Book Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Original publication date: September 1 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Format/pages: Trade Paperback 216 Pages
Format read: eBook provided by publisher
Date read: November 8 2010
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Charlotte Silver is a high school girl who just wants to live a normal life. Her parents happen to be celebrity paranormal debunkers who travel the world chasing ghosts for their reality series. Charlotte and her older sister Annalise have been bounced around from school to school following their parents’ work. Charlotte tries to hide her parents’ paranormal work from her peers, and is always mortified when the secret gets out. Annalise decides she has had enough and asks her parents to stay in one place long enough for Charlotte to finish high school or else she won’t be a part of their paranormal show anymore. Charlotte’s parents reluctantly agree, and purchase a new un-haunted house and settle down to a normal routine. However, to their surprise there is a pair of tag-along ghosts from their summer paranormal gig along for the ride.
In her new home, Charlotte finds she must face the ghosts that seek her help, and help her new friends heal from their own tragedy that haunts them. There are some interesting characters introduced including her neighbor cheerleader friend, and a couple of students in her AV class including a girl who wants all the spotlight for herself, and a younger man who may have romantic intentions.
There are many spooky instances and encounters throughout the book to interest fans of the paranormal. There is an overall air of mystery and an eerie vibe to the book. There is not a romantic storyline in the book, but there seems to be at least one potential love interest for Charlotte being set up for the sequel.
In addition to the ghost story, Past Midnight includes other compelling stories including parental and sister relationships, friendships, and managing school challenges. Past Midnight is a satisfying ghost story that is well written and fast paced, with interesting stories and characters. Past Midnight is the first book in a three part series and sets the stage intriguingly for the sequels. Recommended for fans of paranormal books and younger teens. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series: One Hundred Candles is due out in March 2011.