Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review: Rebel Spirits

Rebel SpiritsAuthor: Lois Ruby
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Publisher: Point

Infused with history and mystery, this tale of ghosts, love, and murder takes place in present-day Gettysburg, where the Civil War still looms large.

Lori Chase doesn't know what to think about ghosts. She may have seen a few in the past, but those were just childish imaginings...right? Only now that she is living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, spirits seem to be on everyone's mind. The town is obsessed with its bloody Civil War history, and the old inn that Lori's parents run is supposedly haunted by the souls of dead soldiers.

Then Lori meets one such soldier--the devastatingly handsome Nathaniel Pierce. Nathaniel's soul cannot rest, and he desperately needs Lori's help. Because Nathaniel was not killed in the famous battle. He was murdered. Lori begins to investigate the age-old mystery, stumbling upon shocking clues and secrets.

At the same time, she can't help falling for Nathaniel, just as he is falling for her....

So, we’re now officially innkeepers. I hope Nathaniel doesn’t mind our guests swarming around in his space. Maybe he’ll materialize to welcome some of the travelers. An odd pang of jealously darts through me. Nathaniel Pierce is my ghost, not theirs.

As I turn to go, I realize it’s not just Charlotte. Everyone in this town seems to believe in ghosts.

Meanwhile, I walk to the foot of the stairs and gaze up, ready to inspect that round room at the top of the house. I’m going to claim it as my bedroom. Mom and Dad owe me that much for uprooting me and dragging me across Pennsylvania to this creepy mansion in the middle of Nowhere, USA. Which, it turns out, might be haunted.

The concept of this book sounded wonderful; however, certain aspects of this book fell short for me. I loved that it was set in Gettysburg, PA because I cannot remember a time when I read a book set in Pennsylvania. I also loved the Civil War ghost named Nathaniel Pierce. I was sure that I would walk away giving this book five beautiful, pink cupcakes, but was sad when I reached certain parts and was disappointed. Lorelei, “Lori”, and her family have just moved to Gettysburg to take over ownership of a local bed and breakfast. When they move in they are warned of the hauntings and spirits left behind in the old inn as well as the entire town. However, Lori has a secret. She can sense things, unnatural things. Things that not everyone around her can sense. Let’s just say that when she meets the ghost of Nathaniel Pierce she’s not as shocked as we might have been!

What I had the biggest problem with in this book was the fact that it was insta-love. I mean Lori met this ghost, Nathaniel, and it seemed like hours later she was in love with him. They had barely even had a conversation when she started mentioning her feelings for him. I think he had appeared before her fully one time, his whole body and not just his voice, before she was gushing over the guy. I was disappointed in this aspect and would have loved to have seen it play out a little differently. Nathaniel immediately returned the feelings too, and at that point I was completely rolling my eyes because honestly he lived during the Civil War and he has come back to try and figure out who murdered him not to fall in love with a teenage girl.

This book did have its redeeming qualities however. The history was rich and full, and I loved listening to Nathaniel speak about his Civil War stories and the memories of this childhood. I enjoyed his character more so than Lori’s, who I felt was a bit dramatic at times, but he still annoyed me by how fast he fell for Lori. He did bring an edge to the story and he helped draw me closer to the Civil War town where the book was set.

I wouldn’t say that this book was bad, but I was never really invested in the story and it didn’t hurt my heart to tell these characters good-bye. You all know that I hardly ever give a book below three cupcakes, and I always try to see the redeeming aspects of any book. This book does have its good traits, and if anything that I have covered today sounds like something you might read, then please try out the book. I read this book in less than a day as it was quick and light!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Scholastic Point in exchange for my honest review***

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