Title: Phantom Summer
Author: Amy Sparling
Date of Publication: September 5, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA with ghosts
Seventeen-year-old Taylor Gray moves to Sterling Island to get over her dead boyfriend. Mom’s cool with letting her crash on the couch, but Taylor needs to get a job before the lights are cut off again.
When the tall, dark and crazy Raine Tsunami offers her a position at his thriving ghost tour business, she figures it’s an easy way to make some cash. Taylor isn’t afraid of ghosts--that crap is as fake as her mom’s boob job. She loves their adventures on the historic island, especially the secret places he shows her when the crowds go home. So what if all the ghost stories are just legends?
When Taylor comes face to face with a ghost and Raine crosses the line between friend and boyfriend--Taylor’s new life collides with her haunted past. If murdered people end up as ghosts, then that someone she was trying to forget is probably watching her.
Friday comes way too fast and I'm not even mentally prepared by the time eight o'clock rolls around. It's been so long since I've hung out with anyone besides Brendan, and now I'll be with several people my age. At least they didn't appear to be stuck up or judgmental. Well, besides judging me for not believing in ghosts. Of course, it's been my experience that people judge you more once they see where you live. I vow to make sure they never find out.
"Do you have big plans tonight?" Margret asks as we finish closing up the museum. I know she knows I have plans; she just likes to remind me. And to think I had spent all of my seventeen years wishing I had a loving grandma like in the movies. Margret is basically a loving grandma and she's starting to get on my nerves.
"Tay-lor." She waves her hand in my face. I jolt out of my daydreams. "Yes," I say. "Anna and Pax are meeting me after work, remember?"
"Oh, that's right," she says, all coy-like. Yeah, as if she didn't remember. "Do you think Raine will be there?"
"I don't know."
"I bet he'll be there." She puts all the day's donations into a bank deposit bag and zips it closed.
"Why does it matter?"
"Because if anyone can make a believer out of you, it's that boy." My first inclination is to object and point out all thing things that make him weird. But I don't, because honestly if anyone is going to make me a believer, I want it to be Raine.
I am glad I picked up this book. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I definitely liked it (although it wasn't as creepy as I thought it would be).
The descriptions of the beach, the historical side of the island, the museums and the places they visited on the tours were beautiful and really made me want to be there.
I also loved almost all the characters! Raine was amazing! He was really sweet but had this air of confidence that made you love him! Anna and Pax were quite nice too and Anna was a good friend. Margaret was such a sweet lady, the kind that everyone wanted to have as a grandmother. I really didn't like Taylor's mother and how she only seemed to care about herself, making a lot of bad choices and almost "forcing" her daughter to make those same bad choices. And then we have Taylor...I have a bit of mixed feelings about her. In one hand I thought she was really brave and really strong dor having to deal with her past the way she did (even if sometimes it was all too much). On the other hand, in the beggining she was pissing me off. You don't have a monopoly on pain, Taylor...other people can have problems too! (Maybe it was just because she was making fun of a guy she said looked "emo" and I used to be a bit alternative too a few years ago, so it hits close to home haha).
It seemed to me that maybe the story was going to go on a slightly different route since in the early chapters Taylor is thinking about Brendan's death and she mentions a situation and when she is talking about it towards the end of the book the situation is a bit different.
I felt that the pacing was a bit slow, especially considering the paranormal theme, but maybe that was the point. Maybe it was supposed to be a more character-oriented story, which it is.
I did have one or two issues with this novel, but all in all it was an enjoyable and interesting read.
About Amy Sparling
Amy Sparling is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her daughter, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world. Amy Sparling is a pen name for YA author Cheyanne Young.
$50 Amazon GC and a SIGNED paperback of PHANTOM SUMMER open internationally!