Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Haunted - Jessica Verday

Title: The Haunted
Author: Jessica Verday
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2010 (Paperback, UK)
Length: 467 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Started: October 29, 2010
Finished: October 31, 2010

After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with--the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead--Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.

But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates--a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....

After reading The Hollow and loving it despite the almost agonizing pace it takes to get into the main plot, I knew The Haunted could only get better, and I was right. If anyone read The Hollow and had some reservations about it and continuing with the series, I can promise you that you'll like The Haunted and will probably change your mind about the series after reading it. If you read The Hollow and loved it as I did, you'll be over the moon after reading The Haunted.

The Haunted opens with Abbey preparing to return to Sleepy Hollow after spending months away with her great aunt recovering from the shock to her system she received at the end of The Hollow. As much as she tries to believe that she imagined all the supernatural elements she witnessed, Abbey knows that they are achingly real and she must come to terms with the events of Kristen's death, Nikolas and Katy, and Caspian himself...and Abbey is about to learn things about her purpose in meeting Caspian that will test her courage and her love.

All the plot points that were left dangling in The Hollow get more spotlight here: Kristen's death, the Sleepy Hollow legend of Nikolas and Katy, and Caspian himself. We see why Caspian and Abbey are so drawn to each other, and there's lots of cutesy scenes with the two of Caspian being jealous of Ben is just so funny, that boy has one heck of a sense of humour. I really admire how the author managed to write really sensual scenes (nothing smutty and inappropriate mind you, but not sugary sweet either) even though Caspian and Abbey can't actually touch each that is good writing. The author also writes about Kristen in such a way that you feel her presence as a character even though she's dead and you only hear about her from other characters. I can't give away much more about the plot for fear of spoilers, but it's good, well worth the wait readers endured in The Hollow.

The book ends on yet another cliff hanger that will make you want to time-travel to this time next year so you can read the third and final book, but the first two books will have to tide us over until then. I will definitely be picking up the third book and will be eagerly awaiting it.

If you liked The Hollow, you'll adore The Haunted. If you weren't nuts about The Hollow, give The Haunted a go and see if it doesn't change your mind about the series (I think it will).

Thoughts on the cover:
One thing I love about living in Canada is that we get so many imported products from the UK. The version of The Haunted I read for this review is actually the UK paperback copy (saved me the extra money of buying the US hardcover edition). The covers for both UK and US contain the same kind of image (one of Abbey's perfume bottles), just portrayed differently. The UK cover is oh so pink and girly while the US cover has a bit of a darker edge to it (same as The Hollow's cover just with a perfume bottle). Again, I'm not a big fan of either cover, but at least both these covers use a more unique image (a perfume bottle) as opposed to that darned necklace cliche from The Hollow that graces too many YA covers.

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