the book Her structured city girl character is tested in the rural outskirts of town, she learns how to live like the rest of family on the farm, helping in the house, and other activities.Overall I adored Ghost Road The concept was unique and it was to easy to read I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of mysterious middle grade reads I was kindly provided with a review copy from the publisher thanks to LibraryThing.Review can also be found on my blog.I have mixed feelings about this book On the one hand, it was well written and fairly interesting On the other hand, I didn t love it.Right away I was sucked into the story and immediately intrigued by the mystery surrounding Ruth and all the twins in her family I was getting Parent Trap vibes at first, if The Parent Trap was having some kind of Halloween special or something Anyway, the first 100 pages or so were a breeze The chapters were some of the shortest I ve ever seen, averaging only about 4 pages each The story was fast paced and it would probably be possible to read this in one sitting.However, life got in the way for me I inevitably had to put the book down A day later when I picked it back up, I found myself getting lost left and right A lot of the character s names are extremely similar The two main characters are called Ruth and Ruby I kept playing the which one is which game for a bit Be also prepared to keep track of Meg and Molly, Lily and Lucy, Daphne and Dolly and Ed, Edd and Eddy You get the point I liked the main character Ruth even though she felt very self insert protag to me She didn t have a ton of personality but what she did have was vague enough for you to see yourself in her I liked the other MC Ruby at first, but she quickly got annoying She was much bubbly and spirited but all her dramatic exclamations got irritating after a while By the end I was rolling my eyes at her dialogue.Like I said, I do think this book was very well written The written was borderline beautiful at times Here are a few passages of prose from the book that I found particularly pleasing to the earNothing can hurt you, said Ruby in a low voice You are the flame and the flame is you You are filled with light, and you are protected The rain was still falling If you could call it falling More like siting motionless in the air, brushing against my face and hair like a damp curtain.When I came across those lines in the book, I had to stop and reread them, they were so pretty But I think this book could have been edited down 100 pages less and it would have had even impact The story felt needlessly long at times, especially for a Middle Grade story For instance, there was an entire chapter devoted to picking flowers That s not really vital to the story or interesting at least to me in any way There were a lot of things in the book that just felt like filler to me and could have been left out.To give you an idea of what I m talking about here, at one point in the story, the girls decided to have lunch Okay, that s fine You can totally put that in your book I m not gonna complain However, did you really need to go into such monotonous detail about what you re havingHalf a chicken sandwich, one muffin and an apple, she said And some water What have you got I had a whole sandwich and a muffin and an apple We can save the muffins and apples for breakfast, said Ruby.ReallyDon t be wasting the trees on that boring exposition.On a positive note, I did appreciate learning about Newfoundland traditions and their way of life I can t say that I ve ever had the chance to read about that culture before and it was interesting.My next point is kind of a small one and you may even consider it nitpicking but I m a reader and a reviewer and it s just kind of what we do I was confused as to why the author decided to set her story in the 1970s since there is literally no other references to the seventies as a time period in the story other than flat out saying what year it is I feel like she could have added so much atmosphere by incorporating some of the cool things from that time period into the book I m not saying the MC should burn her training bra or become a flower child or anything but something other than Hey, it s 1973 would have been enjoyable for me since I don t get to read a lot about that particularly interesting period of time.Another complaint that I have is that a lot of the events that took place in this book happen so quickly, you aren t really given any time to let that sink in before it flashes to the next thing that happens The super short chapters didn t really help in this regard.Lastly, the ending, to me, was very unsatisfying and kind of made the whole things seem kind of pointless Kind of like when a story ends with AND IT WAS ALL A DREAM and I die inside a little.I recommend to Middle Grade readers only Even though it was actually kind of dark at times for the intended audience It s a little too shallow for most adult readers to appreciate fully. Ghosts, A Family Curse, Buried Secrets And Two Girls Who Have To Figure It All Out A New Book From An Acclaimed Author, For Fans Of Coraline, Doll Bones And The Night GardenerFor The First Time, Ruth Is Heading To Newfoundland To Stay With Family She S Never Met Instead Of Spending The Summer Traveling With Her Dad When She Arrives, She Finds Newfoundland Is Very Different From Her Life In Toronto People There Are Much Friendly, But Also Superstitious, Believing In Ghosts And The Sight And Family Curses Ruth S Cousin Ruby Is Also Staying For The Summer, And The Two Discover They Have A Lot In Common They Both Lost Their Moms When They Were Two Years Old, They Re The Same Age And They Even Like The Same Food But While Ruby Believes In Spirits And Fairies, Ruth Believes In Science And Cold, Hard FactsWhen They Find Ominous Information On Some Tombstones In The Local Cemetery, Ruth And Ruby Start Investigating Their Family S Past And Discover That Twin Girls Are Born In Every Generation, And Every Set Of Twins Dies Young, Leaving Their Children Without Mothers What S , One Of The Twins Always Has The Sight And Can See The Ghost Road That Leads To The Mysterious Lost Settlement Of Slippers Cove What Happened There What Does It Have To Do With Their Family And Who Is The Ghostly Presence That Keeps Visiting Ruth Late At Night The Answers Lie Somewhere Along The Ghost Road If They Can Only Find It MY REVIEW 4 5 STARS I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review from Penguin Random House Canada Do not judge a book by it s cover nor should you ever judge a book by it s direct audience age I must admit when I first received the copy of The Ghost Road, I was very skeptical I wondered if I would actually enjoy it because young readers or middle school age novels weren t really my thing I find the writing to be too simplistic at times but Charis Cotter has a way with words that made it a perfect blend of middle grade and young adult level of writing The cover may not be the most attractive thing you ve seen but it s really the inside that counts I m serious The Ghost Road follows the tale of Ruth Her mother has passed away since she was very young so she has little to no memory of her Ruth lives in Toronto but during the summer, when her father decides to travel overseas to study flowers with his new wife, she s sent to Newfoundland and Labrador to meet an aunt and cousin she knows nothing about There s mystery surrounding Ruth s mother Although Ruth s mother grew up in NFL, she hardly mentions it to Ruth Ruth knew nothing about the province on the east coast of Canada She didn t know any of the folklore, her identical looking cousin, Ruby, knows so much about and she doesn t know anything about the family history Apparently, Ruby s mother was a twin sister of Ruth s sister What was strange was that they both happened to die at the same time and same day Meanwhile, Ruth and Ruby look exactly alike and I forget, but I think their birthday was significant as well This all built up to the idea that in the family line, one twin will be gifted the sight The Sight allows them to see the infamous Ghost Road Meanwhile others can t see it for the life of them It was definitely some spooky and scary stuff that left me turning the pages and wondering what in the world was actually going on I found this book to be so entertaining The chapters were short so it kept me intrigued and wanting to sit through and binge ten chapters at a time And Charis did an amazing job at leaving each chapter on a hook that made you want to read As chapters went on, secrets and clues were revealed that allowed readers to piece together an idea of what was going on Of course, I didn t And I couldn t pin down the exact answer to things MY RECOMMENDATION Definitely pick this one up for Halloween It s spooky THE GHOST ROAD tells the tale with engaging text and beautiful illustrations of two girls desperately trying to uncover a secret that has haunted their family for generations Atmospheric and highly suspenseful 5 5Thank you to the author, Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley for the review copy Opinions are mine TheGhostRoad NetGalley Another fantastic, atmospheric ghost story from Charis Cotter Satisfies that family curse, twins are creepy, Irish ghost stories are the best ghost stories kind of itch Also doubles as a love letter to Newfoundland, complete with partridgeberry desserts Why do ghosts haunt Because they have unfinished business Because there is something that keeps them on earth until they have completed their mission Ruth has gone to Newfoundland for the Summer to visit her cousin Ruby, who she discovers looks very much like her It is almost as though they are twins But that is not the weirdest thing Because although Ruth doesn t believe in ghosts and visions and having the Sight, she starts experiencing the moment she gets to her Aunt Dolly s house, starting with a ghost that comes to visit her the first night.With Ruby s help, the two girls learn what the ghost is trying to tell them, despite the fact that Ruth keeps saying she doesn t believe in ghosts or curses or any of this stuff.An interesting take on a middle grade ghost story Both Ruth and Ruby seem like very real children, set in the 1980s Newfoundland Good descriptions of the landscape, and the flowers TheGhostRoad NetGalleyThanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review. I got a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review from Penguin Random House I actually enjoyed reading this book from the very beginning I was hooked up the moment I met bought Ruby and Ruth I was also intrigued with Eldred The pacing and plot twist of this book was good I was able to guess part of it but overall it was nice read It s definitely a good book for middle graders When Ruth spends her summer in Newfoundland visiting her deceased mother s family as her father has recently remarried and is on his honeymoon with his new wife , this represents not only the first time Ruth has had the opportunity to meet her mother s side of the family, no, she also encounters her cousin Ruby who is both exactly the same age and the total physical mirror image of Ruth, except that while Ruby strongly believes in the existence of ghosts, fairies and the like, Ruth has been raised by her father to only consider and credit science and hard core facts However, soon after Ruth s arrival in Newfoundland, her science and technology based worldview is challenged, put to the test and even rather ruptured when it is she who starts having ghostly visions of her mother and eerie premonitions regarding both her family s past and possible future And after discovering they are actually not cousins but sisters identical twins , Ruby and Ruth begin to actively investigate their family history and unearth the sad truth of an all encompassing curse that has stalked their kin for seven generations, from when their ancestors still lived in Ireland until now namely that in every generation, twin girls are born who always die young, that Ruby and Ruth s mother and twin sister were the latest victims of said curse and that unless the latter can be broken, unless the curse can be stopped, Ruby and Ruth will be next in line.Although the plot of Charis Cotter s The Ghost Road is at times perhaps a bit predictable, I have indeed massively enjoyed this tale of family and family as well as societal dysfunction, of how long held and cherished hatreds and secrets can fester and destroy, how domestic violence is often, is generally a raging and roaring curse that can easily straddle generations, that can continue to decimate over and over again unless one is willing and able to confront hatred and animosity with love and even forgiveness But while The Ghost Road is suspenseful and uncanny enough with its emphasis on curses, ghosts and so called second sight to mildly frighten, actually I for one was much horrified at and by the violence and viciousness displayed by the instigator of the family curse, by Robert Barrett, and how subsequent generations of Barretts and Finns had then kept that hatred alive and kicking how the original family curse was in many ways taking nourishment from and being sustained by the decedents, by them buying into the original animosity, and thus in a vicious circle of anger, shame and horror keeping Robert Barrett s angry death curse productive and pulsating than one hundred years after his demise And indeed, what I have most appreciated regarding The Ghost Road is that the breaking, that the dissolution of the Finn family curse is achieved not really by Ruth and Ruby performing any type of magic spells and the like, but yes, mostly by simply breaking the cycle of violence and anger that had defined both the Barrett and the Finn family since the early 19th century by uniting both families in and with love and affection and thus giving Robert Barrett s beyond the grave rage and hatred no longer such a fertile soil to take root and fester Four stars for The Ghost Road, for a both engaging and at times also heartbreakingly thought provoking family story that with main protagonists Ruby and Ruth also presents two delightfully portrayed and above all well rounded characters, with both positive and negative traits, with both lovable and annoying, frustrating characteristics, as like most children, Ruby and Ruth are neither angels nor are they devils but actually and indeed, ALL of the characters both primary and secondary who appear int The Ghost Road are absolutely three dimensional as fortunately and appreciatively, Charis Cotter never falls into the trap of portraying the non main protagonists as in any manner one sided, as flat and or cardboard like, except perhaps Robert Barrett And yes, the only reason I am not considering five stars for The Ghost Road is that I personally just cannot all that readily believe that Ruth and Ruby would and should be so accepting and nonchalant about the fact that they were twins separated at birth, that they were not a bit annoyed and angry at their birth mothers regarding the fact they were not told they were siblings, they were twins and not cousins. Canadian writer Charis Cotter starts out The Ghost Road with a strong description of the Maritimes in Canada She describes a lovely setting that includes the natural area, cute lighthouses, cottage type housing and the coastal shore One of the best lines in the book isYou re walking on a fairy path, my love, and just because you don t believe in them, doesn t mean they won t come after you We start to get a sense of the magic that might lie just beyond or within the coastal area Unfortunately the first few chapters are easily the best part of this one Boring MysteryI hate to say it but this was just a boring book I know it s written for middle aged kids and all but that doesn t mean that things have to happen so slow or be obvious I pegged the outcome very early on and was about 85% correct in the end There s just no fun in a book that sets up a mystery but doesn t really churn the intrigue throughout I want to feel the mystery, have theories, experience the characters theories, etc Instead in The Ghost Road I just knew how it would eventually end up and was barely along for the ride Childish WritingAgain I come back to the idea that middle aged kids do not need to have their books written as though they are lesser readers I like middle aged books that are moderate to read with some larger words thrown in that the kids can learn I was a voracious reader as a child and as an adult, lol , at 12 was into Lord of the Rings and The Eye of the World yet I still think the average 12 year old reader can be given credit than Cotter hands out My 15 year old nephew complained to me for years about how boring the books were in the middle grade genre He s a good reader but not advanced per say than the average kid I know he would have asked me when something exciting was going to happen for 90% of The Ghost Road Additionally I had a moment while reading Cotter s Canadian story that made me feel like I had written pieces of this book when I was a pre teen At 13 I had an idea about a hill that held magic and secrets Mine wasn t in the Maritimes but in my home area that includes foothills, prairies and the Rocky Mountains The general premise was very similar to that of The Ghost Road This is telling to me If this book isn t smarter than 13 year old me then it could definitely be improved OverallWhile our lead girl characters are fairly well developed, and there are some interesting moments in The Ghost Road, overall it s just too dull A bit magic is needed to really bring the story alive and off the page The biggest improvements that need to be made are to make the mystery complex and to really add some juicy information into the book Were Cotter to make the historical mystery interesting and add some complexity to the writing and characters then I think she could really have something here As it is I m probably being generous at 3 stars However I did finish reading The Ghost Road and didn t hate it I just found it very lack luster by the end To read this and of my reviews visit my blog at Epic Reading Please note I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley This is an honest and unbiased review.